Home Energy & Utilities

Cree's Connected LED now works with WeMo

Belkin's connected home platform is the latest to add support for Cree's smart bulb.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

After launching with Wink Hub support and integrating with SmartThings, Staples Connect and Philips Hue , the Cree Connected LED bulb works on Belkin's WeMo platform now, too.

The move continues Cree's push to position the bulb as a compatible "thing" in each nook and cranny of the Internet of Things. Based off of the lightweight, low-cost design of the Cree 4Flow LED , the Cree Connected LED adds in a Zigbee radio, which allows it to communicate wirelessly with a control device for automated lighting changes.

You'll need the WeMo Link Zigbee bridge in order to add a Cree bulb to your WeMo setup. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The fact that it uses Zigbee and not Wi-Fi or Bluetooth is the big caveat here, as you can't simply buy this bulb, screw it in and start automating it. You'll need something in between the bulb and your router that can translate the Zigbee signal into Wi-Fi -- which is where a gadget like the WeMo Link comes in. With the Zigbee-fluent WeMo Link plugged into one of your home's outlets, you'll be able to control the Cree bulb right alongside WeMo LEDs and other WeMo-compatible bulbs in the WeMo app on your Android or iOS device.

That puts the WeMo Link right up there with the Philips Hue Bridge and with the hubs from Wink , SmartThings and Staples Connect as potential Cree control devices, and also gives you another app interface that'll work with the bulb. Like with the rest of your options, the WeMo app will let you turn the bulb on or off remotely, dim it up and down, or schedule it to turn on or off at specific times.

In addition to WeMo, Cree's LED works with Wink, SmartThings, Staples Connect and Philips Hue. Ry Crist/CNET

For additional smart home flexibility, Philips Hue and SmartThings offer dedicated channels on IFTTT, the popular online automation service. Those channels can link the Cree bulbs up with a wide number of Web tools, social networks and other smart home gadgets. Belkin's WeMo LEDs are getting their own IFTTT channel this week -- it seems likely that third-party bulbs such as the Cree Connected LED will get to come along for the ride, as it currently does with Philips Hue and SmartThings.

The Cree bulb's $15 price ties it with the GE Link LED as the cheapest big-brand smart bulb on the market. That, coupled with recent WeMo price cuts, makes for an especially affordable way of building an automated lighting system in your home. A $50 WeMo starter kit gets you the WeMo Link and two bulbs -- for less than $100 total, you could set up a system with a total of five connected bulbs: two WeMo and three Cree.