Smart Home

Cree gets into the lighting control game with SmartCast

After announcing automated lighting controls for commercial and industrial settings, could a smart Cree LED be in the works for the home?

Cree announced their new SmartCast Technology today, officially moving the the LED manufacturer into the world of lighting controls, a place we've already seen brands such as Philips and TCP venture. With lighting fixtures equipped with integrated motion sensors and claims of a remarkably simple installation process, Cree is hoping to accelerate LED adoption by offering controls that "cut through the complexity" of automated lighting.

So far, Cree is only extending SmartCast to commercial and industrial troffers, luminaries, and downlights -- but a simplified approach to lighting controls seems like a smart idea for residential use, too, where Cree is already well-positioned with basic LEDs (including a recently released 75-watt replacement bulb), along with the high-CRI TW Series. Integrating SmartCast-like controls into bulbs such as these seems like a logical next step for a company that's looking to take residential LED usage to the next level.

When asked about SmartCast's potential role in consumer LED lighting, Mike Watson, Cree's VP of product strategy, said, "We are committed to SmartCast for our commercial products and are continually evaluating options to drive consumer LED lighting adoption, including bulbs with both new and enhanced features."

Whether or not that means SmartCast is actually destined for Cree's residential bulbs remains to be seen, but it will be something to keep an eye on as 2014 progresses, especially with new competitors such as the Switch Infinia LED, and as Congress casts doubt on the planned transition away from incandescents.