Tag Archives: Cree

Repurposing a Cree Connected Bulb chip for other IoT apps

What if you could use your smart lightbulb’s MCU for another IoT application? Turns out, you can. 

As the Internet of Things seemingly finds its place under our roofs, one of the many brands helping to lead the way is Cree, who recently debuted its new sub-$15 line of Internet-enabled bulbs. Unlike others on the market today, the new 60-watt replacement LED lights are compatible with both Wink and ZigBee-certified hubs, and with a super affordable price, are looking to spur more widespread adoption. Users simply sync their iOS or Android device with the bulb to to trigger a number of settings: dim or brighten, schedule, and remotely turn them for an added layer of security.

While many homeowners will outfit their homes with smart lights, what if the chip embedded inside the Cree Connected Bulb could be used for other IoT applications as well? That’s what John McAlpine set out to discover, and upon breaking apart the bulb, found out that you can indeed.


The Maker’s teardown revealed a small board, which featured a ZigBee radio module along with an Atmel | SMART ATSAMR21E ARM Cortex-M0+based MCU that communicates over the radio to a Quirky Wink hub. With just 3V of power, McAlpine was able to command anything he wanted with PWM output. Watch the video below for a quick demo and pinout of the module.

“You can dig deeper into the hack, write your own controls for it — or, you make use of the apps already available for it — but regardless, this could be a very cheap way of adding in some reliable smart controls to your home,” Hackaday’s James Hobson writes.

Great find, Hackaday! Interested in learning more about the bulb itself? You can do so here.

Cree releases a sub-$15 smart light bulb

The Connected Cree LED Bulb looks to enhance the lighting experience with compatibly across almsot every platform.

Fresh on the heels of CES, connected living continues to be a key theme of 2015. Among the rapidly emerging categories, which ranges from thermostats to locks, are lights. While Philips Hue has become one of the most notable names in the smart bulb space, a number of companies are now looking to tap into the Internet of Things‘ bright future. One in particular, Cree, has become the latest to enter the market with its 60W-equivalent Connected Cree LED Bulb.


For the time being, smartphone-controlled lighting is seldom inexpensive. However, that is something Cree is aspiring to change with its new sub-$15 product line. Not only compatible with Home Depot’s Wink hub, the Connected Cree Bulb will work with any ZigBee-certified platform. Users can simply sync their iOS or Android device with the bulb to to trigger a number of light settings: dim or brighten, schedule, and remotely turn them for an added layer of security.

“Everything Cree does is based on the promise of providing the best lighting experience, and that starts with superior LED light. The Connected Cree LED Bulb delivers on that promise while also creating a simple user experience for consumers seeking device connectivity in their homes. The Connected Cree LED Bulb provides the uncompromising combination of a superior LED light experience with multi-platform compatibility, all at an affordable price,” explained Cree CMO Betty Noonan.


Moreover, the smart bulb is also designed for compatibility with future Cree supported hubs and market-leading platforms, including the Apple HomeKit platform, as consumers adopt new platforms for home connectivity. For those homeowners looking to enhance their lighting, the connected bulb will go on sale at HomeDepot.com later this month.

As the smart home market surges ahead, Atmel is well-positioned to remain at the heart of many of these Internet-enabled systems. The Atmel | SMART SAM R21, for example, has become a go-to choice for many developers looking to easily design connected lighting and wireless sensor networks.