Cree Lighting Connected Max Smart LED Bulb A21 100W Tunable White + Color Changing

9.1/10 (Expert Score)
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Overall BVR Rating
Total Reviews:707
Cree Lighting Connected Max Smart LED Bulb A21 100W Tunable White + Color Changing, 2.4 GHz, Works with Alexa and Google Home, No Hub Required, Bluetooth + WiFi, 1pk
PROS
  • 10 REVIEWS SMART LIFE
  • 39 REVIEWS SMART BULB
  • 6 REVIEWS LIVING ROOM
  • 33 REVIEWS CREE APP
  • 9 REVIEWS STOPPED WORKING
  • 57 REVIEWS LIGHT BULB
  • 10 REVIEWS GOOGLE HOME
  • 5 REVIEWS TUNABLE WHITE
  • 21 REVIEWS CHANGE COLOR
  • 20 REVIEWS WORKING WITH ALEXA
  • 8 REVIEWS WHITE MODE
  • 26 REVIEWS CREE LIGHTING
  • 5 REVIEWS STAY CONNECTED
  • 5 REVIEWS IOT DEVICES
  • 22 REVIEWS WHITE LIGHT
  • 21 REVIEWS COLOR CHANGING
  • 11 REVIEWS SEEMS LIKE
  • 8 REVIEWS LIFE APP
  • 20 REVIEWS EASY TO USE
  • 2 REVIEWS BLUETOOTH I AM USING WIFI
Cree Lighting Connected Max Smart LED Bulb A21 100W Tunable White + Color Changing
Cree Lighting Connected Max Smart LED Bulb A21 100W Tunable White + Color Changing

Description

LIGHT TO LIVE, WORK, RELAX, AND PLAY – Turn on, off or dim your favorite shade of white light for everyday use or get the party started with millions of colors via app or voice assistant (not compatible with standard dimmer switches)

Top Positive Review


I have a few of the TP-Link Kasa LB120 bulbs and wanted to buy 3 more. But when I looked at them again, they were $43/ea! When I first bought them, they were easily half the price. Not wanting to spend that much money on them, I looked for an alternative and found these. I am familiar with CREE LED’s in other applications (automotive lighting) so I was comfortable trying these bulbs.

1. Setup: Setting up the bulbs isn’t nearly as easy as the Kasa bulbs. It is a similar process, but it took 3-4 attempts per bulb. I’m competent with tech and IoT devices, so I knew how to troubleshoot the problem. However, it was annoying and unexpected given the easy pairing and quick success I had with the Kasa bulbs.
2. Longevity: I can’t speak to this yet as I installed them yesterday. Again, given CREE’s reputation with their LED’s, I’m optimistic.
3. Ongoing troubleshooting: Again, I don’t have the history with these. However, I’m hoping that they are at least as consistent as the Kasa bulbs. In my experience with the other bulbs, they will drop the network from time to time – not often; maybe only a couple times a year. But it’s annoying and the bulbs are outside and kind of a nuisance to set back up again. I’m hoping that the CREE bulbs won’t have that problem.
4. Features: I have these bulbs in a couple living room lamps and wanted them for the 100W equivalent brightness as well as the color temp feature which follows daylight. The app also supports scheduling, scenes, and grouping, which frankly is expected with smart bulbs. The fact that they are color shifting is a fun party trick, but I don’t know how much I will use that. Maybe I’ll setup a movie viewing scene with a color?
5. Smart Assistant Integration: I have an Android phone and am using the Google Assistant and the integration works perfectly. I have tested the following: on/off individual bulb, on/off group, set brightness, set color temp (tried 3500k and 5000k), and change color to red. I tried to set a scene with the assistant but was unsuccessful. Given my success with the other tests, I’m sure I just don’t have the command correct.

Summary: I bought the bulbs for $13/ea. Even after only 24 hours, I am really happy with them. There are some things that only time will tell. I purchased them only for the ability to change the color temp at a given time of day – as long as they continue to do that, everything else is gravy. If you are looking at bulbs that essentially have the same functions as other smart bulbs, I suggest you give these a shot. Why would you pay 3-5x’s the amount for the same features?

Top Critical Review


EDIT: Decided to knock this down to 1-star after further investigation.

These bulbs are *extremely* low quality. They share the same tech with the Tuya bulbs and many others (though the visual quality of the one Tuya bulb I owned previously is substantially better). I originally left this at 2 stars under the hope that this bulb might just be defective. Unfortunately, shortly after receiving this, I received 5 other bulbs of different brands, two of which were as awful as this Cree and appeared to be Tuya bulbs.

I reached out to the company via their contact us link after writing the original review. I have not received a reply.

Original review —-

I have several other brands of color changing bulbs, ranging from white-label Chinese-without-English brands to some excellent (but terribly expensive) LIFX and Hue bulbs.

Without a doubt this bulb is the worst of the bunch. It’s effectively unusable, I will be returning it and sincerely hope that it is simply defective. Literally nothing about using this bulb was pleasant:

Pairing took 5 attempts. It warns you to make sure it’s on a 2.4GHz network, but I have to APs, both of which get reasonable single where the bulb is. Unfortunately, the slightly farther one had *no* signal as far as the bulb was concerned. I joined my phone and it to the closer AP and it *still* failed. It joined when I did a “manual” join, which worked *just like* the non-?manual method.

This bulb, at 1%, is the equivalent of *every other bulb I own* at 50%, which means every color is *way* lighter than it should be. And it flickers at *all* brightness settings. it’s strobe-like–if no lights are on in the room except for this bulb at 100%, it begins to bring on migraine in a few minutes.

This is a *cheap* bulb, I get it. I wasn’t expecting perfect matching against the LIFX/other bulbs–my Hues/others don’t perfectly match eachother, but these colors are *so far off* that they’re not usable in the same room; it’s not possible to produce over 50% of the color space that all of the other bulbs, including two that were less expensive, handle easily. I’d still keep it if I could stand to have the light on for more than a few minutes.

But hey, it’s bright.

Customer Questions & Answers


Will this work in a three-way lamp?
Answer:

The bulb will work in a 3 way lamp, but typically with a 3 way lamp and a non 3 way bulb, the bulb will only work at one setting and will not be adjustable to the 2 way lamp settings. I don’t believe there were specific testing done for our Connected Max bulbs and 2 way fixtures and whether it will affect the smart bul??

Does this work with dimmable switch?
Answer: this product should not be used with dimmer

Do you have to use bluetooth? Just for pairing or all the time?
Answer: I believe its only used during set up. After that it is wifi

what’s the input voltage range?
Answer: The input voltage for my lights is 120 volts AC 60 hertz.

Is this compatible with lamps that require a bulb with an E26 base type?
Answer: Yes this bulb uses the standard E26 socket

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