Skip to main content

How to add your Cree Connected bulb to a Hue hub

The folks at Cree dropped the first bulb in their new Connected line this week at Home Depot (opens in new tab), and as we said in our hands on if you're looking for cheap bulbs to add to your connected home these are the way to go. Rather than bind themselves to a single kind of connecte hub, Cree Connected bulbs work with any ZigBee hub. You wouldn't know that by looking at the box, however, since the only instructions included are to connect to the Wink hub. While Wink is a decent way to go if you've already decided to go that route, those of us with the Philips Hue hub running multiple rooms of bulbs are probably going to want to keep using the Hue apps to control those bulbs. The Cree Connected bulbs won't automatically connect to the Hue hub out of the box, but through the manual add feature in the Hue app you can add the Cree bulbs with no problem.

Cree Number

The first thing you'll need is the connection code on the side of your Cree Connected bulb. Hue needs the six digit number from the bulb in order to detect the Cree bulbs in the manual search, so locate that number and either write it down or memorize it. Connect your bulb to whatever socket you want to use it in, but leave it turned off for the time being.

Cree on Hue

Next you'll need to open the official Philips Hue app and head to Settings>My Lights>Connect New Lights. Select Manual search from the two options that slide out, and enter in the number you grabbed from the side of the Cree bulb as the serial number. Turn on your Cree bulb, tap Search, and scroll to the bottom of the list of connected bulbs that Hue can see. The last bulb in the list should be labeled Dimmable light, and when you tap the name in the app your Cree bulb will start slowly pulsing on and off. Rename the bulb to whatever you choose, and the bulb is now connected to your Hue hub. Once connected to the Hue hub, any Hue app will be able to see and control these lights.

If you've already connected your Cree bulbs to a Wink hub and would like to switch them over to the Hue hub, or vice versa, you'll need to reset your Cree Connected bulb so it can be re-paired. To do this, just turn the bulb on and off at the light switch four times in rapid succession with a two second pause in each position. The fourth time the light comes on it will flicker once and you'll be able to add the bulb to whatever ZigBee hub you choose.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

48 Comments
  • "Cheap"? $15 for a light bulb is considered "cheap"? Holy cow... I understand these have nice functionality and great new tech in them, but let's not start calling them "cheap".
  • When the competing hardware is twice the price, cheap seems appropriate. We're also talking about LEDs that just about never need to be replaced. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No, "less expensive" seems appropriate. A Ferrari is less expensive than a Lamborghini, but I wouldn't call it cheap. Also, the website says lifespan is 22 years (based on 3 hrs/day). The lifespan of an equivalent CFL (which is $2 per bulb) is 11 years. And power usage is nearly identical. Add up the cost of replacing all the bulbs in your house (or even half for that matter), and these things suddenly make way less sense. And when you look at how many light bulbs are in your house (mine has well over 50),
  • Of course when CFL bulbs were new, they weren't $2/bulb either.
  • No, "Less expensive" is really not. Your not just buying JUST a light bulb. Your buying a SMART light bulb. To make the $2 light bulb smart, you'll spend more then the $15. Is it for everyone? No. But Smart Phones are not for everyone either. A "Cheap" Smart phone is still expensive in compared to just a cell phone. But do you have just a cell phone? Or do you prefer to be connected and have a SMART phone? At 50 bulbs per house, the cost for SMART house lighting is: (Breakdown below, Priced at Home Depot) $$$ - Philips Lux - $1508.78 (Control Each Bulb)
    $$ - CFL + Smart Outlets/Switches - $828.78 - (Controls bulbs in groups of 3 at this price.)
    $$ - Cree Bulbs and Philips Lux Starter - $803.56 (Control Each Bulb) Philips Lux -
    47 Phillips Lux (non Colored) bulbs @ 29.97 is $1408.59 plus the Philips Lux Starter to get the hub and 3 more bulbs is $99.97 for a total of 1508.56. CFL + Smart Outlets -
    50 CFL Bulbs @ $2.19 is $109.50. To give the benefit of doubt, lets say you only need 1 Smart Outlet or Smart Light Switch for every 3 bulbs. That's at least 17 Outlet/Switches at the cheapest your looking at $42.34 a piece, for a total of $719.78. Add the $109.50 from the cost of the bulbs you are looking at $828.78. You can only control bulbs in groups of 3. For individual control, you looking at $2226.50. Cree and Philips Lux Starter -
    47 Cree Bulbs at $14.97 is $703.59. Plus the Philips Lux Starter for $99.97 is a total of $803.56. To me, that sounds not only cheap, but the CHEAPEST.
  • Your argument is completely irrelevant to my point. My point was that these are not CHEAP, they are simply LESS EXPENSIVE than the competitor's comparable product. The definition of cheap is "costing very little; relatively low in price; inexpensive." These are NOT inexpensive no matter how you look at it. They are simply LESS expensive than the Philips ones. That's all I'm saying.
  • If you are going to break it down like that, "cheap" is relative. These are "cheap" to me.
  • By your "Point" a fixer up house that has 3 Bed 2 bath and 2000 square feet and costs $60,000 is still not cheap, not even compared to a non fixer upper house with 3 bed 2 bath and 2000 square feet for $160,000.
    BUT still, per YOUR definition of Cheap, the second part states, RELATIVELY LOW IN PRICE. (i would look up RELATIVELY for you but i'm guessing you already have a dictionary.) So yes, they are still RELATIVELY low in price as compared to something with the same functionality. So YES they are cheap. You should have left that part of the definition out if it was irrelevant. Well actually, just the entire definition as it just goes to prove they are cheap. They may not be cheap to someone who does not want SMART bulbs, but yes they are cheap smart bulbs.
  • Agree to disagree
  • Cheap is a relative term that has its value vary based on perspective. If you were to compare $15 to a normal light bulb then of course it sounds expensive. But if you properly compare it to other Bulbs with similar abilities it is cheap. In other words, it's not a cheap light bulb, but it is a cheap *SMART* bulb. Posted via Android Central App
  • Inexpensive is only 1 SINGLE part of the definition. You can not decide that any other way of using the word does not apply because it does not apply to you. For someone looking for a CHEAP smart lighting these are CHEAP. The way the word CHEAP was used for this product in this story was correct. You are choosing to only think that you can only use cheap in describing something inexpensive. Cheap can no longer mean a poor quality build either? Next time someone says something is cheap because of it's quality build will you argue that they are wrong because they didn't mean it was inexpensive?
  • Holy crap dude calm down and let it go. Is this the first time someone's views haven't perfectly aligned with yours on the internet or something?
  • No, see, I agree with that cheap can mean inexpensive. You don't agree that the story used it correctly. Posted via the Android Central App
  • http://youtu.be/moSFlvxnbgk
  • I take that as my logic was to much for you. Posted via the Android Central App
  • As mine was for you.
  • well you said it yourself... one of your definitions of cheap (since you listed a few) was "RELATIVELY low in price". so then when you look at the price of a Cree connected bulb in relations to all other wifi connected light bulbs, it is by (your) definition, cheap. by your car logic, while both italian cars may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, you also wouldn't be able to call a POS Kia that cost $13k cheap either because it would be quite expensive compared to a 15 year old honda civic that cost $600 and runs and drives fine...
    where you're wrong is that just because, just because something else is cheaper, doesn't make the original thing not cheap... many things can be cheap, no one said it was the cheapest and the Kia is still a cheap car just like this is a cheap wifi connected bulb.
  • Are you really trying to argue that YOUR opinion of what is cheap is somehow more relevant than anybody else's? $15 for a bulb straight out of the Jetsons seems amazingly cheap to me. I'd be lucky if I could buy a traditional LED bulb and a dimmer switch for that, and I still wouldn't have 10% of the functionality--much of which, like the ability to automatically turn off all my bulbs when I leave the house will also save me money. Even if there was some universal definition of cheap I think you're on the losing end of that argument, because the only way you can argue it's not cheap is by comparing it to a completely different product.
  • Connected by tcp bulbs are about 15 cents cheaper at Home Depot.. While not exactly cheap, they are far from "twice the price". Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sorry, that comment was in reference to the Hue bulbs with a similar feature set Posted via the Android Central App
  • Another way of putting it is that they add only around $6 to dimmable LED bulbs to obtain full "smart" controllability. Best I've seen dimmable LEDs (that still require a separate dimmer...) go for is around $8.50-9 Yeah you can get CFLs for $2 each, but:
    1) You won't be able to dim them. If you try, you'll likely destroy the bulb and potentially the dimmer too
    2) They will perform extremely poorly in situations where they are turned on/off frequently. CFLs lifetime is dramatically shortened if they go through lots of warmup cycles. Many of them have insufficient heatsinking of the drive circuitry, so while they claim amazing bulb lifetime, the reality is that I've had to replace more CFLs in my apartment than I have replaced incans...
  • Agreed, I don't see anywhere near the advertised lifetime...good thing we're well stocked in incandescent's!
  • "The folks at Cree dropped the first bulb in their new Connected line this week at Home Depot."
    Hope it didn't break! If I have no smart bulbs does the app that comes with Cree bulbs work ok?
  • I think "cheap" is stretching it too. I'd say "relative bargain" fits. Regardless of how fancy it is, it's still just a light bulb, the primary function of which is to light up a space.
  • This. And, yes, relative bargain is a good term. Finally at least someone doesn't completely disagree with me!
  • This years bulbs are a step down. They drop the better metal heat dissipation for a air flow design and they give you less lums for the watts. This is a step backwards for CREE to save money, not to make a better bulb. Just sayin....
  • But when's the last time you've had any of these energy saving bulbs even last a tenth of their qoated life span. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have had 6 CREE bulbs for the last 5 years. I didn't buy any more because at the time they were $50 each for recessed lighting in the living room. I also have two CREE bulb flashlights, one of which I've owned more than 5 years.
  • Unless we decide as a collective human race to put in a set dollar amount of what qualifies as "cheap" then cheap is relative to other things with the same use and function. Cheap or Inexpensive or Bargain is all relative to the cost of other things that have the same function and/or use. I could say a CFL is not cheap if i compare it to cost of incandescence, but no one is really arguing that $2 for a light bulb is expensive because $2 to most of us on here is not that big of a deal. Go to a 3rd world country and even the price of incandescent bulbs is not cheap in compared to natural or candle light. Saying these just fill the room with light is like saying your smart phone just makes calls because it's a phone. A land line old rotary dial makes calls just like a smart phone but we're not comparing our smart phones to land lines are we? No one at all is saying these cost only a little amount of money. They are saying these are cheap SMART light bulbs. Most people do not see a need for the smart technology in there smart bulbs and will stick with a regular bulb. But 10 years ago most people didn't see a need for a smart phone either. They do now and the price is still relatively the same.
  • You comparison is not valid. As fancy as these lighting systems are, the bulbs are just going to serve a single function. Light up. A smart phone can do many different tasks. These things are like a sophisticated Clapper. You don't have to turn a knob or move a slider to dim them, you can use an app. They're not curing any diseases here.
  • My smart bulb notified me of this reply. Also when my wife or I get home, or if I forgot to turn them off, the weather, I can set them up to notify me when something I wanna buy is cheap. Other smart home devices that cost more for the smarts in them also do the same function as a non smart device. I can get a smoke alarm for little money. Or I can buy a smart smoke alarm that will notify me if I'm not home. They are not just basic devices that just do basic things. Posted via the Android Central App
  • your smartphone isn't curing any disease here either...
  • I picked up 6 of these today to put in all the lamps in our keeping room (big room that is part of the kitchen). Getting the bulbs to connect the first time isn't the easiest. I found one lamp was better at getting them connected than others. Once you get it connected, it is good to go. The most important thing here for me was the Wife Acceptance Factor. It was very high on these bulbs. She likes the color/warmth they give off. Feels like a normal bulb. More important is that we can turn them all on and off with the click of a button our phone. Are they inexpensive? Maybe. I didn't mind spending $15 each to to get something cool that works for what we wanted. We like mood lighting at night, and having to run around turning lamps on and off is a pain that I would rather not have to do. Hey, this is the 21st century. I was already supposed to have a flying car and a robot maid, so $15 for a light I can control from my phone seems like something I should have if it exists!
  • Any sense of the quality control on these bulbs? I've steered clear of Cree in the past, having read some quite damning reviews -- failure after three months, buzzing noises, flickering and the like.
    My other question is probably a foolish one -- if you use these connected bulbs, does that mean your light switches are forever after useless appendages that must always be flipped to the on position?
  • Now if only two things were true: 1. Connected made a lamp with a 100W output equivalence for those of us who don't like to live in a 'mood-lit' apartment... 2. Someone could get hooks into Belkin's evil WeMo system so I could use their devices without their apps.
  • ok but with the new LED lights costing under 8$ of electricity a year if they are ON 24/7 365 days a year.. what is the point of these lights again ? cause like i said.. u could just keep those LED,s on.. all the time... all over your house.. just for the fun of it.
  • Did anyone else get this to work? I noticed my serial number is the same as the serial number in the article, which seems wrong. That, and my app never finds the bulb, anyone else try this?
  • I got some and they also had the same serial. I couldn't get them to add either.
  • I finally got it, what i had to do was have it turned off while i was on the search screen, then flip it on while i tapped search, while it was searching i had to cycle the bulb and then it appeared. Unfortunately the dimming ability of the bulb is not as good as the hue flux, but for some of the less used rooms, it actually seems to function quite well.
  • What code did you use? I cant find a 6 digit code.
  • I got some and they also had the same serial. I couldn't get them to add either.
  • I'm in the same boat, i tried clicking search before turning it on, turning it on and clicking search, cycled the bulb twice and nothing. By the way mine also has the same S/N 330248
  • Where did you find the S/N?
  • 2nd picture in the post and in the bulb itself, but don't worry apparently all of them have the same number
  • Agreed, I was trying with 330248 Posted via the Android Central App
  • OK, I got it working too. I used the Lampstealer method to reset each bulb, and then it was able to detect the bulb using the auto search method. With the bulb turned on, telnet to port 30000 on your hub, then type command [Link,Touchlink] (with brackets, then hit enter). After a few seconds, the bulb should blink a few times. After that open the Hue app and run the automatic search for a new bulb. If you leave the telnet session open during discovery, you will see some additional debug info. $ telnet 192.168.1.5 30000
    Trying 192.168.1.5...
    Connected to 192.168.1.5.
    Escape character is '^]'.
    [Link,Touchlink]
    [Link,Touchlink] [Link,Discover,finished][Link,Touchlink,success,NwkAddr=0x0008,pan=0xD0E9]
    [Link,Discover,finished][Link,A]
    [Link,GetAddress,L=00:17:88:01:00:A1:68:7D,S=0x0001.0]
  • Thank you, that did the trick way smoother than the other method. The only problem I have now, is with the bulb itself, it seems like it doesn't work properly on all sockets, I have one of those 3 bulb lamps and it does not turn on the Cree Connected bulb but the Hue Lux works just fine on that lamp. I guess from now on I will test every new lamp I'd like to buy and if it works with the Cree Connected I'll buy it, otherwise I'll return it.
  • I found using a different light fixture, then doing an automatic scan worked for me. The original fixture was on a dimmer switch, which will now be done through my phone and ifttt. Posted via the Android Central App