Cree is launching a 'smart bulb'

Cree, which makes the No. 1-selling LED bulb, is entering the "smart bulb" market.

The Durham-based LED lighting company announced Thursday that the Connected Cree LED Bulb will be available from Home Depot online and in stores later this month. The price for the equivalent of a 60-watt bulb: $14.97.

Designed for use with Wink and ZigBee home automation hubs, the bulbs can be scheduled to turn on at the start of the day or, for security, while you're away. Operating the smart bulb requires a smart phone.

The new Cree bulb creates "a simple user experience for consumers seeking device connectivity in their homes," Betty Noonan, chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

The Connected bulb comes with a three-year warranty and has a life expectancy of 25,000 hours.