In order to create an increasingly smart home, starting from lighting, the user no longer has only Philips as a reference point; For some time, the IKEA furniture giant has also been included in the panorama, which has developed its own Tradfri platform, compatible with HomeKit, Alexa and Google Assistant and Hue itself. Here are the elements of the IDEA smart lighting line, how it works and which other services it interfaces with.
IKEA smart lighting catalog
As already anticipated in a previous article, the IKEA smart line of lights consists of LED bulbs, lamps, wall lights, spotlights and even real LED panels, which in addition to illuminating constitute real home furnishings .
With the latest updates, however, IKEA smart lights have become compatible with Apple's HomeKit. This means that you can control intensity, color, temperature of the warmer or colder light according to your needs, switching on, off and more simply with our voice from iPhone and iPad, as well as of course all the possible functions within the Apple Home app on iOS for the simultaneous management of multiple smart accessories.
Just go to the Italian IKEA website to find the entire Tradfri line of lights and accessories, including lamps, wall lights, light bulbs and spotlights but also sensors, gateways and kits that have been absent in recent months. The IKEA smart lighting proposal Tradfri in line with the affordable price philosophy that made the brand famous: it starts with smart LED bulbs at € 14.95, Kit with bulb and dimmer at € 17.95, kit with motion sensor and lamp at 24.95 euros while the Gateway, which is used to control them from smartphones or with voice assistants (therefore also with Homekit, Alexa, Google) is offered at 33 euros which are less than 55 euros from the Philips Hue gateway (although with the appropriate differences that we will explain later).
The IKEA TRDFRI smart light system not currently open source, this means that it will not be possible to develop it by accessing the system APIs. At the moment IKEA products for Smart lighting use ZigBee Light Link, of which you can find all the necessary information at this address. ZigBee Light Link an open protocol for remote control where the lights create a mesh network, which allows the transmission of messages from one light to another. IKEA Smart lighting products are ZigBee Light Link certified and are compatible with other products that comply with the ZigBee Alliance standards.
Obviously, anyone can buy IKEA smart lights and combine them with their traditional home lighting system. The IKEA smart lights are in fact compatible with all standard electrical outlets suitable for the dimensions of the bulbs supplied. However, TRDFRI Smart lighting products cannot be used with wired dimmers. To turn on and off the lamps that work with TRDFRI light sources, you can use the wall switch or the switch of the lamps themselves.
After purchasing the hub and the first light kit, it will be possible to expand the system by purchasing individually new IKEA products, individually or in pre-matched kits, and using them with the app and the TRDFRI gateway that connects via ethernet to your Wi-Fi router . So be careful before any other accessory, you must purchase the Tradfri hub, without which the individual lights cannot have any smart functionality.
IKEA smart lights and voice assistants
Great attention from IKEA has been paid to voice assistants. IKEA Smart lighting products work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit, also here provided (except for one exception that we see below) that the TRDFRI gateway is available. In this way it will be possible to manage the lights with voice control via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and set and adjust the lights with the Apple Home app and Siri voice commands.
For IKEA smart lights to work with Alexa and HomeKit, you need to update them to the latest firmware available. At the moment, software updates are available for the TRDFRI gateway and the TRDFRI app that allow you to manage IKEA Smart lighting products with voice control via Amazon Alexa and to set and adjust the lights with the Apple Home app and Siri voice commands.
If you can't control the lights outside the home with Homekit because you don't have an Apple TV or a home iPad, you can always use the IKEA App since the Tradfri gateway is permanently connected to your home router.
TRDFRI not currently compatible with IFTTT.
Smart IKEA LIGHTS and Amazon Echo models with Alexa
Amazon provides several Wi-Fi-based Echo models to connect to third-party routers and hubs when managing non-Wi-Fi protocols but there is also an Echo model, Amazon Echo Plus, which we have reviewed on this page, and which at this time costs 149 Euro, able to directly control the IKEA smart lights without having you buy the TRDFRI gateway or use the IKEA app: in this case using the Zigbee connection allows you to add new lamps IKEA of any kind without going through the Skill.
For those wishing to take a test with a series lamp and do not have an Ikea store nearby, we can recommend the GU 10 model
So for all Amazon Echo models except the Echo Plus, Echo Show 10 ″ and Echo Studio models you need to have the gateway TRDFRI, the related skill and the IKEA app while if you have an Echo Plus model (first or second generation) the lamps they can also be connected directly to the Amazon system.
IKEA smart lights and Philips Hue
The IKEA gateway has the possibility of controlling up to 10 groups of 10 lights, that of Philips, the so-called Bridge (or Hub or Gateway) sold alone or in a kit that can manage up to 50 individually in a more "granular" mode ( for example the color temperature with IKEA is regulated in just three steps while on Hue p continues and on IKEA there are currently no color lamps, LED strips, E14 candle etc etc.)
The Philips Hue hub can be used to connect IKEA lamps, but only if the purchased IKEa lamps have a system firmware of at least 1.2. If the firmware is lower, you will need the Tradfri hub and the IKEA app to update it. And in any case it will be good to consider in the purchase price of the IKEA lamps the fraction of the cost of the IKEA Hub (about 3.3 Euro per lamp if you reach the maximum) that is necessary to carry out the updates.
How to operate IKEA lighting in combination with Philips Hue bridge? You will have to do the following:
- Bring light sources closer to the Philips Hue bridge
- Start searching for new devices with the Philips Hue app
- Restore the factory settings of the light sources by turning the main switch on and off 6 times
If the software version of IKEA smart products produced not 1.2.x or later, they will have to be updated using a TRDFRI gateway and the TRDFRI app.
Our advice for those who want to use IKEA lighting accessories with voice commands or remotely always purchase the IKEA gateway except in case you already have (or want to buy) an AmazonEcho Plus gateway, 10 ″ Echo Show and Echo Studioor even a “universal” Homey Gateway that sees peripherals directly through Zigbee.