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Ikea is getting into home automation with a new smart hub

Ikea is getting into home automation with a new smart hub


Smart lights on a budget

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Ikea is finally getting into the home automation game with its own system for smart lighting. The new range of products is called Trådfri — which means “wireless” in Swedish — and is built around the ZigBee Light Link standard for connected lights (the same as Philips Hue). The system seems to have rolled out to select European countries last fall, but will be seeing a larger release at the end of March.

The core of the Trådfri system is a gateway device that connects to the internet via an Ethernet connection and creates a local Trådfri network to connect local bulbs. Like most of Ikea’s wares, the company is pursing an extremely aggressive pricing scheme, with a base set of the internet gateway, a remote, and two Trådfri bulbs running just 749 kr, or roughly $85.40.

But the most interesting part of the system isn’t in the internet gateway, but in what might be a motion-controlled dimmer switch, which exists as a colorful standalone puck that — if this incredibly awkward Ikea promotion video can be trusted — can dim lights simply by rolling it around in your hand. (It’s also possible that this video is dramatizing things a bit.) The dimmer switch can also work independently from the connected system, and is the cheapest part of the range, with a light and a dimmer switch costing 179 kr ($20.41).

The standard Trådfri bulbs are dimmable LED lights with three color temperature options — 2200K, 2700K, and 4000K — that Ikea claims each last around 25,000 hours. A standalone 980 lumen E27 Trådfri bulb runs for 199 kr (around $22.68), but there are also smaller GU10 and E14 sizes that run for 149 kr ($16.99). Ikea is also offering a variety of standalone bundles, including the motion sensor set (249 kr / $28.39) and a light / remote bundle (299 kr / $34.09). Obviously, those remote systems will work with the app and gateway controller (sold separately at 249 kr / $28.39) as well.

Additionally, Ikea is selling a series of LED Floalt panels, along with illuminated doors for various Ikea storage units that will also be compatible with the Trådfri system, and which serve as a powerful early indicator of how Ikea might leverage its existing modular systems to incorporate its smart home systems.

Currently, the Trådfri system only shows up on Ikea’s Swedish website, with the products expected in stores by March 31st, but it stands to reason that we could see the system make its way to other countries in the near future.