This post may surprise some, but make no mistake, your behemoth go-to for furnishing a college dorm, a slick loft, or a suburban home, just got Smart.
Bulbs, sensors, dimmers, remotes, outlets, LED drives, and… blinds! Ikea has the basics covered.
Swedish engineering has embraced the Smart Home space, starting with cost-effective bulbs and other basic components. The TRÅDFRI line has your based covered if you’re just starting out or simply looking to supplement your existing setup. They provide remotes or button-like dimmers to control your ambiance by hand, along with an app of their own and integration with partners that you may already be partial to.
For the beginners, the Ikea gateway is currently priced at a competitive $35 and allows direct integration with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant. Or, if you’re versed in more technical builds, you may be able to connect their Zigbee devices to your existing gateway.
Now, let us share some good news for the Samsung SmartThings or Philips Hue users:
The Ikea Gateway is not required! You can directly sync the bulbs with your existing configuration if you have a bridge for either of those two. Ikea, Philips, and Samsung all have instructions out there on pairing with six magical flips of a switch (see below).
Here’s our breakdown.
- Those who don’t currently have a hub and wish to stick to lights, outlets and sensors.
- Those who have a Smartthings or Philips Hub bridge that need to pick up a few more bulbs.
The TRÅDFRI line is great for new Smart Homers that want an affordable lighting solution, some outlets or motion sensors, and the potential to pair with phone/voice assistants. Remember, new setups will require the (fairly cheap) hub. But, if your needs are simple or the technology scares you, this may be the end of your research. Grab the bulb and gateway combo pack just past the curtain section before you get lost in the rubber tree plants.
Ikea may also be the perfect place to pick up a few more bulbs for the intermediate folks with a Philips Hue or SmartThings bridge – we found their E26’s to be the cheapest for our setup. If you’re an expert, consider if you want the same thing as the intermediates or if you’re willing to hack their products into your Zigbee mesh. We’ve seen a handful of forum posts on the topic.
Not good for:
- Those who want to transform their entire house or get creative with their devices.
Ikea has limitations. Blinds are the most adventurous product on their list, and we haven’t seen much evidence that the Ikea Gateway effectively handles Zigbee devices from other manufacturers. If you’re getting wild with device diversity or looking for bulk deals, this likely won’t be your solution.
In summary, don’t count out the Swedes. Compare them to perennial favorites while considering what you’re trying to accomplish in your home. Also, keep in mind that their line will only continue to expand, though that could be said for just about any company with smart products. One thing is for sure: simplicity is all but guaranteed from the company known to provide furnishings for the least handy. Cost-effective and easy smart home solutions lie in the sea of trusted Ikea products.
For those adding Ikea bulbs to their existing setup: