Ikea Trådfri guide: All you need to know about Ikea's smart lights, blinds, plugs and more

We unpack everything on Ikea's range of smart home devices

Ikea Trådfri smart home guide
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Ikea is now a major player in the smart home. That's right, the Swedish furniture giant isn't just here to help you furnish your college house with chairs. It launched its Trådfri smart lights a couple of years back and has since followed up with a smart plug, a motion sensor and the first fruits of its partnership with Sonos, the Symfonisk speakers. There are even smart blinds on sale as well.

Ikea says its customers bought 5 million smart bulbs and accessories in the last financial year, so it's clear the furniture behemoth is going to keep adding to the line-up.

Sure, you might know your Dagstorp from your Knutstorp, but do you know the ins and outs of Trådfri? We’re here to help you put together your Trådfri knowledge like a Bygstad flat-pack. We’ll explain how it all works, what it works with, what you need to get set up, etc etc.

Right now, Trådfri encompasses a range of lights, blinds, Zigbee repeaters and plugs. There’s also a remote control, which acts as a pairing button – we’ll get to that. First of all, here’s how it works.

Ikea Trådfri: Smart home ecosystem

Like Philips Hue, Lifx and Sengled, Trådfri encompasses a whole smart home ecosystem. Everything can be controlled using a smartphone app and digital assistants, but there’s also a remote control should you prefer to go slightly more old school. Or, there's the Trådfri wireless dimmer, which gives you another tactile way to control those lights.

Back to those assistants for a second: Ikea’s Trådfri supports Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple’s HomeKit, the last one meaning you can also use Siri to control your lights and plugs. This support is much-needed, as the Ikea app itself is lacking on automations or even the ability to control your kit remotely.

However, an important caveat is that you do need a hub to make everything work, which can be bought separately or in a starter kit. Alternatively, because Trådfri is Zigbee, you can connect the devices directly to an Echo Plus or Samsung SmartThings Hub instead. You can actually connect them to the Philips Hue app too, although that method is a little… fiddly.

You might be wondering why you should consider Ikea when Philips, Lifx and the rest of the gang seem to have this market covered. Quite simply, price. The Ikea range is super cheap, with bulbs starting at £6, and unless you’re picking up a starter kit, don’t expect to pay anything more than £36. So let's get into the kit.

How to set up Ikea Trådfri

Ikea Trådfri can play nice with wider ecosystems such as Alexa and Google Assistant, but each has its own setup requirements. Below you'll find guides to each of them, as well as a guide to using your Trådfri lights with a motion sensor, whether it's Ikea's own or another brand.

Ikea Trådfri guide: Your missing manual to Ikea's smart lights, plugs and more

Ikea Trådfri: The bulbs, plugs, blinds and more

This is everything you can get from Ikea's Trådfri range right now. As we said, you can expect this lineup to grow throughout 2020.

Ikea Trådfri gateway kit

£65, ikea.com

This is the jumping-off point. The starter kit is the most expensive thing in the range, but it'll get you up and running with a hub, two bulbs and a remote control. That hub is essential (unless you're connecting via an Echo Plus or Hue) so this is a good place to start if you don't have any Trådfri kit in your house. Right now the starter kit is only available in the US, for some reason.

Ikea Trådfri guide: Your missing manual to Ikea's smart lights, plugs and more

Ikea Trådfri smart lights

Starts at £6, ikea.com

We're grouping the individual LED bulbs together as the difference between them is mostly a matter of lumens, however one important thing to know is that only one offers a range of colours, and comes with the option of a bundled dimmer. Otherwise, when you're browsing different bulbs, pay attention to how much variation you'll get in the white tones.

The newest entry to the line-up is the smart filament light bulb (the methodically named Trådfri LED bulb E26 250 lumen), which boasts a warm 2200 Kelvin glow and the LED has a life-cycle of approximately 25,000 hours.

If you already have Ikea under counter lights you can now make these smart using the new Trådfri drivers, which come in 10W and 20W variants.

Ikea Trådfri wireless motion sensor

£16, ikea.com

The Ikea Trådfri motion sensor is solely for use with its lights, letting you activate select bulbs when movement is detected. The sensor can be placed up to 30 feet away from the light (with no walls blocking it) and can detect motion up to 15 feet away.

Ikea Trådfri wireless dimmer

£6, ikea.com

Not ready to go all-in on the app or an assistant? Ikea's wireless dimmer can connect to 10 different bulbs at one time, and it comes with a two-year battery life (after which you can just swap the battery out). It also uses a magnet that makes it easy to mount to the wall bracket.

Ikea Trådfri smart plug

Starts at £9.99, ikea.com

Ikea's "wireless control outlet" is the odd one out here, in that it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the lights. Like other smart plugs, Ikea's power switch can turn any of your other "dumb" devices into connected ones, letting you control the outlet remotely. And you can tie it into your routines on your smart home platform of choice. Comes with a smart plug remote for an extra £8.

Ikea Trådfri Zigbee signal repeater

Simply a plug that you can use to charge your smartphone using the USB slot, Ikea's signal repeater's main reason for being is to enhance the signal between your Trådfri bulbs but the good news is that it's also a pretty useful Zigbee repeater for non-Ikea tech that's connected to your smart home hub.

Read our guide to Zigbee if you're not entirely sure what that means.

ikea smart home guide

Ikea Fyrtur and Kadrilj smart blinds

From £90ikea.com

Ikea's motorized smart blind pair are essentially battery-powered blinds that interact with the Ikea Home smart app and the Trådfri gateway; that also means they can sync up with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit.

Both Kadrilj and Fytur look fairly similar to your regular blinds - not a shock, obviously - with the differentiator coming in the form of a small compartment for the battery. Fyrtur are also block-out blinds; so are more suited for bedrooms. Both ranges come in an array of different sizes.

Initially planned for an April release, and then for an early October unveiling, the radio silence from Ikea is over. You can pick them up in store in the US, they are available to order online and in store in Europe.

Aside from the smarts, you can operate the blinds with the included remote control and one remote can also operate multiple blinds.

Ikea Sonos Symfonisk speakers

From £99 ikea.com

Not technically part of the Trådfri line-up, but definitely part of Ikea's big smart home push - the Symfonisk speakers, made in partnership with Sonos are noe the cheapest entry point to the Sonos multiroom speaker family.

There's two models on sale - the Bookshelf and the Table Lamp. Both speakers are Wi-Fi-connected and will work with Sonos multi-room. Neither have smart assistants built in, but you'll be able to control the Symfonisk speakers using Alexa and Google Assistant, through the Sonos One, Beam or other Alexa-enabled speakers.

TAGGED    smart lighting    smart home

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