Yes, you read that correctly. The Swedish based powerhouse in home furniture retailing is making their first venture into the world of home automation and Internet of Things technology with smart lighting. The lights, called “Trådfr,” which is Swedish for ‘wireless,’ have officially launched in Sweden and select branches in Europe, but are yet to make their debut in the United States.
They are listed on IKEA’s US based website in the product section, but for now they can only be added to a shopping list. These Trådfr smart lights work similarly to other smart lights on the market, by setting the mood in a given room, adjusting lights, and letting users personalize and schedule their environment through smart home applications.
This IKEA Trådfri starter kit comes with two E27 “white spectrum” screw bulbs, the wireless bridge, (which is necessary to use the app), and a portable remote. Trådfri is the name of both Ikea’s smart LED bulb and its companion app. Currently only iOS and Android devices can use Ikea’s smart lighting products.
Smart lights are the way most people get into the home automation space. They can be operated via smartphones, or clapped on and off. They can also fit easily into existing furnishings.
Since IKEA’s the world’s largest furniture chain, why not venture into the smart home space? All of their products are used in homes, so it would only behoove IKEA to be a part of space. The product was released in March overseas, so it’s likely that a US release can be expected soon.
How Does Trådfri Compare to Other Smart Lights on the Market?
The main competition the Trådfri faces are the Philips Hue smart lights. The Philips Hue has expanded their catalog by adding color-changing bulbs, plain white bulbs, stick-anywhere light-strips, unique Bloom and Iris Bulbs, many table, ceiling, and wall lights, a motion sensor, and a number of switches. With Philips, users can also pair up to 50 devices to a single bridge.
The IKEA Trådfr bulbs began as $11.99 individually, and a starter kit will sell for $79.99, where a starter kit for Philips Hue costs $70, but a Philips Hue bulb costs $15 individually. Both Philips Hue and Trådfri are built around the ZigBee Light Link standard for connected lights.
Aside from the Trådfr, IKEA is offering a wireless dimmer at $19.99, and a motion sensor lighting kit with only one motion sensor and one bulb for $24.99. Early advertisement videos for the wireless dimmers show that users can dim lights by simply rolling the device in their hand.
The biggest omission for Ikea is not including any sort of color changing light bulbs, which is most people’s favorite thing about smart light tools.
The IKEA smart lights are also missing the added features of being IFTTT compatible, or having the ability to connect with other smart home appliances to be a part of an overall automation strategy. The Philips Hue product can connect with other home automated tools.
Since IKEA’s Trådfri lights haven’t officially launched, it’s hard to tell how they will actually perform, and additional features are only a guess for now. When launch arrives, it’s possible that the lights become compatible with other home automation tools.