Ikea Trådfri Range: Review and User Guide

Everything you Need to Know about Ikea Tradfri Smart Lights and Plugs, from features to compatibility and best uses
ikea trådfri plug and lights
Published: 6th Feb 2020
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By Rohan Tandon

Rohan is a passionate tech journalist with a degree in English literature. He's worked as a commissi Read More..

 

Searching for an answer? Here's our table of contents: 

1) Ikea Trådfri Smart Lights Review

2) Ikea Trådfri Smart Plug Review

3) Ikea Trådfri Smart Lights & Plug Setup

4) Basic Necessities for Installation

       a)Ikea Trådfri Gateway OR Zigbee-Based Smart Hub

       b)Ikea Trådfri Remote, AKA Steering Device

5) Ikea Trådfri App — IKEA Home Smart

6) Step-by-Step Ikea Trådfri Installation

7) Ikea Trådfri Features

      a)Ikea Trådfri Remote Features

      b)Ikea Trådfri Wireless Dimmer Features

      c)Ikea Trådfri Motion Sensor Features

      d)Ikea Trådfri App Features

      e)Missing Features

8) Ikea Trådfri Compatibility

      a)Ikea Trådfri Amazon Alexa Compatibility

      b)Examples of Ikea Trådfri Amazon Alexa Commands:

9) Ikea Trådfri Google Home Compatibility

      a)Examples of Ikea Trådfri Google Assistant Commands:

10) Ikea Trådfri Apple HomeKit Compatibility

      a)Examples of Ikea Trådfri Siri Commands:

11) Ikea Trådfri Philips Hue Compatibility and Setup

      a)Update your Ikea Trådfri Bulbs

12) Ikea Trådfri Samsung SmartThings Compatibility and Setup

13) 10 Top Uses of Smart Lights and Plugs

14) Conclusion

15) So who is Ikea Trådfri really suitable for?

16) Frequently Asked Questions about Ikea Trådfri Smart Lights and Plugs

      a)Does IKEA smart lighting work with HomeKit?

      b)Is Ikea Tradfri compatible with Hue? How do I connect IKEA hue to Tradfri? Does IKEA motion sensor work with Hue?

      c)How do I add IKEA Tradfri to SmartThings?

      d)How do I pair my Tradfri remote?

      e)How do I reset my Tradfri gateway?

      f)Why can’t I add the Ikea Trådfri bulbs into the Ikea Trådfri gateway?

      g)Can I control the Ikea Trådfri lights only using the steering device?

 

Smart lights and plugs have been around for several years now. So much so the market is saturated with a wide range of companies offering their variations on these products.

Ikea has recently stepped into the smart home ecosystem by introducing its line of Trådfri Smart Lights and Plugs. In case you’re wondering, ‘Trådfri’ is a Swedish word for wireless, which is precisely what you expect from smart devices.

But in this saturated smart device marketplace, does IKEA have what it takes to stand out? What sets Ikea Trådfri apart from well established smart device options like Philips Hue, WeMo, and many others?

Well, to put it simply, Ikea isn’t trying to make waves with an overly innovative twist on smart lights and plugs. Instead, Ikea Trådfri attempts quite the opposite — minimalism.

Ikea Trådfri smart lights and plugs are some of the most reasonable and — for lack of a better word — basic smart devices on the market. Will that strategy work in their favor?

Read on for a detailed review of Ikea Trådfri smart lights and plugs and let’s find out!

Ikea Trådfri Smart Lights Review

Ikea Trådfri lights and Remote

Ikea Trådfri smart lights aren’t overly innovative or creative in terms of functionality. In fact, they’re pretty unremarkable, and that might just be their greatest advantage in an ecosystem in which smart device companies are tripping over themselves to add a greater degree of complications.

So far, Ikea has developed ten Ikea Trådfri bulbs, all of them with various degrees of brightness (lumen output), fittings, and colors.

  • Fittings: Ikea Trådfri bulbs are available in three fittings — E26, E12, and GU10.
  • Lumens: Ikea Trådfri bulbs are available in the following brightness levels — 250 lumens, 400 lumens, 600 lumens, 806 lumens, and 1000 lumens.
  • Color Spectrum: Different smart lights offer a different range of Ikea trådfri colours. Some of them have a color spectrum of 20 different colors — Cold Sky (6000 Kelvin), Cool Daylight (5000 Kelvin), Sunrise (3000 Kelvin), Dark Red, Dark Pink, Dark Purple, Peach, Light Pink, Blue, Yellow, and Lime. And some only offer three different temperatures/shades — Warm Glow (2200 Kelvin), Warm White (2700 Kelvin), and Cool White (4000 Kelvin).

While the color spectrum is decent, you can only access the different colors and shades through the smartphone app. It’s also worth noting that the color spectrum is still limited when compared to other smart lights like Philips Hue, which can offer every shade, temperature, and color in existence, with a range of 50,000 shades of white and 16,000,000 colors.

You can also use the Ikea Trådfri remote to control up to 10 Ikea Trådfri bulbs together. The remote allows you to dim the lights, switch them on or off, and change the color temperature. These smart lights consume approximately 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs and they last 20 times longer.

You can control Ikea Trådfri bulbs in three ways — the Ikea Trådfri remote, the Ikea smartphone app, or motion sensors. However, all of these different methods of control have different installation methods and give you access to different features. We’ll explore more of that later in the section titled ‘Ikea Trådfri Smart Lights & Plug Setup’.

The greatest advantage of Ikea Trådfri smart lights is that you can control them without a wired-in installation. That’s what makes them suitable for most people, including renters and those who travel often — you can simply connect the Ikea Trådfri bulbs in the relevant fixture and there’s no need to play with your home’s wiring.

Ikea Trådfri bulbs are also some of the most reasonable smart lights on the market. Depending on the lumens and fixture style, the cost of Ikea Trådfri bulbs ranges from $8.99 to $19.99.

Ikea Trådfri Smart Plug Review

Ikea trådfri smart plug

Ikea Trådfri Wireless Control Outlet, just like the Ikea Trådfri bulbs, is extremely minimalist and simplistic. All you get is a single smart plug that you can connect to your power outlet.

It doesn’t have many bells and whistles — no USB port, no nightlight, no energy monitoring, and no power button. As such, this smart plug can only remotely control your device and there’s no means of turning it on or off physically — unless you turn off the power outlet it’s connected to.

Ikea Trådfri smart plugs also have great compatibility with different smart devices like Apple HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Home. And you get all of that compatibility for only $9.99, which might sound like a steal… but there’s a caveat.

On the outset, Ikea Trådfri smart plugs only cost $9.99, which is pretty brilliant considering they have Apple HomeKit compatibility. But unlike a lot of other smart plugs — like WeMo and Teckin — Ikea Trådfri smart plugs don’t work independently.

To make the Ikea Trådfri smart plugs work, you’ll also have to get a Zigbee-based gateway hub along with an Ikea Trådfri remote/ steering device. When you add all of that up, you get a smart plug that costs at least $45.

Yikes!

For all their attempt at simplicity and minimalism, the Ikea Trådfri smart plugs don’t seem so minimal anymore considering they necessitate the use of a separate smart hub and Ikea “steering wheel” — we’ll discuss more of that in the section titled ‘Ikea Trådfri Smart Lights & Plug Setup’.

The Ikea Trådfri smart plugs perform quite well. They’re consistent, there are no glitches, and they respond well to smartphone and voice commands. However, if you’re looking for a smart plug that you can simply plug, connect, and play, this isn’t the one for you.

If you already have a Zigbee-based smart hub and you’re purchasing other Ikea smart devices as well, the purchase will be worth it. But it’s not a justifiable purchase if all you want is an individual smart plug.

Ikea Trådfri Smart Lights & Plug Setup

Ikea Trådfri installation is certainly more challenging than the setup for a lot of other smart lights and plugs. Even though they don’t require any wiring, the smart lights and plugs have other necessities like a Zigbee-based smart hub or an Ikea Trådfri gateway, an Ikea Trådfri remote or “steering device”, and the Ikea smartphone app.

Basic Necessities for Installation
Ikea Trådfri Gateway OR Zigbee-Based Smart Hub

The Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs work on the Zigbee protocol so you need a device that can communicate with the Ikea Trådfri devices.

If you don’t have any other smart hubs, you can get the Ikea Trådfri gateway, which costs $35. The gateway needs an internet connection — you can use the provided ethernet cable to connect the device to your internet router. You can’t connect the gateway to the network using WiFi. The gateway is fairly large because there space within the hub to coil the wire for a neat display.

However, you don’t need to purchase a separate Ikea Trådfri gateway if you already have a smart hub that works on the Zigbee protocol, such as the Amazon Echo Plus or the Philips Hue Bridge.

Ikea Trådfri Remote, AKA Steering Device

In addition to the Ikea Trådfri gateway, you also need to purchase and connect an Ikea Trådfri steering device.

Ikea Trådfri defines the following devices as “steering devices”.

  • Ikea Trådfri Remote ($15.99): This device can be used to control up to 10 Ikea Trådfri bulbs remotely, with a range of 32 feet. This Ikea Trådfri remote lets you dim, change colors, or switch the Ikea Trådfri bulbs on/off.
  • Ikea Trådfri Wireless Dimmer ($6.99): This device has a range of 33 feet and it can be used to dim or turn Ikea Trådfri bulbs on/off.
  • Ikea Trådfri Motion Sensor ($19.99): This is the most innovative of all the Ikea Trådfri steering devices. This motion sensor can also be linked to up to 10 Ikea Trådfri bulbs — it can automatically turn the lights on when it detects movement and turn them off when there’s no movement. This helps conserve a lot of energy. The motion sensor has a maximum range of 30 feet.

Ikea Trådfri App — IKEA Home Smart

Finally, the last requirement is the IKEA Home Smart app installed on your Android or iPhone. If you have an Android phone, it needs to be at least KitKat 4.4 or Lollipop 5.0. If you have an iPhone, it needs to be at least iOS 9.

You can control the Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs without the smartphone app as well. The aforementioned Ikea Trådfri steering devices can be used to perform the basic functions like dimming the lights, turning them on/off, and changing the color/temperature.

However, you need the Ikea Trådfri App — which, it’s worth noting, is extremely simple and minimalist — to access the advanced features like creating ‘moods’, setting schedules, and changing the brightness or colors of individual bulbs rather than collectively.

Step-by-Step Ikea Trådfri Installation

Now that you’re aware of all the necessities of installation, the following is a step-by-step guide for how to set up the Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs.

Please note that we’ll discuss the installation based on the assumption that you’re installing the Ikea Trådfri devices for the first time and don’t have any other smart hubs. If you already have the Ikea Trådfri gateway or another Zigbee smart hub installed, you may have to skip some of the steps mentioned below.

The following is an overview of the steps involved in the Ikea Trådfri setup:

  • Connect the Ikea Trådfri Gateway into your router using the ethernet cable and turn it on.
  • Connect the Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs in their place.
  • Open the IKEA Home app and connect it to the Ikea Trådfri Gateway using the on-screen instructions.
  • Touch the Ikea Trådfri remote or steering device to the Ikea Trådfri gateway to pair them.
  • Following that, pair the steering device with up to 10 Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs via the pairing button. You’ll have to hold down the pairing button for a few seconds while keeping an eye on the smartphone app. When the connection is made, you’ll be notified in the app.
  • Follow that step for all the Ikea Trådfri devices.

Overall, the setup process doesn’t take too long but it does have one too many steps. The inclusion of the Ikea steering device is especially confusing because it doesn’t do anything vital. The Ikea remote or steering devices are useful for those who don’t want to constantly control the bulbs and plugs from the app — but its inclusion didn’t have to be mandatory.

Ikea Trådfri Features

Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs have a limited set of features. For example, the smart plug doesn’t have energy monitoring and the smart lights don’t have a wide range of colors and temperatures.

Furthermore, the amount of features available to you also depends on how you’re controlling the Ikea Trådfri devices, whether it’s through the Ikea Trådfri steering devices or Ikea Trådfri smartphone app.

Ikea Trådfri Remote Features

  • Create groups of lights or devices.
  • Dim the lights remotely.
  • Turn the lights on/off.
  • Change the color or temperature of the lights.

Ikea Trådfri Wireless Dimmer Features

  • Dim the lights remotely.
  • Turn the lights on/off.

Ikea Trådfri Motion Sensor Features

  • Turn the lights or plugs on when it senses motion and off when there’s no motion.
  • You can make the lights and plugs turn off 1, 5, or 10 minutes after there’s no motion.

Ikea Trådfri App Features

The Ikea Trådfri app offers a greater number of features amongst all the options available. However, despite that, the number of features available is still quite limited. The app is extremely minimal and simple to use but the lack of advanced features may be an issue for smart home enthusiasts.

The greater problem with the Ikea Trådfri app is that you need to be on the same WiFi network as the Ikea Trådfri gateway to control your Ikea Trådfri devices. As such, you can only use the smartphone app to control your device when you’re home. You can’t control the devices from work or elsewhere, which is a great disappointment.

The following is an overview of the features available in the Ikea Trådfri app.

  • Power On/Off: Remotely turn the Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs on or off.
  • On/Off Schedules: You can create specific on/off schedules for the smart lights to turn on and off at established times.
  • Rise and Shine: With this feature, you can make the lights gradually turn from warm to bright approximately 30 minutes before the time you set. As such, the gradually brightening lights will imitate sunrise and make you wake up naturally.
  • Away from Home: With this feature, you can make your lights and plugs turn on and off at pre-set times when you’re away from home. This is a feature used to deter potential burglaries but it’s not much different than the On/Off schedules option. In various other smart devices, the ‘Away’ feature makes the lights and plugs turn on/off at random intervals — in this case, you have to set the times yourself, which isn’t very useful.
  • Rooms/ Groups: You can combine different devices in the same room or group to control them together.
  • Moods: Moods refer to sets of colors and brightness levels that can be applied to groups of smart lights. As such, you can achieve a high degree of specificity with the light in relation to different times and moods. For example, you can have a generally warm aesthetic during dinner or a dimly-lit aesthetic while watching TV.
  • Voice Controls: You can control Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs using Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri.

Missing Features

The following are some of the primary features missing from Ikea Trådfri devices that are available in their competitors.

  • Energy Monitoring: The Ikea Trådfri plug doesn’t let you monitor energy consumption or give you weekly/monthly energy reports.
  • Away: The Ikea app does have an ‘Away from Home’ feature but it’s not as effective as the Away feature in many other smart lights and bulbs. In many other smart lights and plugs, the Away feature randomly turns your lights and devices on or off when you’re away from home. This creates an impression that you’re home even when you’re not. In Ikea Trådfri lights, you have to manually schedule it, which isn’t a long-term or sustainable solution.
  • Color Range: Ikea Trådfri smart lights have an extremely limited range of colors and shades, with a maximum of 20 color options in some of the bulbs. Compared to that, many other smart lights have thousands of color and shade options.

Ikea Trådfri Compatibility

Ikea Trådfri Amazon Alexa Compatibility

Ikea Trådfri Amazon Alexa Setup:

  • Connect the Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs to the steering device and Ikea Trådfri gateway.
  • Access your Ikea app and go to the setting page.
  • Choose ‘Integrations’ > ‘Amazon Alexa’ > ‘Enable’.
  • Enter your Amazon credentials and tap ‘Allow’. This will link your Amazon and Ikea Trådfri accounts.
  • Go to your Amazon Alexa app and go to ‘Devices’ > ‘All Devices’.
  • Tap the ‘+’ icon, followed by ‘Add Device’.
  • Select ‘Light’ > ‘Ikea’.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions and tap ‘Continue’.
  • Tap ‘Discover Devices’ so Amazon Alexa can look for your Ikea Trådfri devices.
  • Once Alexa discovers your devices, you can group them into separate ‘rooms’.
  • You can now control your Ikea Trådfri bulbs using voice commands.

Examples of Ikea Trådfri Amazon Alexa Commands:

  • Alexa, dim the Living Room lights.
  • Alexa, dim the Living Room light by 50%.
  • Alexa, turn the Kitchen lights off.
  • Alexa, brighten the Kitchen lights by 50%.
  • Alexa, make the bedroom lights warmer.

Ikea Trådfri Google Home Compatibility

Ikea Trådfri Google Home Setup:
  • Connect the Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs to the steering device and Ikea Trådfri gateway.
  • In the Ikea Trådfri app, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Integrations’ > ‘Google Assistant’ > ‘Enable’ > ‘Continue’
  • Select your Google account.
  • In your Google Home app, go to ‘Add’ > ‘Set Up Device’.
  • You’ll be presented with two options. Select the option ‘Have Something Already Set Up?’.
  • From the list of third-party platforms, select ‘Trådfri — Ikea Smart Lighting’.
  • You’ll be asked if you’ve added the Google Assistant integration in your Ikea Trådfri app. Tick the box and tap ‘Confirm’.
  • Select your Google Account from the list.
  • Your Ikea Trådfri bulbs will appear in your Google Home app. You can select them and tap ‘Add to a Room’ to group them.
  • With this, you’re all set to control your Ikea Trådfri devices from Google Home or through Google Assistant voice commands.

Examples of Ikea Trådfri Google Assistant Commands:

  • Hey Google, turn on the Trådfri bulb.
  • Hey Google, turn off the Trådfri bulb.
  • Hey Google, set the Trådfri bulb to 75% brightness.
  • Hey Google, turn the bedroom lights off.
  • Hey Google, set the bedroom lights to 50% brightness.

Ikea Trådfri Apple HomeKit Compatibility

Ikea Trådfri Apple HomeKit Setup:
  • Did you purchase your Ikea Trådfri bulbs before the Apple HomeKit integration was available? If so, you’ll need to first update the Ikea Trådfri bulbs to the latest firmware and find out your Ikea Trådfri gateway’s eight-digit HomeKit code.
  • To discover the HomeKit code, you need to access the Ikea Trådfri app and navigate to ‘Settings’ > ‘Integrations’ > ‘Apple HomeKit’. Write down the HomeKit code you’re shown.
  • Go to your Apple Home app and navigate to ‘Add Accessory’ > ‘Don't Have a Code or Can't Scan’ > ‘Enter Code’.
  • Enter the eight-digit code you were shown.
  • The aforementioned steps are necessary for those who purchased the Ikea Trådfri bulbs before the HomeKit integration. If you’ve bought them recently, you may have the HomeKit code printed on the box.
  • Having completed these steps, your Ikea Trådfri gateway is now connected to your Apple Home. As such, Apple Home will discover all your connected Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs.
  • As you go through all of the discovered Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs, you can change their names, enter room locations for grouping, and include them in your HomeKit favorites.
  • You can now control these devices from your Apple Home app or from your Control Center (if you added them as favorites).
  • You can now control your Ikea Trådfri devices from the Apple Home app or using your voice via Siri in your iDevices or Apple HomePod.

Examples of Ikea Trådfri Siri Commands:

With Apple HomeKit integration, you can go beyond the basic features of the Ikea devices. You can now set complex scenes and automations as well. You can set up a chain or commands so a single command with control several of your Ikea devices simultaneously. The following are some examples.

  • Hey Siri, turn on the Bedroom Light.
  • Hey Siri, dim the Bedroom light by 50%.
  • Hey Siri, turn off the Kitchen lights.
  • Hey Siri, bedtime! (You can create this automation to make Siri turn off all the lights and plugs simultaneously.)

Ikea Trådfri Philips Hue Compatibility and Setup

Do you have a range of Philips Hue bulbs and lights installed already? Are you now considering Ikea Trådfri lights and bulbs because they’re cheaper and you want a more reasonable means of expanding your smart lights?

If so, you may be concerned that you may need two different apps to control the Hue lights and the Ikea lights. However, Ikea Trådfri is perfectly compatible with Philips Hue, which is why you can control your Ikea Trådfri bulbs from the Hue app as well.

Philips Hue supports the Zigbee 3.0 protocol but also works with Zigbee Light Link protocol, because of which it can also support your Ikea Trådfri devices. As such, if you already have a Hue, you don’t even need an Ikea Trådfri gateway.

While you can technically connect Ikea Trådfri to your Philips Hue, this isn’t the most elegant solution. Connecting the two devices can be quite painful, time-consuming, and you need to follow several different steps to accomplish that.

Update your Ikea Trådfri Bulbs

Make sure all of your Ikea Trådfri bulbs are updated with the latest firmware. If you bought your Ikea Trådfri devices recently, they’ll already have the latest firmware and you can skip this step. If not, you’ll have to update the devices from the Ikea Trådfri app — a process that may take several hours. You can do so by following these steps:

  • Turn your Ikea Trådfri bulbs on.
  • In your Ikea Trådfri app, go to ‘Devices’.
  • Select the bulbs you want to remove and tap ‘Remove’ > ‘Proceed’ > ‘Remove’. Once you do that, the light’s icon will disappear from the app.
  • Now you need to factory reset your Ikea Trådfri bulbs. Hold down the power button six times — the bulb will blink the sixth time to indicate that it’s been reset.

Connect your Ikea Trådfri to the Philips Hue Bridge
  • Connecting your Ikea Trådfri to the Hue Bridge requires a lot of patience.
  • You’ll have to bring all of the devices extremely close to the Hue Bridge, almost touching them, to establish a connection.
  • Turn all other Zigbee devices off to minimize interferences. Turn all your Hue bulbs off as well.
  • Go to the Hue app and tap ‘Add Light’ to search for new Ikea Trådfri bulbs. If they don’t show up, repeat the process until they do.

Ikea Trådfri Samsung SmartThings Compatibility and Setup

Just like the aforementioned Philips Hue Bridge, the Samsung SmartThings Hub is also compatible with a Zigbee protocol. As such, if you already have a SmartThings Hub, you don’t need to purchase an Ikea Trådfri gateway.

If your Ikea Trådfri devices are already connected to the Ikea Trådfri gateway, you’ll need to first disconnect them in order to connect to the SmartThings hub. Once you’ve done that, the following steps will help you connect your Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs to the SmartThings hub:

  • In your SmartThings app, tap the ‘+’ icon and select ‘Device’.
  • Tap ‘IKEA’ > ‘Lighting’ > ‘Start’.
  • Choose your SmartThings hub for the device.
  • Add the device to a room and tap ‘Next’.
  • The SmartThings app will detect your light and you’ll be able to control it with your SmartThings app.

10 Top Uses of Smart Lights and Plugs

  1. Create Moods: With smart lights, you can dim the lights, make them warmer, or change the shade. As such, smart lights offer a high degree of customization with which you create specific moods for your home.
  2. Schedules: You can create smart schedules for when the lights should come on or off automatically. For example, you can set the lights to turn off at a certain time of the night or come on during the evening. This makes them extremely convenient.
  3. Remote and Voice Controls: No longer do you need to go around your entire home, making sure all the lights are turned off at night. You can simply control all of your lights wherever you are using your smartphone app or even your voice via Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri.
  4. Safety: Smart lights and bulbs have ‘Away from Home’ features with which you can turn the lights on and off when you’re not home to make it seem like you’re home, thus deterring burglaries.
  5. Creative Lighting: Some smart lights come with a wide range of color options so you can color-coordinate your lights with your walls, time of the day, weather, etc.
  6. Energy Saving: Some smart plugs monitor the energy consumption of the device connected to the device. This allows you to monitor how much energy you’re spending on certain devices and thus become more energy-efficient and cost-efficient as a household.
  7. Parental Restrictions: You can control the smart plugs and lights in your children’s rooms to make sure they turn off at a specific time of the night, thus ensuring they go to bed and don’t watch TV or play video games.
  8. Gentle Awakening: You can set up your smart lights to gradually increase in brightness when you want to wake up. You can also select the shade of light you want at the time. As such, you can program the light to imitate natural sunlight, making you wake up naturally and gently.
  9. Cooking: With smart plugs, cooking a meal becomes a lot easier. You can connect your crockpot, microwave, or oven to the smart plug to set timers and schedules for when they should turn off. As such, you don’t have to actively remember the dish when you’re going about your day doing other things.
  10. Perfect Temperature: Connect your air conditioners, room heaters, or fans to the smart plugs to set schedules and ensure you always have the perfect temperature.

Conclusion

As you can see, there’s a lot to unpack with the Ikea Trådfri range of smart lights and plugs. For some, these smart lights and plugs will be the most affordable means of expanding their smart home. For others, it will be riddled with inconveniences.

Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs are certainly minimalist in terms of features and functionality. They can do the bare minimum of remotely turning your lights and plugs on/off, dimming the lights, and changing the colors/shades.

The range of colors is limited to a maximum of 20 while other smart lights offer thousands of colors and shades. Furthermore, even the remote control capacity is limited because you need to be connected to the same WiFi network as the Ikea Trådfri gateway. As such, you can turn the lights on or off using your IKEA app if you’re at work — you can only do so if you’re connected to Alexa, HomeKit, Google Home, etc.

While Ikea Trådfri offers minimal features and functions, their setup is actually quite unnecessarily complicated. To successfully connect the Ikea Trådfri lights and plugs, you need the Ikea Trådfri gateway (or any other Zigbee-based hub), a steering device, and the smartphone app. That’s a lot of complexity when you can also find smart plugs and lights for which you don’t need anything more than a single smartphone app.

The biggest advantage of these lights and plugs is that they’re compatible with Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit. As such, those platforms can increase their range of features by allowing you to create intelligent and creative automations coupled with voice navigation.

On the one hand, the minimal features are justified because of the low price range. However, you also have to consider the cost of the steering device and the Ikea Trådfri gateway — so the overall cost actually becomes pretty expensive if you’re planning on just getting one or two smart bulbs and plugs.

So who is Ikea Trådfri really suitable for?

If you’re creating an entire ecosystem of Ikea Trådfri devices with a wide range of bulbs and plugs, then you can go for this because a large number of devices will offset the cost of the Ikea Trådfri gateway and steering device.

Alternatively, if you already have a smart hub like SmartThings Hub or Philips Hue hub, you can get Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs because you won’t need an additional gateway since Ikea Trådfri is compatible with all of Zigbee-based smart hubs. In that case, expanding your range of smart lights and plugs with Ikea Trådfri will be far more reasonable than getting other Philips Hue devices.

That pretty much sums up what Ikea Trådfri is all about. I hope this article has helped you decide if you want to invest in them!

Frequently Asked Questions about Ikea Trådfri Smart Lights and Plugs

Does IKEA smart lighting work with HomeKit?

Yes, Ikea Trådfri smart lighting does work with Apple HomeKit.

Is Ikea Tradfri compatible with Hue? How do I connect IKEA hue to Tradfri? Does IKEA motion sensor work with Hue?

Ikea Trådfri is compatible with Philips Hue. As such, you can connect all your Ikea Trådfri devices, including the motion sensor, to the Philips Hue bridge. The following is a broad overview of the steps necessary to connect your Ikea Trådfri devices to the Hue bridge:

  • Update all of your Ikea Trådfri bulbs.

  • Bring the Ikea Trådfri devices close to the Hue to connect them.

  • In the Hue app, tap ‘Add Light’ to integrate them.

How do I add IKEA Tradfri to SmartThings?

The following steps will help you add Ikea Trådfri to the SmartThings hub:

  • If you have an Ikea Trådfri gateway, disconnect it from your Ikea Trådfri devices.

  • In your SmartThings app, navigate to ‘+’ > ‘Device’ > IKEA> Lighting> Start.

  • Choose your SmartThings hub.

  • Add the Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs to connect them.

How do I pair my Tradfri remote?

You can pair your Ikea Trådfri remote to the Ikea Trådfri gateway and devices in the following methods:

  • After connecting the Ikea Trådfri gateway, tap the remote to the gateway and hold down the pairing button.
  • Bring the Ikea Trådfri remote close to all of Ikea Trådfri bulbs and tap the pairing button for a few seconds until they appear in your smartphone app.

How do I reset my Tradfri gateway?

If you want to reset the Ikea Trådfri gateway completely, including removing all the connected devices, follow these steps:

  • In your Ikea Trådfri app, navigate to ‘Devices’ to select the individual devices and remove them. After selecting a device, tap ‘Remove’ > ‘Proceed’ > ‘Remove’. Do this for all the connected devices to remove them from the Ikea Trådfri gateway.
  • Factory reset the Ikea Trådfri bulbs and plugs by holding down the power button six times repeatedly until the bulbs start blinking.
  • Hold down the Reset button in the Ikea Trådfri gateway.

Why can’t I add the Ikea Trådfri bulbs into the Ikea Trådfri gateway?

You can only connect the Ikea Trådfri bulbs to the gateway if you’ve also got a steering device paired to the gateway. You need to purchase an Ikea Trådfri remote, wireless dimmer, or motion sensor and pair them to your gateway first to successfully add the Ikea Trådfri bulbs.

Can I control the Ikea Trådfri lights only using the steering device?

No, you can’t control the Ikea Trådfri bulbs or plugs with the steering device alone. You also need an Ikea Trådfri gateway connected to the IKEA Home Smart app.

I have several Ikea Trådfri bulbs connected to my Ikea Trådfri remote and motion sensor but they’ve gone out of sync. How do I sync them again?

To sync all of your Ikea Trådfri bulbs again, you need to turn all of the connected bulbs off and then turn them back on. If that doesn’t work, factory reset the bulbs by deleting them from the IKEA Home Smart app and holding down the power button six times. However, if you factory reset the devices, you’ll have to start the installation all over again.

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