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Ikea’s Tradfri smart light bulb launches with a price to die for

Decorative bulbs are a popular choice for home décor, especially those in the Edison style. They look like something straight out of an episode of Hipster Dream Home, if such a series existed. These bulbs have a more aesthetic application than functional, but the classic look and warm light make them a common choice for lighting a home office. Costs for this type of bulb tend to be prohibitive, but Ikea has just launched its first decorative bulb in the Tradfri line for a mere $10. Compared to the similar product from Philips Hue at $25, Ikea holds a strong place in the market and widespread appeal for consumers on a budget.

The Tradfri bulb gives a warm, 2200K light. It can also be controlled and dimmed via the Ikea Smart Home app or one of Ikea’s wireless dimmers, but the company advises against using a hardwired dimmer.

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The introduction of these bulbs suggests Ikea plans to make bigger moves with its smart lighting lineup. Ikea recently announced its sales numbers for its 2019 fiscal year, and they’re impressive. Since launching in 2017, the Tradfri line has sold more than 5 million smart bulbs and accessories. Ikea’s primary competitor (and truthfully, the main competitor for everyone in the smart light industry) is Philips Hue, but with a comparable product that costs $15 less than the competition, Ikea has a leg up.

Philips Hue has a better app and more features than Ikea, but these differences are minor when you consider the price difference. After all, the Edison style bulbs are not intended to be used as functional lighting, which negates the need for many features. As long as they can be controlled and dimmed via Ikea’s smart home app, the bulbs will serve their purpose as a decorative piece in the home.

The Edison-style Tradfri bulb is available for purchase on Ikea’s website or in stores now. Remember that the Tradfri remote and Gateway are sold separately, purchases of $16 and $35 respectively. The remote is not required, but new customers will need the Tradfri Gateway to connect their smart lights to their network.

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