Ikea’s brand name for its smart home products is Trådfri — which means “wire-free” and is pronounced “troid-free” with the accent on the first syllable, in case you ever want to say “wire-free” in Swedish.
Originally, Ikea’s system was compatible exclusively with the ZigBee Light Link standard, according to The Verge. But now, Ikea has announced that the system will be compatible with HomeKit, which means that you’ll be able to control the suite of connected devices with the Apple Home app on your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or using Siri. There are also plans to integrate functionality with other virtual assistants, including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
“In the summer and autumn, Ikea takes the next step towards the smart home,” the company wrote in a Swedish press release. With increased functionality, its smart lighting range can be used with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant, which means that you can voice-control your lighting. We believe that smart home technology should be accessible to everyone. For this reason, we will continue to work with our products to be compatible with other products available on the market.”
In that case, once Trådfri components are available in the United States you should have no trouble interfacing with many other smart home components. Note, however, that Ikea’s product description says the Trådfri iOS and Android smartphone app can only be used with Ikea smart lighting products.
As is usually the case, Ikea’s pricing is tempting. A Trådfri base system consisting of an internet gateway, a remote control, and two lightbulbs costs about $85. The gateway, which comes with a wall hanger plate, has to be plugged into AC power and an internet-connected network via an Ethernet cable.
Other Trådfri products include individual bulbs that range in price from approximately $17 to $27 and Floalt panels and illuminated doors for standard Ikea storage units. Other bundles include a motion sensor set and a light/remote package. You can also buy the gateway unit separately.
One last component that bears mention is a puck-shaped light dimmer, available in three colors. As demonstrated to good purpose in the Ikea video, you can apparently dim the lights by rolling the dimmer in your fingers. Bundled with a single lightbulb the dimmer costs just over $20, which makes it a must-have as a conversation piece if nothing else.
Article originally published in March. Updated on 05-23-2017 by Lulu Chang: Added news that Ikea’s Trådfri products will soon be compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.
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