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IKEA Lights Options: Hue, Google Home, Alexa, Hive.. (Explained)

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IKEA’s Tradfri Light system has been raving remarkable reviews.

With its affordable selections, IKEA’s Tradfri Light has become a budget alternative to home automation systems, but its Gateway hub is not necessarily the best control system.

It has a string of limitations and can be cumbersome to set up.

Can the IKEA Tradfri be paired with other smart home systems?

IKEA has been making its Tradfri system more “open” when it comes to compatibility with other popular options for managing smart appliances. While some still require the use of its Gateway hub, there are others that can use Tradfri Light without its proprietary hub.

How Do IKEA Smart Light Work?

IKEA recommends getting the Gateway hub and Steering Device to control the Tradfri lights. For one, this hardware is a prerequisite for you to control the lights using other hubs.

Worry not about the cost, as IKEA sells an affordable starter kit for you to begin automating your household.

This starter kit contains one (1) Gateway Hub, one (1) remote control or steering device, one (1) Ethernet cable, one (1) micro USB cable, and two (2) Tradfri light bulbs.

How to Set Up Your Automation:

Follow these first few initial steps before beginning your automation:

  1. Remove the cover of the hub,
  2. Plug an Ethernet cable from your internet router to the hub,
  3. Plug the power source and cover the hub
  4. After the hub has been powered, install the IKEA Home Smart App on your mobile device.

Open the IKEA Home Smart App, then pair it with the hub by scanning the QR code at the bottom of the hub. Or, you can input the alphanumeric code manually in the app.

Then, find the remote control. Make sure the battery is installed. Press the link button by the battery four (4) times. The Remote will start in 10 seconds.

On the app, select pair remote control. Put the remote around 1 inch away from the Gateway hub, then press and hold the link button for 10 seconds. The topmost LED indicator will blink and become steady once the remote has been paired with the hub.

On the app, select a light bulb for pairing. Select the steering device (in this case, the remote control), then install and turn on the light.

Link the light bulb to the steering device, in the same way, that you linked the remote to the main hub.

You can now adjust your light’s brightness through the remote!

Do IKEA Tradfri Lights Work with Alexa?

In May 2017, IKEA announced that their products would be compatible with Alexa, Amazon’s Virtual Assistant.

This means that you absolutely can pair it with Alexa!

How Do You Connect IKEA Lights to Alexa?

To integrate IKEA into the Alexa, you need to have the Gateway Hub installed.

Follow the instructions to set up the hub and steering device.

Once you have that setup, you can now link Alexa with your IKEA smart lighting.

To integrate:

  1. Open the IKEA Home Smart App and go to settings
  2. Click on Integration and select Amazon Alexa
  3. Click the Enable button and select continue
  4. You will be asked to log in with your Amazon account and grant access to IKEA.
  5. Tap devices and select all devices.
  6. Select “Add device” and choose light and look for IKEA. Click Discover Devices, and a list of all linked devices will appear, including those from IKEA.
  7. Follow the prompts and confirm to add Tradfri as a skill to Alexa.
  8. Tap the Discover devices button, and all your light will appear. You can now program Alexa to identify the location of each light so you can create settings for each.

Once you have done all of this, you can now use your Alexa with your IKEA lighting systems!

Does IKEA’s Tradfri Lights Work with Google Home?

Support for Google Home was announced in the Spring of 2018.

However, to connect, you will need to have the Tradfri Gateway hub active in order to integrate IKEA Tradfri with your Google Home.

How Do You Connect IKEA Lights to Google Home?

Before setting up IKEA with Google Home, make sure your Tradfri bulbs have been set up in the IKEA Home Smart App.

To set up with Google Home:

  1. Go to the settings of the IKEA Home Smart App and open Integrations
  2. Look for Google home, click enable and continue
  3. The app will prompt you for permission to log in to your Google Account. Give permission and continue
  4. Open your Google Home app and select add from the choices on top
  5. Go to “Set up device” and select “Have something already set up.” Go through the list of third-party platforms that appear and select Tradfri – IKEA smart lighting
  6. Confirm the addition of Google Assistant in the IKEA app
  7. You will have to add a bulb to the room through the app. Select the bulb and add it to a room.
  8. You can now control your Tradfri bulbs through Google Home App.

If you wish to add more bulbs in the future, repeat steps 7 and 8!

Can You Operate the Settings of the Tradfri Light Bulbs While Outside?

The problem with the Tradfri system is that you have to be on the same network for you to operate your appliances wirelessly.

This means you cannot manage the lights while you are outside the proximity of the router where Tradfri is connected.

Should you need to change the settings while outside, you will need to use a third-party management system that is capable of operating outside the wireless network.

Do IKEA Tradfri Lights Work with Philips Hue?

Yes. IKEA listed on its site the instructions on how to pair its smart lights with the Philips Hue system.

The nice thing about the Philips Hue is that it uses the Zigbee protocol, which allows you to control other Zigbee compliant bulbs, including the Tradfri.

How Do You Connect IKEA Lights to Philips Hue?

To connect IKEA smart lights with Philips Hue:

  1. Ensure that the software is at least version 1.2 or later.
  2. Install the IKEA smart light bulb and put it close to the Philips Hue Bridge.
  3. Open the Philips Hue app and search for new devices
  4. While searching for the light bulb, turn on and off the light six (6) times to do a factory reset
  5. The bulb should then appear on the Philips Hue app. Click it, rename and assign it to a room.

You should now be able to control your Tradfri bulbs through the Philips Hue app!

Do IKEA Tradfri Lights Work with the Apple Homekit?

Yes.

In fact, the Apple Homekit is the only third-party system that can control the Tradfri while outside the proximity of your router.

How Do You Connect the IKEA Tradfri Lights to Homekit?

The first thing you need to do is check the firmware version of your Tradfri Lights and update it to the latest version.

You will also need the Tradfri Gateway for this integration.

Get the eight-digit code for pairing with Homekit. This can be found by opening the settings on the Home Smart App, select integration and click on Homekit.

Copy the code flashed on the screen.

  1. Open the Homekit App, click the + icon, and select add accessory
  2. Select “I do not have a code or could not scan,” choose enter code, and input the eight-digits from the Home Smart app.

If Tradfri does not show up after this step, consider resetting the Homekit in the IKEA Home Smart app.

Once the Tradfri system is recognized, add it, and a list of available devices will appear, including the Tradfri lights. You can now change settings from here.

If you have a device such as the Apple TV or Homepod, you can set these up to act as a Homekit hub, which will allow you to control the lights from anywhere in the world with a data connection.

Do IKEA Tradfri Lights Work with Hive?

Unfortunately, No.

In the Hive website, the company only listed these following technologies that are compatible with the Hive Home system:

  • Amazon Echo and Alexa
  • Google Home
  • IFTT
  • Philips Hue
  • Siri Shortcuts

How Good Are the Smart Light Bulbs From IKEA?

The nice thing about the IKEA Tradfri is the price point.

For as low as 8.99 dollars, you can already buy a Tradfri light bulb from their website.

Even the Tradfri Gateway Kit is a Steal at the 69.99 Dollar Price.

The downside to these light bulbs is the setup. However, the setup only takes a little effort.

If you don’t mind doing a few extra steps to automate your home, then the Tradfri is for you!

References:

IKEA Tradfri with GoogleHome

How to connect your IKEA Trådfri lights to Google Home

How to get IKEA Trådfri smart light bulbs working with Philips Hue

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