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I Tried Ikea Smart Lights. All the Fun of Philips Hue for 75% Less Money

ikea smart lighting devices on desk

Ikea boasts an incredibly numerous collection of sensible lighting fixtures units.

John Carlsen/CNET

It’s all too simple to gloss over Ikea’s sensible lighting fixtures when exploring choices for a wise house gadget. Since they are to be had completely from Ikea, like maximum merchandise Ikea sells, you will not stumble throughout them on Amazon or at a neighborhood Best Buy.

Despite the restricted purchasing alternatives, Ikea delivers a cast sensible lighting fixtures quartet: affordability, native keep an eye on, superb remotes and lots of lighting fixtures choices. Even if you do not move with Ikea sensible lighting fixtures, they must be to your radar.

Ikea holds its personal towards different funds sensible house manufacturers

ikea home smart app light controls ikea home smart app light controls

The Ikea Home Smart app’s easy design makes it simple to make use of.

Screenshots by means of John Carlsen/CNET

My sensible house philosophy has at all times been to shop for reasonable and dependable. There’s nearly no level in purchasing a $200 sensible mild transfer when you’ll be able to get the similar elementary options for lower than $30. The fancy instrument tips of the pricier fashion quantity to not anything when few folks use them.

Ikea’s sensible house choices meet those necessities at costs that might make Philips Hue blush, specifically for remotes and sensors:

Ikea Smart Lights vs. Philips Hue

Remote keep an eye onMotion sensorContact sensor
Ikea Styrbar ($14)Ikea Vallhorn ($9)Ikea Parasoll ($12)
Philips Hue Tap Switch Mini ($50)Philips Hue Motion Sensor ($45)Philips Hue Secure ($40)

I would possibly not dig into the various sensible lighting fixtures merchandise from both emblem. But I will be able to notice that Ikea has an edge on pricing whilst Hue’s variety is greater. The smart hubs for Ikea ($70) and Philips Hue ($60) be offering equivalent options, however the cost distinction is not just about as pronounced. Ikea’s sensor costs even beat maximum funds manufacturers like Aqara, Sonoff and Thirdreality.

Ikea excels at native sensible house controls

ikea dirigera hub with cables plugged in ikea dirigera hub with cables plugged in

The Ikea Dirigera sensible hub is an invaluable — however not obligatory — a part of an Ikea sensible lighting fixtures gadget.

John Carlsen/CNET

Ikea’s secret factor is that the majority of its sensible lighting fixtures units use the Zigbee sensible house protocol, which means that they may be able to run and not using a Wi-Fi connection. Zigbee additionally allows linking as much as 10 sensible lighting fixtures to a unmarried Ikea far flung (or sensor) and not using a hub. It’s very best for rookies since you’ll be able to at all times upload a hub later for sensible house controls like scheduling, far flung get right of entry to and automation.

Local keep an eye on additionally extends to Ikea’s sensible hub, Dirigera. It plugs into your router and we could someone registered with the Ikea Home Smart app to your Wi-Fi community get right of entry to the controls — even with out an web connection. It’s additionally imaginable to arrange far flung get right of entry to by means of the web, however that is par for the route on a wise hub.

ikea remote on wall ikea remote on wall

Ikea’s wall far flung is blank and easy, consistent with the logo’s minimalist Scandi aesthetic.

John Carlsen/CNET

Ikea’s Zigbee connections additionally assist lengthen battery existence on remotes and sensors. Unlike a relentless connection to Wi-Fi, Zigbee simplest communicates with a hub when sending and receiving instructions. In different phrases, Zigbee units necessarily take a seat on standby till wanted. They would possibly not slowly drain a battery like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Zigbee’s different merit makes sense house compatibility. This manner Ikea’s Zigbee units paintings with maximum different sensible hubs that beef up Zigbee: Amazon Echo, SmartIssues, Philips Hue and so forth.

My favourite sensible house remotes

ikea remotes on desk ikea remotes on desk

I’ve used Ikea remotes in my sensible house for years.

John Carlsen/CNET

I exploit Ikea Tradfri remotes with my Samsung SmartIssues sensible hub, which controls quite a lot of Zigbee and Wi-Fi units. As a renter, I do not wish to run afoul of my assets supervisor by means of swapping out my hardwired mild switches, so Ikea’s remotes are a really perfect setup for my sensible house.

Ikea remotes keep an eye on my Sengled sensible bulbs and Kasa sensible plugs with common scenes and instructions, so I wouldn’t have to search out my telephone or ask a voice assistant. Plus, remotes are an excellent solution to stay visitors from inadvertently flipping off my mild switches — schedules and scenes do not paintings when a wise bulb is off. I like magnetic mounting plates, which I’ve strategically positioned over my mild switches. (It’s now not essentially the most chic answer, however no less than it is sensible.)

That mentioned, Ikea’s remotes are not very best. The older Tradfri fashions in my sensible house have abysmal battery existence because of the use of a small coin-cell battery. Ikea turns out to have discovered from this by means of switching to bigger AAA batteries in more moderen fashions just like the Rodret and Styrbar. AAAs are a very good improve since you’ll be able to to find rechargeable variations and scale back e-waste.

ikea remote batteries new and old ikea remote batteries new and old

The AAA batteries in Ikea’s more moderen remotes are a large growth over coin-cell batteries.

John Carlsen/CNET

Note that my SmartIssues hub does not beef up the dimming characteristic on Ikea remotes, and the more moderen remotes required somewhat of behind-the-scenes paintings at the SmartThings forum to get operating. If you wish to have a far flung possibility with much less programming, I like to recommend the use of the Dirigera hub.

Thankfully, the Dirigera hub helps Amazon Alexa, Apple Home and Google Home — you’ll be able to simply attach to those sensible house setups. There’s additionally beta beef up for Matter. I effectively related Dirigera to SmartIssues by means of Matter — all of my hooked up Ikea lighting fixtures had been in a position to suit into the remainder of my gadget.

screenshots smartthings ikea matter integration screenshots smartthings ikea matter integration

You can hyperlink the Dirigera sensible hub to different Matter-compatible methods like SmartIssues.

Screenshots by means of John Carlsen/CNET

Tons of sensible lighting fixtures variants

As of this writing, Ikea sells over 150 sensible lighting fixtures choices on-line — all these are sensible lighting fixtures kits with quite a lot of LED mild bulbs, fixtures, remotes and equipment. Still, there is a sudden choice of sensible bulb choices for standard (E26), candelabra (E12) and track lighting (GU10) fixtures. Similarly, lots of Ikea’s bespoke lighting, mild panels and lighting fixtures strips can connect with the Dirigera hub.

That mentioned, there are not as many choices for multicolor lighting fixtures as Philips Hue and different rival manufacturers. Ikea sells a variety of fashions with adjustable colour temperature, which is one characteristic I exploit time and again at house: cushy white tones for enjoyable and sunlight tones whilst I’m operating.

ikea silverglans light strip ikea silverglans light strip

Ikea’s sensible lighting fixtures choices come with quite a lot of mild strips just like the Silverglans.

John Carlsen/CNET

Ikea sells a couple of different kinds of sensible house units past sensible lighting fixtures, however the one factor that sticks out is the collection of motorized blinds. The largest limitation with Ikea sensible sunglasses is discovering the precise dimension on your window, so it is tougher for me to counsel them.

All in all, it is price bearing in mind Ikea sensible lighting fixtures merchandise, particularly if you are on the cheap. It’s now not a super answer, however it is sensible sufficient for the general public.



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