IKEA is gearing up for a fight with Philips Hue, as the Swedish home furnishings retailer is set to launch a new smart lighting range in the UK next month.

When it comes to smart home technology the average consumer will likely name smart lighting as their first upgrade. That’s largely thanks to the popularity of devices such as the Philips Hue, although some have held off on upgrading their lighting due to the cost involved.

According to IKEA’s research into the lives of everyday people at home, ‘small changes in lighting can have a positive impact on people’s well-being and intellectual abilities’. That’s why the company is launching the Smart Lighting collection, a whole range of solutions for outfitting the home with energy-efficient bulbs that can be remotely controlled.

As part of the line-up, IKEA is planning to launch LED bulbs, lighting panels and doors that can all be controlled either through a dedicated remote or using an app on the user’s smartphone or tablet.

The flagship product in the line-up will be the Trådfri bulbs, which are dimmable LED lights with three colour options – 2,200K, 2,700K and 4,000K. These lights have been designed to replace existing bulbs located throughout the house, and will be available in a range of fittings. IKEA is set to offer its connect light bulb in E27, E14 and GU10 variants, with the latter two being offered for a slightly more affordable price.

While the bulbs will be the flagship product, Trådfri is a system rather than a specific product line. That’s why consumers will be able to purchase Floalt LED lighting panels, as well as Surte and Jormlien LED light doors for Bestå cabinets and Metod kitchen cabinets, that will work with the system.

To control the lighting in the Trådfri system, users will have the option of using one of IKEA’s remotes, or the Trådfri app. If they choose the latter, then they’ll be able to completely customise the lighting levels they want throughout their home from a simple-to-use interface. Updates to the app are already in the pipeline, with an ‘away from home’ function, which will allow users to set lights to timers, and turn on and off lights remotely,  planned for the autumn.

IKEA is yet to support home automation services such as Amazon Alexa or Samsung SmartThings, although some SmartThings users have already been able to get the bulbs to work by tricking the system that it’s a Philips Hue bulb. Both Philips and IKEA use the ZigBee Light Link standard, which is why it could work.

Helen Akinsete, lighting sales leader at IKEA UK and Ireland notes: “Our research told us that the existing smart lighting technology was perceived as being too expensive and difficult to understand. With this in mind, we set out to make our smart lighting solutions easy to use and affordable.

“With IKEA Home Smart we aim to improve everyday life at home by making it more convenient and comfortable. IKEA Home Smart is not about making gadgets. It’s about adding functionality to our entire product range by integrating technology into our home furnishing offer. Through targeting everyday frustrations, we combine our life at home knowledge with technology to make life more convenient and comfortable, saving time, space and frustration. Our first offering, wireless charging, was hugely successful and smart lighting was a natural progression as our second launch. We’re busy exploring new ways of implementing technology in the home and will continue to develop ranges in the years to come.”

IKEA has been teasing smart lighting products since as early as 2015, but it has thus far only released the Trådfri line-up in certain nations. Thankfully, from April 2017 UK customers will be able to pick up their own connected lighting solutions from IKEA stores nationwide.

The plug and play market has been growing at a rapid rate in recent years, which could threaten custom installers specialising in smart lighting solutions. Now that IKEA has made smart lighting even more affordable, consumers have even fewer reasons to get in a trade professional.

IKEA’s range of smart lighting solutions starts at £15, with a range of bundles available to make it even more affordable.

The full collection includes:

TRÅDFRI gateway kit white spectrum

£69 each

The gateway kit includes two white spectra LED bulbs, a remote control and a gateway that enables connectivity to the app that’s also included in the kit.

The TRÅDFRI app offers easy access to personalised and pre-set lights, providing:

–       The ability to control lights right from the app

–       Completely customisable settings, including warm or cool light

–       Ease and flexibility to reset, change, delete or add lighting

TRÅDFRI dimming kit white spectrum

£29 each

 

 

One minute you’re using the dining area as an office, the next, you need to create the right atmosphere for a dinner party. A few clicks on the remote control is all it takes. Change the colour in three steps from cold to warm white. Users can also dim the light, from strong and clear to soft and subtle and back again.

 

TRÅDFRI wireless motion sensor kit

£25 each

This solution gives the home a sense of safety with lighting that responds instantly. Walk in to a room and the light automatically switches on and when leaving the room it turns back off.
LED light doors and panels

SURTE LED light door £70 each

FLOALT LED light panel – £55-£100 each JORMLIEN light doors for METOD kitchen, £90

 

 

 

 

These solutions offer artificial light specifically for homes with a lack of natural daylight.

 

SURTE light doors can be used as a regular door on BESTÅ cabinets, FLOALT LED light panels come in three sizes and can be mounted on the wall or ceiling and JORMLIEN light doors are designed specifically for IKEA METOD kitchens.

 

Just use the TRÅDFRI remote control to turn them on or off, and change the colour temperature from warm daylight to cool white.

 

 

TRÅDFRI dimming kit warm white

£15 each

Instantly change the atmosphere by dimming between subtle and strong warm white light. This plug-and-play kit includes one remote and one warm white LED bulb. Complete with a magnet function, the remote can be hung on the wall or moved around the house and comes in black, white and yellow.

 

 

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