IKEA’s affordable range of smart lights will soon be compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and Apple’s HomeKit, the Swedish furniture retailer has confirmed. Upon launching the new Trådfri earlier this year, IKEA only allowed controlling the lights through a mobile app or dedicated remote – so this is a welcome update.
Alexa, Google Home and HomeKit will be available for the IKEA Trådfri in the summer. The range is designed as an affordable alternative to plug and play smart lightbulbs from the likes of Philips Hue and LIFX. There are a number of products available in the range, including a motion sensor kit, dimming kit, and LED light panels and doors.
Customers in over 28 countries can pick up the IKEA Trådfri range in one of IKEA’s 340 stores, with prices starting at around £9 for a standard 1000 lumen white bulb. A standard Philips Hue White bulb retails at around £14.99, meaning it’s almost double the price of IKEA’s offering.
IKEA currently only offers smart lighting solutions as part of its smart home range, but the company has already committed to launching more products in the future. This could include anything from smart plugs to smart blinds – all products that would naturally fit in an IKEA store.
Thanks to IKEA’s entry into the smart home market, it’s likely that the technology will proliferate with consumers that would otherwise not be interested in the Internet of Things. That’s because IKEA has been successful at marketing its products by selling a lifestyle – something it is keen to stress with the launch of its smart home line-up. It’s also thought that its smart home range could eventually be given as much prominence as the company’s most popular product line-ups, such as the Billy bookcase, BESTÅ units, and PAX cupboards.
In Ikea’s announcement, Bjorn Block, the leader of Ikea Home Smart, notes: “With Ikea Home Smart, we are challenging everything that’s complicated and expensive with the online home. By ensuring that our products work with others on the market, we take another step to meet people’s needs and make it easier to interact with the products for the smart home.”