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IKEA enters home automation with smart hub
April 5, 2017, 5:10 pm
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IKEA is finally getting into the home automation game with its own system for smart lighting. The new range of products called Trådfri — which means ‘wireless’ in Swedish —  is built around the ZigBee Light Link standard for connected lights (the same as Philips Hue). The system seems to have rolled out to select European countries last fall, but is expected to release in more countries starting in April.

The core of the Trådfri system is a gateway device that connects to the internet via an ethernet connection and creates a local Trådfri network to connect local bulbs. Like most of IKEA products, the Trådfri system has an aggressive pricing scheme, with a base set of the internet gateway, a remote, and two Trådfri bulbs costing roughly US$85.40.

But the most interesting part of the system is not in the internet gateway, it is a colorful standalone motion-controlled dimmer switch that can dim lights simply by rolling it around in your hand. The dimmer switch can also work independently from the connected system, and is the cheapest part of the range, with a light and a dimmer switch costing $20.41.

Additionally, IKEA is selling a series of LED Floalt panels, along with illuminated doors for its  various storage units that will also be compatible with the Trådfri system, and which serve as a powerful early indicator of how Ikea might leverage its existing modular systems to incorporate its smart home systems.

Currently, the Trådfri system only shows up on IKEA’s Swedish website, with the products expected in stores by 31 March, but it stands to reason that we could see the system make its way to other countries in the near future.

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