Most people wish that Ikea furniture had the ability to assemble itself. The truth is that a self-assembling technology is probably still decades away from getting invented. Don’t lose heart though, because Ikea has just given its new smart lights the voice control treatment that many people who own Philips Hue lights and Amazon Echo speakers enjoy.
TRADFRI Lights by Ikea
At its launch in May, Ikea’s low-cost smart lighting line called TRADFRI could only be controlled by a remote control. But the Swedish retailer says that you will be able to give voice commands to their smart lights using Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant starting in the summer. According to Bjorn Bloc, Ikea Home Smart’s Business leader, their lighting system challenges every complicated and expensive smart lighting device on the market.
It may be a cheaper option for people who cannot afford the high-end smart lighting products. In fact, one smart bulb in the Ikea smart lighting system is only $15. But a complete TRADFRI starter kit including the Wi-Fi gateway and two LED light bulbs starts at only $89, which is a little more expensive than Philips Hue Starter Kit.
Bloc says that integrating their lights with other smart products gives them an edge in the home automation market. Adding voice control will allow Ikea smart lighting system to work together with accessories like smart sensors, ceiling fans, thermostats, door locks, and more.
At the moment TRADFRI lighting range users can dim and adjust the color temperature of home lighting. You can also create pre-set mood profiles and timers using your smartphone or tablet. This is possible because the light bulbs are Wi-Fi enabled, which means you can hook them up to your phone and control them wirelessly through a free companion app.
The company sees an opportunity to break into the home automation market using the same successful strategy they adopted for furniture and other home products. That means that they are focusing on simplicity of use and price for their smart home devices.
Ikea = Simplicity
Though the thinking behind the price part of their strategy is obvious, the simplicity part of their strategy is interesting. Sometimes people find it hard to use some smart devices because of the setup process before they can use it. This includes pairing a device with its hub, downloading its app, adding third-party devices, and checking the network strength. While this process may seem simple to techie, it may prove difficult for people who aren’t tech savvy.
One example where Ikea shows simplicity is with its TRADFRI kit that includes a bulb and a motion sensor. To pair the motion sensor to the bulb, press a button and hold the sensor close to the bulb. You can then set timers using the dials in the back that determine how long it takes to turn the light off or on after detecting motion. You do not have to download or update anything or even look at a smartphone.
Jeanette Skjelmose, Business Area Manager for Ikea’s Lighting and Smart Home division, said in a statement that they believe that smart home technology should be accessible for everybody.
Their pricing may force other smart lighting developers to start working on cheaper versions of their existing lighting products. Ikea can use its recognizable brand and its physical stores to introduce their smart devices to millions of their customers. For more information about smart lighting products and home automation, visit our website today.