Ikea’s Smart Lightbulbs to Get Apple HomeKit Support
The update will also make them compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, broadening the bulbs’ appeal among casual smart home enthusiasts.
When Ikea launched its new line of smart lightbulbs in March, the concept seemed promising enough (cheap smart home products from a well-known brand with a high-tech pedigree), but the execution fell short: the bulbs could only be controlled via Ikea’s remote or base station.
The Swedish home furnishings giant will now rectify that oversight by letting Google Home$129.00 at Best Buy, Apple HomeKit, and Amazon Alexa devices control the bulbs, according to MacRumors. Ikea’s announcement, in Swedish, indicates that the rollout will happen this summer and early fall.
To add the HomeKit, Google, and Amazon compatibility, Ikea will issue an update to its Tradfri smartphone app as well as the internet-connected gateway, both of which allow you to control the light coming from individual Tradfri bulbs. (Swedish speakers and Ikea watchers will note that the Tradfri name, which means “wireless,” breaks from the company’s tradition of naming products after Swedish geography).
The update is good news for people who want to dabble in home automation but aren’t interested in opening their wallets wide. Not only is Ikea’s Tradfri lineup cheap compared to offerings from established smart bulb maker Philips (dimmer kits start at $20 and individual bulbs go for $12), but thanks to Google Home and Amazon Echo, it’ll soon respond to voice commands like “Alexa, set the lights for bedtime,” or “Ok, Google, turn on the floodlights.”
In addition to bulbs, Tradfri can also control Ikea’s LED-equipped cabinet doors, so you could potentially ask Google, Siri, or Alexa to create a mini light show in your living room. Like many other home automation products, Ikea’s lights use the Zigbee standard, so enthusiasts can integrate them with the vast ecosystem of Zigbee products like garage door openers and lawn sprinklers.