IKEA TRÅDFRI review: the connected light bulb for everyone?

Everyone knows IKEA ! Many of us have been there, found something to be furnished with, but not everyone necessarily knows that the Swedish furniture brand also offers a range of connected objects, and in particular sockets or smart bulbs. Responding to the sweet name of IKEA TRÅDFRI, it is with these that we are going to start a small series dedicated to the brand's connected objects.

During our last day of shopping, we therefore put the pack including the connected bulb in our blue and yellow bag. IKEA TRÅDFRI LED 1000 lumens and its remote control. These work with the ZigBee protocol and a bridge dedicated to communicate with the Internet. The advantage of this home automation protocol, you know, is mainly due to its low latency and power consumption. If IKEA obviously offers its own TRÅDFRI bridge for the management of its bulbs or other sockets, it turns out that its ZigBee is compatible with the one operated by Philips Hue, which is not necessarily the case between all the devices in the protocol. Let's look at a concrete example. The bulb is compatible with the Philips Hue bridge, but not with ZigBee Tuya hubs / Smart Life. Although both are ZigBee, a proprietary overlay blocks them at the software level. Fortunately, there are solutions ...

IKEA TRÅDFRI E27: the ZigBee bulb at a low price

Unboxing and presentation

Presented in a simple white cardboard box pierced with the shapes of its content, the packaging is somewhat minimalist but complies with the standard of the Swedish giant: economical. Displaying the description of the bulb on the front of the box with the mentions of IKEA TRÅDFRI 1000 lumens for 11W, the “connected” symbol, the color panel dot ranging from cold white to warm white, the durability of 25000 hours and the logo "Works with IKEA Home smart », we already have a good overview of his skills.

The packaging is a small box. On the rear part, we find the same information supplemented by the temperature of the lighting, namely 2700K. To choose the right bulb with the appropriate luminescence and temperature for its destination, you can find our summary of the ten things to take into account for choose your connected bulbs.

Back to our bulb. She is rather tall with her 6 cm wide et 12 cm long - E27 socket included.

The top of the cabinet displays the energy class A +, the mention the reference ZigBee and in 35 languages, the indication that it only works with wireless controllers IKEA TRÅDFRI. We will see that we can also pair our bulb other than with a Zigbee IKEA TRÅDFRI bridge (gateway or hub). The products comply with CE standards and certified by Intertek, a quality certification company.

Let's see what's in the pack. We have, the bulb itself, of course, with its imposing bulb of a 6 cm diameter in polycarbonate, the remote control with its CR2032 battery (thank you that's well thought out), a 3M adhesive round pre-drilled to fix the remote control on a support. The whole thing is accompanied by a little reading with no less than five brochures: one for the remote control to open the box and the pairing, one to describe its functions, one to explain the pairing of the bulb and the two more small concerns the conformity of the articles to the 2014/54 / EU standard.

The remote control of 6.50 cm in diameter is supplied with a base in the form of a white cup, the slightly convex center of which is magnetized. It receives the cover of the remote control which is concave. Designed in two materials: synthetic rubber for the mouse gray part and ABS plastic for the white parts, it has a range of 10 meters away from obstacles. Note that a single remote control can manage up to 10 LED bulbs.

Once the cover is removed, we have access to the battery compartment, but also at pairing button. magnetic white support is drilled on the back to allow fixing by screws and dowels if desired. These are not provided.

Note that the items making up the pack can also be purchased individually. Now let's see the technical sheet concerning them.

Technical specifications

Brand
IKEA
Model
TRÅDFRI
Reference
Remote adjustment kit 204.065.70
Bulb dimension
12 6 cm x cm
Remote control dimension
6 cm in diameter
IRC
> 90
Bulb power supply
220-240V - 50 / 60Hz
Reaction time
<1 second for 60% of the luminous flux
Temperature
2700 Kelvin
Sustainability
25 000 hours
Energy class
A+
Protocol
ZigBee 2.4Ghz

IKEA TRÅDFRI: installation and use with Philips Hue

The TRÅDFRI bulb + remote control kit is compatible with Philips Hue, as noted above. The two brands are also members of theZigBee Alliance bringing together brands that come together to work in order to offer their customers a unified communication protocol for connected objects. We will see that this alliance is most beneficial for us… Indeed, we will use the IKEA TRÅDFRI bulbs with Philips Hue bridge instead of that of the Swedish brand. A little sleight of hand allows us to recognize our products via the Hue gateway.

Indeed, it is not possible to directly pair the connected bulb from IKEA in the Philips Hue app due to a software limitation. On the other hand, by going through a third-party application, it will go back to the Hue application which will make our bulb can be controlled by voice… or not.

Hue Essentials appIn order to indeed have to install theHue Essentials app available on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

Once downloaded, you must detect the Philips Hue bridge on this new application to then add our Tradfri bulb. This procedure is certainly a bit long, but which does not pose any particular problem. Follow us and you will see it!

Once past the first pages of presentation, we arrive at ... The essential! The bridge is directly detected by the application. By clicking on next, we are asked to proceed with the pairing by pressing the central button of the hub. This done, the following screen informs us that the procedure is successful and completed. Nice then!

Once back on the home page, we can discover all our equipment reassembled on this new application. We can now add the Ikea bulb.

At the bottom of the page, we click on " Appareils »Symbolized by a bridge. A pop-up appears asking you to choose what will be added. So, let's say it right away, the remote is not going up. You can choose either "Light" or "Accessory" the result will be identical. We therefore present you the step by step with the "Light" option. Then a second Pop-Up is displayed to choose the hub to refer to. The following page will allow us to access the essential function to proceed with the pairing " Touchlinck". Clicking on the button will turn on the bulb if it is off, then flash it. At this point you have to click on "search for lights" positioned above (it would have been more judicious, maybe to reverse the order of presentation ...).

Once the pairing has been made the name of the bulb appears at the bottom of the page then in the second which is at the top of the page a message informs thatAlexa has taken care of this new device. This also appears on the on the home page of the Philips Essentials app. Clicking on it gives us a full description of it, but let's not dwell on this application any further, especially since if it offers certain similarities of service like the Philips Hue application here it seems that they are paying (as for some scenes).

Let's check that it appears in the Hue application and there it will be possible to use the many scenarios offered by the application for free. When the latter is opened, we can see that the “Light configuration” section has a small number (1) on an orange background: it's our bulb! It has been transferred automatically to this application with obviously the same title which makes it easy to spot. It is then possible to integrate it into a room such as the kitchen in the same way as the Philips Hue bulbs ...

What about voice assistants?

With our Amazon Alexa :

We already have the Philips Hue skill installed for us. If this is the first Philips Hue compatible object for Alexa, you must install the skill from the store ofAmazon. The Swedish giant's bulb goes back well in the application Alexa as reported to us by the application on which we installed it. It is then possible to rename it by clicking on the notched wheel. A click on define colors indicates the availability and there it is the surprise: only 5 colors are available. Our Tradfri bulb therefore meets the definition of low cost. But for a basic use, simple responding to the simple request to have a luminous flux at the desired place, this is not an insurmountable problem.

In use? After more than 60 operations (installation / uninstallation) to have all of the above captures because all the parameters (brightness, color or routine creation) did not appear in the application Alexa, it turns out that pairing the bulb with our favorite voice assistant causes the remote to become unpaired. If you want to manually activate the color change, only the first three tones are possible. Try to put the check mark on "Daylight white" ou " White cold "  and you will see it move by itself, like a large one, and come to reposition itself on " White " ! On the other hand, a routine where one asks for the ignition on a " White cold " is done without difficulty. Is it related to Alexa at the time of our tests, to the application used, or even to the bulbs themselves? We cannot tell you. So act.

With Google Home:

Well, there the ascent did not pose any problem having already installed in the past the service Philips Hue which is associated with our account for the control of the house. The voice command "On / Off". is done without difficulty. The number of colors is also limited here with six proposed colors including five… .which are useless! Indeed, only "incandescent" is active. The same reaction as in the previous application, the check mark does not stay on a different intensity. Running a routine was not a problem.

 

 

 

IKEA TRÅDFRI: a remote control asset or handicap?

There is the question ! Indeed, it is impossible to have the bulb coupled to the remote control and to use it vocally. If the use is in voice, then the remote control is deactivated… And if you want to use the remote control, no possibility of invoking one or the other of the voice assistants. Cruel choice.

If, by chance, it is necessary to carry out a new bulb / remote coupling, it is the button located inside the box (circled in red on the presentation photo) on which you must press for about ten seconds by placing the two objects within 5cm so that the red light on the remote control flashes and the bulb flickers. Once paired, the light intensity is displayed at 100%. The remote control becomes active and… .deactivates the voice assistants.

 

The functions of the remote control buttons are:

Central button
On / Off
Arrow
Color change to warm white
Arrow>
Color change to cool white
Top button - big sun
Increases the intensity of the flow
Bottom button - little sun
Decrease the intensity of the flow

What to say in conclusion? For starters, purchasing the IKEA TRÅDFRI pack is not necessarily the best choice if you want to use vocal as a first step. If the pairing is not a complicated maneuver in itself, due to the almost compulsory passage through the Hue Essentials application, the results are a little random. Unless it is aboutAlexa, the feedback of the collected data was a little random during our tests. This can go very well the first time or cause a nervous breakdown ! On the side of Google, no problem, we are therefore tempted to think that this is an exceptional situation. In short, are IKEA TRÅDFRI products worth it? Yes, definitely considering the price. Are they as good as Philips Hue or Osram Smart+ entry level? No, not for all that.

 

IKEA TRÅDFRI Remote control set, white spectrum E27

€19.99
5.8

Installation

5.0/10

Design

6.0/10

functionality

5.0/10

Application

7.0/10

Price quality

6.0/10

Most

  • Quality / price ratio

The lessers

  • Installation for consideration by Alexa perfectible
  • Inability to use voice if paired with remote control
  • Inconsistency between the number of colors offered and those possible
Simple user and novice fallen into the pot Alexa, this one fascinates me and thanks to the boys, Jean-Christophe and Alexien Modo, I learn a little more every day. Loving the different aspects ofAlexa, I turned to skills to share my discoveries with you.