The entrance into the topic Smart Home turns out nowadays ever more difficult, since there are really many products on the market. Ikea has addressed this issue and launched the Tradfri product series at the end of 2016. In the meantime, the products have matured and become even smarter. We tested Ikea Tradfri for you.
In our test we treat two products. The first product set consists of a 600 lumen LED lamp, nine selectable colours and a remote control. To enable control via Home Assistant or smartphones, there is also a gateway, the second product in our test.
In the test we use the following products:
Installation and Setup of the LED Lamp Plus Remote Control
Ikea definitely earns plus points during installation and setup. If you buy the set, consisting of lamp and remote control (34.99 €) these components work directly with each other. The lamp can be switched on and off or dimmed via the five buttons. Of course you can also change the color with it. So: Turn the LED into a suitable lamp and switch it on – done!
Of course, the remote control is included in the scope of delivery. It includes a base with which we can also hang the remote control on the wall. If you don’t want to make holes in the wall, an adhesive pad is also included. The connection range is quite pleasant. Inside the apartment (old building with very thick walls) we were able to operate the light six to seven meters away through several walls without any problems.
If you want to control more lamps (19,99 €) with the remote control, the coupling works almost by itself. Hold the remote control at a distance of two centimeters from the lamp and press the pairing button for ten seconds. The lamp begins to look, after successful coupling it lights up again completely normally. However, the lamps can not be divided into groups via the remote control, therefore all lamps are controlled simultaneously. Accordingly we either use several remote controls or we make the whole thing smarter and use the gateway (29,99 €).
Tradfri App and Gateway: It Gets Smarter
In order to control the Tradfri lamps via App, it is necessary to use the Tradfri Gateway. This is connected to the router via LAN and thus enables the connection via App. The housing around the gateway is particularly beautiful. Inside, power and LAN cables are connected and can then still be accommodated in the housing. A practical solution to avoid cable clutter. Recently it is also possible to use the Phillips Hue Bridge instead of the Gateway.
The setup is just as simple. We download the iOS or Android app from the respective store and follow the nicely illustrated instructions for connecting to the gateway. As described in the manual, the remote control is first connected, of course again via the pairing button. This time, however, it must be pressed on both devices. To finally connect the app to the gateway, there is a QR core on the back, which is scanned in.
The app can then be used in conjunction with the gateway to perform a wide range of functions. For example, several LEDs can be combined into groups without the need for several remote controls. Switch-on and switch-off times can also be defined. If you would like to be woken up with a sunrise, you can set different wake-up scenarios in which the light comes on at a certain time and slowly becomes brighter. In addition, 20 different colors can be selected via the app, instead of only nine.
Smarter? Do It with Voice Control
Fortunately my Google Home Mini arrived shortly after Ikea’s Tradfri products. And luckily there was an update shortly before that allows you to use the Google Home Assistant as well. The connection – who would have thought it – is simple. Download Google Home app, select product and the connection will be established automatically. Prerequisite is the Tradfri app installed on the smartphone. With the app, individual lighting elements can also be grouped together. In addition, the colour of the LED can be adjusted more precisely than with the remote control.
Ikea Tradfri products are not innovative, they should not be. They are practical and especially self-explanatory in use. Ikea’s low investment costs are a big advantage, as only 29.99 euros are currently due for the gateway. The illuminants are also reasonable in terms of price. A 1000 Lumen LED in the colour white costs 12,99 Euro. For more choice in the white tones, 19.99 euros must be placed on the table.
There are almost only positive things to say about the facility. It goes easily by the hand, even if the paper instructions are somewhat old-fashioned. On the product side of the more expensive bulb there is a video on setting up the remote control, but not on the cheaper one. Also missing is a dimmer setup video, for example.
Speaking of the product page. It doesn’t really make sense with Ikea either. It is already necessary to have a close look at the product description. A better overview would definitely have been desirable.