Did you know that you can view Ikea’s Trådfri smart bulbs – and control them – in your Philips Hue app?
Yes, you can really fill your whole house with smart bulbs without breaking the bank, and all you have to do is use the Hue app and / or a digital assistant like Alexa.
Philips Hue supports Zigbee 3.0, but it is also still compatible with the standard Zigbee Light Link protocol and, as such, Zigbee Light Link compatible products and devices work with the Hue Bridge.
So, it’s not just smart bulbs from Ikea – you can also install bulbs from GE, Osram and Innr on your Hue system.
Ultimate Guide: Everything you need to know about Philips Hue
Connecting your Ikea Trådfri bulbs to your Philips Hue bridge
It is quite simple. It was a huge faff but now it’s easier than ever.
Just follow these steps:
1. First, make sure that the light sources you want to connect have an updated software version (1.2.x or later)
2. Keep light sources close to the Philips Hue Bridge
3. Find new devices with the Philips Hue app
4. Perform a factory reset of light sources by flipping the main switch 6 times
5. You should then see the lights appear, just like the lights in Hue.
These steps are very simple, but if you are having difficulty follow the steps below …
Updating your Ikea Trådfri bulbs
If you’ve purchased your Ikea bulbs recently, chances are they are already on the latest firmware. If so, that means you can get by without ever buying a Trådfri gateway or steering device (remote control / wireless dimmer / motion sensor), at all.
However, if you bought your bulbs last year – and have never connected them to a Trådfri gateway, they might be using old firmware. It’s easy enough to update them, in the Trådfri app – but it can take years. It took over an hour to update two bulbs on our system.
Now Ikea doesn’t mention it in its official steps – but your next step is to remove the bulbs from your Trådfri system. Don’t just reset, you need to delete it in the app first …
1. Turn on the lights you want to remove
2. Go to Devices section of the Trådfri app
3. Press the bulb and choose Remove
4. Confirm the light is on by pressing Proceed then press Remove one last time and you will see his name disappear from the application
5. Now do the 6 switch reset method… the 6th time you turn the switch back on you will see the bulb blinking to indicate that it has been reset successfully.
Synchronization with your Hue Bridge
The next thing to do is make the Trådfri bulbs appear in the Hue app. When we did this a few years ago, it took us about 15 attempts to make them appear – and even then we resorted to putting the Ikea bulbs in a lamp and almost touching them to the Hue Bridge. to try to get a good connection.
However, we have tried it a few times since and the integration seems to work much better now.
It’s a good idea to turn off any other Zigbee hubs you have available to reduce interference – including your Trådfri gateway. You might even want to turn off your other Hue bulbs.
Now, launch the Hue app and search for a bulb the same way you would a regular Hue bulb. If this happens, you are in luck. If not, try, try, and try again.
Pro tip: Turn the light off, then back on when the Hue app says it’s looking for new lights.
There you are.
We’ve had mixed success with the controls that the Hue app allows us with our Ikea bulbs – there’s on / off and dimming, but we don’t seem to be able to switch between white modes, for example – but there are people on the forums touting full color control, the entire shebang.
You should also still be able to use Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri to control your Ikea bulbs that are paired with a Hue Bridge.
If you want to use your Ikea physical controllers again, you can – but it’s a real bullet point… believe us. Do not go. Please.
Ikea Trådfri on other smart home hubs
Along with running your Ikea smart bulbs (sort of) on your Philips Hue app, there are other hubs and platforms that it also sings and dances with – all without the need for an Ikea Trådfri catwalk.
Any smart home hub with Zigbee on board, in theory, should work with Trådfri bulbs although some are simpler than others.
The Zigbee hub built into some Echo smart speakers – like the new 4th gen Echo – means you should be able to easily pair your Ikea bulbs with them. However, a lot of people have had issues getting them to work, mainly because they couldn’t update the bulbs to the latest firmware.
Samsung SmartThings was a much more complicated beast, requiring not only a SmartThings developer account, but also an understanding of coding. Seriously. The good news is, it’s much, much easier now thanks to the fully improved SmartThings app.