IKEA light bulbs are a great place to start in all this smart lighting stuff. Because they are inexpensive and because they integrate well with both Alexa and Google Assistant and Siri. If in your case you want to use the Apple assistant and control them with a HomePod, we will show you step by step how to add IKEA bulbs to HomeKit .
Ikea Tradfri and HomeKit
When IKEA launched its smart bulbs there was no initial support for HomeKit . This one came later, but once it did, it greatly improved the user experience. And not only because finally the Apple assistant could be used to use voice commands to control them, especially because the Home application is more complete than the IKEA Smart Home application.
And it is that the IKEA solution does not allow control from outside the home and this causes it to lose one of the most attractive functions: check if you left any lights on and turn them off without having to return. Although then the most advantageous in the day to day are the options to create scenes, automations, etc., which are still less than with the Home app.
Therefore, if you decide to bet on IKEA bulbs or any other Tradfri product, the ideal is to add them to HomeKit to be able to have full control from the app itself as well as through Siri , Apple’s voice assistant that is on products like the HomePod mini.
So we are going to show you how to connect these IKEA bulbs to the Apple HomeKit platform.
How to connect IKEA light bulbs to HomeKit
When it comes to the HomeKit support for IKEA light bulbs, there are some aspects that are often omitted, although without any malicious intent. Even so, they are usually points that end up frustrating the user a bit who goes for them without much more information. So let’s see them.
The first and foremost is that while IKEA bulbs can be added to the Philips bridge thanks (both solutions use the Zigbee standard), when you later try to view those devices through the Home app they don’t appear.
Due to IKEA’s implementation of this technology, the Tradfri bridge is essential to be able to control each and every one of the devices of this series through Siri and the native application of iOS, iPadOS, tvOS and macOS.
However, when those same bulbs are added to the Philips bridge, they can be controlled without problems with Alexa or Google Assistant. So maybe it’s not so much the fault of IKEA’s use of the Zigbee standard, but of Apple. But hey, this is not about looking for culprits but rather solutions.
The problem with needing the IKEA bridge is that it can be a bit annoying if you already have others like the aforementioned Philips one. So either you abandon Siri and HomeKit, something that surely does not interest you if you are reading this, or you agree to have multiple bridges.
The second thing is that you cannot buy the bulbs and the bridge thinking that everything will work without problems. You need at least one IKEA button or control knob to add the lights to the bridge . A decision that to a certain extent is somewhat absurd, because the bulbs to the Philips bridge are added without any problem and without the need for said button, but IKEA has decided for some reason that this is not the case with its solution.
Therefore, next to the bulbs and the bridge you will also need that remote control. Once you have it, the first step is to connect the IKEA bridge to your router. Then download the IKEA Smart Home app and follow the steps to add the different bulbs and other possible IKEA Tradfri products that you want to use.
Once everything is configured, the next step is to add all those products to HomeKit and that is something that is done as follows:
- Open the Home application and click the + icon to Add accessory
- If you do it with an iPhone or iPad you can use its camera to read the code that will appear on a sticker that has the bridge at its base
- If you don’t have this sticker or camera, you need the HomeKit code number corresponding to the IKEA bridge. If you don’t have it, open the IKEA Smart Home app and navigate to Settings> Integrations> Apple HomeKit
- Copy the code and enter it in the Home app to add the bridge
- Once the bridge is recognized, you will see how all the devices connected to it appear. Although it is important that they are updated to the latest firmware version for this HomeKit support
- Rename them, assign the room they are in and whether or not you want it to be in your Favorites view
Ready. You already have the IKEA light bulbs added to HomeKit and you can handle them like any other smart device you might have. What’s more, you can forget about the IKEA app unless it is to apply a firmware update. Because everything related to the control of on and off, brightness, color, automations, scenes, etc., you can do it from the native iOS and macOS app.
Control IKEA light bulbs from outside the home
Finally, if you want to control the IKEA light bulbs or other Tradfri devices remotely and from outside the home, all you will need is to have an Apple TV, HomePod or iPad acting as a concentrate or HomeKit HUB .
To use these devices as a HomeKit accessory hub, you just have to be signed in to those devices with the same Apple ID that you use on, for example, your iPhone. Then in the iPad settings or from the Home app, select to use the device as an accessory center.