Con­trol IKEA’s smart bulbs with Assistant

Broad AI sup­port com­ing this sum­mer, finds MICHAEL SI­MON

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We’ve been hear­ing a lot about how Google Home and Ama­zon Echo can con­trol our smart ap­pli­ances and de­vices, but for many of us, they’re still out of reach. Spend­ing a cou­ple hun­dred pounds on smart light isn’t an im­pulse buy, es­pe­cially if we’re just buy­ing them to try out voice con­trol.

But now there’s a much cheaper alternative for smart home new­bies. Thanks to IKEA, just about any­one can in­stall smart light­ing in their homes and man­age them with Google Assistant, Ama­zon Alexa,

and Siri. The Swedish fur­ni­ture com­pany an­nounced in a press re­lease that you will soon be able to con­trol its af­ford­able line of smart lights with the smart speak­ers and as­sis­tants you al­ready have.

IKEA’s bulbs of­fer a no-frills ap­proach to smart light­ing. Un­like Philips Hue (£49 from y753y6tc) or LIFX(£47 from bulbs, the Tråd­fri bulbs are only avail­able in white light, but with a starter pack that costs £69 from and add-on LEDs that won’t break your bud­get. IKEA might not be the first name we think of when its comes to wire­less tech, but they’ve been in the light­ing busi­ness for years, and it’s easy to see it ex­pand­ing into other smart home ar­eas.

The Tråd­fri bulbs are avail­able now and start at just £15 from A va­ri­ety of bulbs and kits are of­fered for sale, in­clud­ing pan­els, doors for IKEA’s cab­i­nets and fur­ni­ture, and dim­mers. To get up and run­ning you’ll need to plug the £25 Tråd­fri gate­way/bridge (£25 from­m6mu6) into your router.

Un­til the AI in­te­gra­tion is of­fered later this sum­mer, IKEA of­fers its own pro­pri­etary app through the An­droid and iOS app stores, or you can use a phys­i­cal re­mote con­trol.

We talk a lot about the in­ter­net of things and how smart de­vices are the next big thing, but high price tags are pre­vent­ing mass adop­tion. Most of the ob­jects that con­nect to our speak­ers are way more ex­pen­sive than the de­vices them­selves, so IKEA’s so­lu­tion is a wel­come ad­di­tion. It might not be the thing that brings smart light­ing main­stream, but it’s a good start.

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