Connecting your Ikea Trådfri smart lights to Apple HomeKit: A step-by-step guide

Cupertino, May 3, 2024

Super charge your Ikea lights by syncing with Apple's Home ecosystem. Ikea's Trådfri smart bulbs and smart home devices are much cheaper than Philips Hue - and there are a number of options available too - so it's a good way to connect your home lighting without spending a fortune on it. However, the Ikea Home Smart 1 app – as the original is now called – is seriously lacking in certain areas, such as the ability to control your lights and technology when you're away from home, and the automation options are also on the small side.

Lucky for you the system works with Apple HomeKit, meaning your Ikea Trådfri lights are a lot more versatile, as Apple can do a lot of the legwork. Here's how to add your Ikea Trådfri smart bulbs to your HomeKit setup, and if you also have Philips Hue, check out our guide to getting Trådfri to work with that too.

How to get the HomeKit code for your Ikea Trådfri Gateway

If you purchased your Ikea smart bulbs before the HomeKit integration officially went live, you need to do two things: first, update your Ikea bulbs to the latest firmware, and second : Find the eight-digit HomeKit code for your Trådfri Gateway. Ikea now offers a newer hub for its smart products in the Dirigera Hub, so if you recently bought your smart bulbs from Ikea they should have the latest firmware and HomeKit integration will be faster. However, in this feature, we are talking specifically about the Trådfri Gateway, which you may have bought a while ago before HomeKit took off. Once your Ikea smart bulbs are updated, you'll need to get that HomeKit code for your gateway. The good news is a much simpler process than smart lighting rival Lifx - requiring a system reset. However, you must be near your Trådfri Gateway as the code you need is at the bottom.

Set up HomeKit integration for your Ikea Trådfri Gateway

Write down the code somewhere for your Trådfri Gateway and follow the steps below to set it up with HomeKit:

  1. Launch the Home Smart 1 app.
  2. Tap the Settings icon in the top right corner.
  3. Choose 'Integrations'.
  4. Tap 'Apple HomeKit'.
  5. You will be asked to grant access to your home data.
  6. You will then need to choose a HomeKit home or set one up.
  7. Your Gateway should appear as an accessory nearby.
  8. Tap your Trådfri Gateway to add it to your HomeKit home.
  9. Enter the eight-digit code at the bottom of your Trådfri Gateway.
  10. Select the location of your Trådfri Gateway and give it a name.

Adding your Ikea lights to your Apple Home app. Once your Trådfri Gateway has been added to your HomeKit home, you will be asked to add any lights connected to it to your HomeKit home. Each step lets you choose names and room locations for your lights, and you also get the option to set up home automation for each light. These automations include setting the light to turn on when you get home, or off when you leave home. Once you've gone through all the lights connected to your Gateway, you've finished setting up and can now control your lights from the Home app – or from the Control Center if you've included them as favorites.

That's right, you'll never have to fire up the clunky Ikea Smart Home 1 app again – shades, colors, brightness… it's all available through Apple Home. Of course, HomeKit means that you don't actually have to open the Home app either. You can use Siri on your Apple device to control your lights with your voice, or if you have an Apple HomePod you can bark commands at it too.

Controlling Ikea smart bulbs when you're not at home

One of the biggest shortcomings of the Trådfri system is that it can't be controlled remotely when you're not at home: your phone must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your gateway to control the lights via the native app. However, HomeKit throws that disadvantage out the window. When your Apple TV, HomePod, HomePod mini, or iPad acts as a HomeKit hub, it maintains a connection to the Ikea Gateway in your home, but you can send control instructions to your hub, from your phone, wherever you are in the world that you are… provided you have a data connection.

Automation and scenes with Ikea Trådfri

The Ikea Smart Home 1 app is, as we said, about as simple as it gets – with simple outdoor and timer options the only 'automation' options on offer. Scenes have been added, but it's still not as feature-rich as Philips Hue. However, the HomeKit integration offers a wealth of richness; your Ikea lights are treated as kindly as any other smart devices that are synced, allowing you to include them in complex automations and scenes you've set up. For example, you can turn off all your Ikea lights with a quick "Hey Siri, it's time for bed," while simultaneously locking your front door, turning up the heat, turning off the TV, and setting your security alarm. Or you can dim the Trådfri lights in your living room by up to 25 percent when you tell Siri it's 'Netflix time'. The possibilities are endless now that your Ikea lamps are free from the shackles of the Smart Home 1 app.

Ikea Tradfri with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant Ikea's smart lighting platform has also been available for some time now for control and for advanced automation with Amazon Alexa - you just have to download the skill and add the lights as devices - and Google Assistant - integration is also an option.

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