Adding HomeKit to the old Ikea Utrusta LED under cabinet

Cupertino, October 7, 2023

Disclaimer: This is not a recommended hack for anyone who doesn't know what they are doing. Remember that angry electrons can kill you for good. Background: I have a series of leds under the cabinet from ikea called utrusta led. They are no longer produced, but you can buy them used. The big advantage of these is that you connect them to each other like a chain, and they offered uniform sockets, USB charger, right angle, etc. And the biggest advantage - we already own them. They weren't smart back then (unlike today's ikea tradfri drivers). They communicate via the 2.4GHz remote control called connecta. I've been looking for a while to make them accessible through HomeKit and was even thinking of just adding a smart plug between the power supply, mounting a switch-bit to the remote, or even adding an arduino. In the end I decided to try another way which I want to share here. Idea: I bought a used tradfri 30W driver for €9 and disassembled it. I recognized that the radio unit and controller was separate and quite easy to remove. I paired it with my hue bridge and along with the new hue bridge wire support I was able to expose the tradfri driver to HomeKit. The next step was trying to replace the current 2.4Ghz radio unit. I had to solder, cut a few pieces of the frame and get rid of the external led connectors to fit. In the end it fits perfectly and what can I say it works like it was designed for. Now I'm looking for some cheap used tradfri drivers to finish the job on the other led elements I own. Only a matter of time.

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