With a well-known brand and global distribution, it could push smart lighting into the mainstream.
Home goods retailer Ikea is done sitting on the sidelines as the smart home market matures. The company has introduced a new line of smart lighting products called Trådfri. These products were initially released in parts of Europe last fall but is now getting a wider release. Considering Ikea's scale and market penetration, this move could be significant to smart lighting adoption.
Trådfri, like so many smart light systems, uses ZigBee. Specifically, it relies on ZigBee Light Link. The lights use a smart home gateway to connect to the internet and have a circular remote to dull the lights, change colors and turn them on and off. The remote is motion controlled, so users can dim or lighten the brightness by turning it one way or the other.
Since Ikea is known as a budget-friendly home goods store, the introductory price of Trådfri products undercuts many competitors. The gateway with two Trådfri light bulbs is currently selling for 749 krona in Sweden, which is about $85. The light dimmer switch costs 179 krona, or about $20. Other supported products include lighting panels for cabinets.
The reach and affordability makes this good news for the smart home market. It's something that a handful of companies have been trying to do themselves with mixed results. Xiaomi has been pushing affordable smart home solutions in China, but not even the well-known tech company has the kind of scale that Ikea has with its 392 locations worldwide.