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Ikea's Trådfri Smart Plugs Gain HomeKit Compatibility

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Apr 12, 2001
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Ikea's affordable Trådfri smart plugs that first debuted in November are now able to connect to HomeKit after an update to the Trådfri firmware that was released yesterday.

After installing new firmware, Trådfri outlets can be added to the Home app and controlled alongside the rest of your HomeKit products.


Ikea sells the Trådfri smart plugs for just $9.99, which is much cheaper than other HomeKit-enabled smart plug options on the market. You will, however, need the accompanying Trådfri Gateway, a $30 hub that is required for all of Ikea's affordable smart home solutions including light bulbs, dimmers, motion sensors, and more.

The Trådfri outlets are larger than some other HomeKit-based outlets, but can be used sideways and will only take up a single socket. Multiple Trådfri accessories can be connected to the Trådfri Gateway.

You can get the Trådfri smart plugs and the Trådfri Gateway from Ikea. Ikea is rolling out its new software update and it should be available to customers in the U.S. now before expanding to other countries in the near future.

(Thanks, Daniel!)

Article Link: Ikea's Trådfri Smart Plugs Gain HomeKit Compatibility
 
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whatta

macrumors regular
Mar 22, 2017
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Not yet available in Belgium, but looking forward to stop using the ikea app and relying on the home app opened from control centre for the smart plug as well.
 
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dsraj

macrumors newbie
Nov 19, 2015
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Finally! Apple relaxing the HomeKit specifications and making it a software protocol instead of requiring a hardware chip is paying off. It is making it cheaper and easier for manufacturers to add HomeKit support, especially retroactively via a firmware update.

I don’t mind how big they are, given the cost savings compared to other switches out there that cost at least $25 each.
 
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whooleytoo

macrumors 604
Aug 2, 2002
6,580
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Cork, Ireland.
Good to know.

I bought several of these to replace cheapo Bye Bye Standby plugs. With the Tradfri connected to my Neeo Brain I can control the lights/plugs with the universal remote. Much handier than having two remotes, and more convenient than picking up your phone, finding and launching an app, finding the right option etc..

That was limited to being on the home Wifi though. If this works remotely, even better (don't know much about Homekit, to be honest).
 
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CarlJ

macrumors 603
Feb 23, 2004
5,108
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San Diego, CA, USA
Does anyone know if this will work with a Phillips Hue Gateway? I know the bulbs from Ikea do.
If they have direct HomeKit compatibility, the Hue Gateway doesn't enter into the picture - I have Hue lights as well as a couple of iDevices Switches (for some LED floodlights I use when I need more light than Hue can provide). The Hue Gateway doesn't interact with the iDevices Switches, but I have many HomeKit scenes that control both my Hue lights and my iDevices-controlled lights. I don't use the Hue app beyond initial configuration of new Hue bulbs, and installing Hue software updates. I use Apple's Home app and Siri for day-to-day use.

I also have some Hue Dimmer switches - when I walk in the front door, for instance, I tap "on" on the adjacent dimmer switch rather than using apps or Siri - I understand you can give control of the dimmer switches over to HomeKit and then they can control arbitrary scenes, but I prefer to keep them all-Hue in order to be able to make use of the bit where tapping "on" multiple times cycles through multiple scenes.
 
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Websnapx2

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Apr 24, 2003
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If they have direct HomeKit compatibility, the Hue Gateway doesn't enter into the picture - I have Hue lights as well as a couple of iDevices Switches (for some LED floodlights I use when I need more light than Hue can provide). The Hue Gateway doesn't interact with the iDevices Switches, but I have many HomeKit scenes that control both my Hue lights and my iDevices-controlled lights. I don't use the Hue app beyond initial configuration of new Hue bulbs, and installing Hue software updates. I use Apple's Home app and Siri for day-to-day use.

I also have some Hue Dimmer switches - when I walk in the front door, for instance, I tap "on" on the adjacent dimmer switch rather than using apps or Siri - I understand you can give control of the dimmer switches over to HomeKit and then they can control arbitrary scenes, but I prefer to keep them all-Hue in order to be able to make use of the bit where tapping "on" multiple times cycles through multiple scenes.

Thanks, I appreciate the reply. The reason I ask though is that these seem to require the Trådfri Gateway to operate/setup (as per this article). I was hoping the Hue one would do in its place. I also have Hue bulbs, a gateway and some iHome switches that don't need to communicate with the Gateway so I get what you mean.
 
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orbital~debris

macrumors 65816
Mar 3, 2004
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I've got two, one for the glove heater and one for the Christmas tree decoration. But let's be honest, they could both be done with a normal timer. But with IKEA's pricing it wouldn't be much cheaper.

I use my Eve plug for the Christmas tree lights. The rest of the year it controls a lamp on a console table on my landing which looks better with a halogen lightbulb instead of a Philips Hue bulb.

Using the smart plug for the Christmas tree saves buying app-controlled fairy lights. (Although I would be tempted to buy a set of HomeKit Christmas tree lights if Philips made a Hue version…)

The only thing about the IKEA product that’s not so good is that they need their own hub. But that’s only because I already have a Philips hub and don’t want hubs everywhere.
 
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Tofupunch

macrumors regular
Dec 4, 2014
203
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Hey guys, I'm a total newb when it comes to homekit. They were all so expensive so i never looked into it. But these Ikea plugs are mighty tempting. I was wondering though why the gateway is needed for these to work? And what are the privacy implications of this gateway?
 
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Ideanj

macrumors member
Apr 30, 2013
88
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I wouldn't mind a few smart plugs, but i have no idea what i would actually plug into them
Having the ability to turn various lights on and off automatically while on vacation to make it appear as if someone is home deters burglars and is a common use case for me. I also use them for Christmas decorations, and the lights in front of the house to ensure once the sun falls (or rises) all of the lights turn on or off accordingly. Not to mention the portable space heater and fan I have in my room. There’s lots of uses for these plugs :)
 
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Websnapx2

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2003
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Hey guys, I'm a total newb when it comes to homekit. They were all so expensive so i never looked into it. But these Ikea plugs are mighty tempting. I was wondering though why the gateway is needed for these to work? And what are the privacy implications of this gateway?

The Gateway is how firmware updates get pushed down to the accessory devices such as these. I remember last year, when Ikea added HomeKit support to the smart bulbs, you needed the gateway to update the bulbs out in the wild to gain that support. Stands to reason that they otherwise wouldn't have gained that support just connected to WiFi on their own. If you had bought them new after the announcement though, it would have been already installed and implemented.
 
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name99

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Jun 21, 2004
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I wouldn't mind a few smart plugs, but i have no idea what i would actually plug into them

If you just have the plugs by themselves, you can attach them to lamps, then have them switch on and off at a particular time. I have a lamp that switches on an hour before sunset, and switches off at a random time around midnight.

Unfortunately (truly idiotic oversight by Apple!) you CAN'T use it for things that you are scared you might leave on too long (like a heater) -- "Hey Siri, switch on the heater for an hour"! Maybe in iOS 13?

If you have other HomeKit stuff (like motion detectors), you can start to chain them together, so that when the motion detector triggers it switches the light on. I have this for if I need to go downstairs after midnight.

These may seem trivial (and in a sense they are, you can just use a light switch). But there is something magical about setting these up so that the lights just do what you want -- they appear at the time you think they should, they switch on as you start walking downstairs.

My experience with IoT stuff is that almost everything I've bought (not all, but almost all) I've managed to find some way to integrate it into my daily patterns, and have derived substantial value from it. But it IS true that, right now, this is more tinkering than mainstream. Stuff doesn't work perfectly all the time, and to get real value, you do have to think about what you want done, and how to set up rules to achieve it. Calling this programming is too grand, but it does require figuring out a plan. Simply having a smart switch plus a smart motion detector won't automatically (how could it?) connect them together to know that you want motion detection under these circumstances to trigger that light.

I don't know how this will ever be fixed. But I guess there's a fair bit of stuff like that already --- eg some people like me who get maximum value out of all their AV kit, while others simply put up with the fact that the TV is displaying everything in 4:3 aspect ratio because they don't know how to fix it (and frequently, apparently, don't even really care!?)
 
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jocamero

macrumors regular
Jul 11, 2008
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They use Zigbee (not WiFi or Bluetooth). Thus, you need something to get these devices to talk to your other network equipment. Zigbee can also create a mesh so wireless signals can hop from one device to another when range would be an issue with Bluetooth or WiFi.

Sooooo, technically, you don't need a hub since there are Zigbee remotes that can directly control the lights (Lutron). However, if you want HomeKit, you need a Zigbee bridge/hub of some sort that connects to your network.

Lots of folks over at /r/HomeKit are reporting that the IKEA bulbs and plugs are working with their Hue hubs too.

why the gateway is needed for these to work?
 
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