Ikea adds color changing bulb to Tradfri home automation line, HomeKit support still coming

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Ikea has made a color-changing light bulb in its Tradfri line more commonly available, potentially giving home automation-minded users a less expensive way to go beyond simple illumination.

The new E27 bulb launched in September, but is now more widely available. The new 600 lumen bulb ships with a default color temperature of 2700K, but both color and temperature are adjustable via a connected app.

The color-changing bulb retails for $34.99 with a hardware remote.

The Tradfri system spans nearly every kind of residential light bulb connector, with desk lamp compatible E12, Edison connector E27, and fixture-compatible GU10 bulbs available in the system. A network gateway plugs into an Ethernet connector on a router or hub, allowing for the iOS app to control connected bulbs.

By itself, a stand-alone bulb and a dimmer remote that can control up to 10 bulbs retails for $19.99. A motion sensor kit with a single bulb retails for $25. If a user wishes to use any kind of smartphone application application to control the system, the gateway is required and sells for $30. Individual bulbs are available for as low as $11.99.

Initial examinations of the Tradfri system by AppleInsider show good bulb hardware, but a less-than-stellar network hub. The problems are related to shaky firmware in the gateway itself or in the app, as the bulbs respond perfectly to the hardware remote that does not rely on the bridge.

Full HomeKit compatibility is coming later in the fall, according to Ikea. While Ikea's webpage was updated in August suggesting that a firmware update available at the time would add HomeKit and Google Assistant compatibility, that update did not include the ability to do so.

The Tradfri app requires iOS 8, and occupies 41.5 MB of device storage space.