IKEA entering the smart lighting market

Ikea's Smart Lighting kit

The TRÅDFRI LED bulb range comes with its own app or a remote control to set the mood for any given situation and marks the launch of the company's "Home Smart" range.

IKEA said it was the latest step in its "Home Smart" initiative to encourage energy efficient behaviour among more homeowners. The accompanying Trådfri app lets you choose different types of light for different times of day, and later this year you'll be able to schedule timers and turn lights off remotely too.

While IKEA might be known as a company that produces affordable furniture for the masses, the company is into tech as well.

Ikea already lists its smart lighting products on its USA website, but for now, they can only be added to a shopping list. "With this in mind, we set out to make our smart lighting solutions easy to use and affordable", says Helen Akinsete, lighting sales leader at IKEA UK and Ireland. The new range is a plug-and-play solution, meaning that there is no need for hardwiring as customers can simply switch their traditional lightbulbs for a TRÅDFRI LED bulb to enable them to adjust their lighting remotely. Like the bulbs, you use a remote control to change the colour between warm daylight and cool white.

The reason this is important news is the move of smart home concepts into a mass market, away from even the enthusiast home electronics stores, IKEA can't just throw something in the catalogue if it's not ready for average everyday consumers to install, get working and use every day. It's about adding functionality to our entire product range by integrating technology into our home furnishing offer.

Products in the Swedish home furnishing giant's Smart Lighting Collection, which arrives in United Kingdom stores next month, include LED bulbs, lighting panels and doors which come complete with a new phone app enabling users to personalise and more efficiently manage the lighting in their home.

As is IKEA's tradition, they have named them in their Swedish language TRÅDFRI which Google tells me means "wireless". Products will be available in United Kingdom stores and on www.ikea.co.uk from April 7th.

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