TRÅDFRI – Ikea’s new Smart lighting system

This week Ikea announced a new set of Smart Lighting products called TRÅDFRI (translates to ‘Wire Free’).

Reading the various articles it sounds like it’s a Zigbee Light Link based system so I was interested in having a play to see if I could make the bulbs work with the WeMo kit I already have, but also given how cheap the gateway is I thought I’d grab one of those as well to see if I could work out what the network protocol is so I can write a similar Node-RED node to the existing WeMo one.

A (remarkably) short trip to the local branch and I came a way with 2 items:

A E27 Blub that can be dimmed and a remote dimmer £15

E27 LED Bulb + Dimmer
E27 LED Bulb + Dimmer

The dimmer looks very cool. It looks like it’s accelerometer based, comes with a little magnetic mount that can be stuck or screwed to the wall or it can be just stuck to the front of the fridge. If you turn it slowly it dims/brightens or if you turn it faster it turns the light on and off. You can pair each remote with up to 10 bulbs, so it can control a whole room (all be it all at once).

Bulbs on their own start at £9 and they are doing E14, GU10 formats as well as several versions of E27.

A Network Gateway that plugs into the router £25

TRÅDFRI Ethernet bridge
TRÅDFRI Ethernet bridge

The bridge is USB powered and comes with little USB power supply and a length of ethernet cable to connect it to your router.

I’m going to set the bridge up on a separate network and capture the traffic between the Android App and the bridge to see what the network traffic looks like. I’ll post again with the captured data and my progress as well as sticking it all up on github so others can build libraries for other systems, like OpenHab.

I’m keeping the notes on how I’m getting on with working out how to drive the gateway here

6 thoughts on “TRÅDFRI – Ikea’s new Smart lighting system”

  1. Sounds great! I’d be interested in knowing if you have to pair the dimmer with a bulb or could you use it (with the gateway) to control something else in node-red?

    1. It comes pre-paired with the bulb, but you can unpair it.

      I get the feeling they talk directly to the bulbs, but as you say, if they can talk to the bridge that would be cool.

  2. Is it possible to pair a lamp directly with the network gateway? I’m saying this because I went to a IKEA store to buy a network gateway and 2 GU10 Tradfri lamps and they told me that I need to buy a remote too. The lamp will be available to the gateway only after a first pairing process with the remote. Is it like that? For me this doesn’t make any sense.

    1. Not as far as I can see from the API, you need a remote.

      It looks like a deliberate choice by IKEA because it solves the problem that finding a phone and opening an app just takes too long compared to a light switch.

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