IKEA bulbs & dimmers work with a Philips hue hub

they work together but not everything is possible

As an early adopter I’ve come to feel that Philips Hue lighting system gains more praise than it needs. Dozens of other makers now do pretty good bulbs. I was one of the fools that bought a kit (when it was sold exclusively at the Apple Store). Three bulbs for £170? No more that – but now I’ve got that off my chest I’ll be useful:

IKEA’s own smart bulbs and gadgets cost much less than Philips’. IKEA’s Tradfri bulbs also share the same Zigbee protocol used by Philips Hue and this ensures objects interoperate to some degree. You won’t need the Tradfri hub for the minimal setup I describe here.

this is what works together

  • A Philips hue hub with any reasonable number of Philips hue bulbs without the IKEA Tradfri gateway.
  • IKEA Tradfri bulbs. Add them to the Philips hue hub using the hue app
  • The IKEA Tradfri remote dimmer is able to control hue and ikea bulbs. But don’t use the app for this, instead you must a) pair the Tradfri dimmer with the Hue bridge b) pair the Tradfri dimmer with each bulb in turn.
  • Ideally turn off all your bulbs at the mains. Install the Hue and Me app and find the Touchlink button in the app
    • Underneath the IKEA remote press the set button four times quickly and wait a few seconds. Hold the remote next to the Philips hue hub. Hold down the IKEA remote set button and press the Touchlink button in the app. The remote should briefly glow.
    • Turn on the bulb to be controlled at the mains and put the remote right next to it, holding down its pair button. Keep holding the button until the bulb stops flashing.
    • Repeat for each bulb you want to control or dim. Hereon, the dimmer will turn them all on, dim or off in one press. The Hue and Me app can be removed – though you might find it adds value.

update: I get so annoyed that I buy a generation 2 Philips Hue Hub

While all of the above still holds true, Philips stopped supporting the round hub shown above, the app stopped updating and there were so many irks I bought the newer hub cheaply on ebay. I’m gratified to gain plenty new features, such as bulbs able to remember their last state and that the system once again works with Amazon Alexa / Google Home.

update: use the IKEA table top dimmer as a TV volume control

It works but the write up of this project is on my to-do list. I bought a more generic Zigbee dongle for £7. Here’s the short write-up:

  • Itead SONOFF Dongle Zigbee CC2531 USB Dongle Module Bare Board Packet Protocol Analyzer Interface
  • Connect the above to a Raspberry Pi running Home Assistant.
  • Install Zigbee2mqtt in Home Assistant. Now you have a zigbee hub you can control and ‘own’.
  • Pair the Tradfri dimmer table top with the new hub. My dimmer was the round style which has been discontinued (it seemingly wasn’t liked).
  • Use Node Red to detect clockwise and other movements of the dimmer (not so hard)
  • Use Node Red to control the TV volume
  • Use Node Red to detect the state of the Sony TV and decide whether the Freesat / Freeview / TV / Playstation is active and needs pausing or playing (quite hard)

Credit – for more detail see https://redsilico.com/blog/ikea-tradri-remote-with-hue-hub

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