When looking for smart bulbs, I always go for the dominant player in the field. That’s Philips Hue. However, there is a lot of buzz around IKEA, a household name for affordable furniture. Can IKEA bulbs challenge the Hue, and is it worth your time and money?
Both Philips Hue and IKEA look similar to regular bulbs. But they have a bit of weight to them and are not the worst from an aesthetic standpoint. Each item is dimmable and offers customizable colors. At first glance, the packaging alone shows Hue’s superiority. Most IKEA bulbs come in a flimsy box that can easily damage through shipping and handling. Compared to the Hue thick, durable box.
Spoiler alert: Overall, Philips Hue is the winner in beginners friendly installation because adding the bulbs takes little effort, whereas IKEA requires that you sync each bulb by themself. Even Paul Hibbert, a tech reviewer, called the IKEA smart bulb “rubbish” and “rushed”.
Yet I decided to write this review for people who want a quick comparison of both products so, continue reading to hear my thoughts.
The Price Is The Different
The major difference between IKEA and Philips Hue is the price. For some, the price tag of products can trump quality and functionality. As of this moment, the Hue bulb without its accessories ranges from $19.00 (white) and the Premium ($60.00). The Trådfri Led Bulb is $24.90, not a big of a steal when you consider Hue white.
But with the set, you would notice a drastic price increase between the Hue and IKEA. Therefore, in the category, IKEA wins because the accessories for the HUE are expensive and can put a huge damp in your pocket.
As mentioned above, IKEA falls short in set-up, so if you are not tech-savvy, then it will be very difficult. However, like the Philips Hue, there are a lot of resources online to help with this process. Two common problems many customers have experienced with the Trådfri are difficulties hooking up the app to the gateway.
Turns out your phone needs to be super close to the gateway. Also, you’ll need to reset the controller multiple times for it to work. Compared to Philips Hue, which is one of the easiest smart bulbs to set up, there are some that work with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but the hub works best.
Both bulbs are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple Home Kit, and Google Assistant, which give you another way to control them without the use of an app.
Functionality Of The Trådfri And Hue
We already established that both bulbs come with third-party integration. But what about the app? Hue app is very modern and easy to navigate: comes with many features like set alarms, timers, and schedules. Apart from this, it set color moods, creates rooms, and is very beginner-friendly.
The Hue has the most features to offer because they have been in the business longer. Whereas, the IKEA is basic with only 20 colors compared to the Hue 16 million and settings. Hence, if you are looking for more freedom with color, then go for the Hue.
You can use the IKEA remote the turn on and off the lights, dim, and cycle through colors. One drawback is you can not change the mood. All the lights will change at the same time, while the Hue allows mood alteration with their control.
Tip: the IKEA bulbs can use the Hue Hub so, you can buy both bulbs.
Philps Hue and Trådfri are both equally reliable, especially if you have a Home Kit or hub. Use the Homekit for automation and set scenes and the Hue Hub or IKEA gateway to control the bulbs. They both use Zigbee hence, the reasons they work with each other Hubs. Also, it’s a great idea to have both because you can use them for specific lighting situations.
Another tip is to choose IKEA for regular white and white spectrum/ambient light. The price/performance ratio is better than Hue. If you want RGB lights, Hue is undoubtedly better.
Are IKEA bulbs compatible with Philips hue?
The easy answer is yes, Tradfri lights, like Hue, interact via the Zigbee protocol. However, there are some steps required for the Tradfri bulb to work consistently with the Hue system. Check out this post for more information to hook up IKEA bulbs to the Hue Hub.