IKEA Trådfri lights with Home Assistant

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get started with Home Assistant and home automation in general is getting yourself a couple of IKEA Trådfri lights in combination with a Philips Hue bridge. When I looked into home automation, I was shocked with the price of the Philips Hue set and kept me from starting with it. The amount of lights I would need in my house would easily set me back some Dollars, or Euros as we use here. By that time it didn’t seem to be worth it for me. But then IKEA came with its Trådfri (which I think means something like, “walk free”, if it means anything at all) line. A line of really affordable devices like lights, power plugs, motion sensors, buttons and even some light panels.

At first I looked into using the IKEA devices with its own gateway, however I read mixed reviews about its stability. Then I found out that Philips Hue supports the Trådfri lights with its own Hue bridge. Isn’t that great news for us! I was lucky enough to receive a free coupon to spent in the Apple Store so I got myself a Philips Hue bridge and got myself a couple of IKEA Trådfri lights. It was a walk in the park to add them to the Hue bridge and then connect them to Home Assistant to use them in automation. I do have to say that for now only the Trådfri lights are supported by Philips and not the other devices like the power switch, however there are (easy) ways to add those to your smart home network as well.

Let’s start with our Philips Hue bridge first.

The idea is to connect the IKEA lights to the Philips Hue bridge first. That way you are able to control them like any other Hue light out of the box. But we want more! After that we will connect the Hue bridge to our Home Assistant installation and that way we can also control the lights. It will beautifully synchronize with the Hue app on your phone, so the lights will always have the same state, irrespective from which device/machine you controlled the lights.

Setting up your Philips Hue bridge in your network.

Step 1:
Plug an Ethernet cable in the bridge and power it up.

Step 2:
Wait till the 3 lights come up on the bridge.

Step 3:
Download the Philips Hue app on your phone and follow the directions in the app to connect to the Hue bridge. Keep in mind that you need to be connected to the same network as the Hue bridge otherwise the app won’t find it.

Step 4:
Done with the Hue bridge installation.

Connecting an IKEA light to the Hue bridge.

Step 1:
Do a factory reset of the light. To do so you must plug it into a power socket which you can easily turn off and on. To do the reset turn the light off initially and then 6 times on-off ending with the light being on. When the light goes on, turn it off straight away so that the light blinks for a very short period, then leave off for a second and then repeat 6 times. When the factory reset is successful you will see a small blink of the light when it’s on.

Step 2:
Turn off the IKEA light.

Step 3:
In the Hue app go Settings – Light configuration – Add light. It will give you the possibility to search for new lights. After the search begins, turn on the IKEA light and it will be found after a while.

Step 4:
Give the lights a suitable name and add them to a room of your choice.
That’s all for adding your IKEA lights to your Hue bridge. It works like a charm, it’s stable and fast. You can play around with some small automations within the Hue app and see what the possibilities are. However, we go on and add the lights to Home Assistant as well. Then you can combine devices from all kinds of manufacturers into one smart home instance. That is the power of Home Assistant!

Adding the Hue bridge to Home Assistant

When you have the Hue bridge in your network already and you open Home Assistant, you can click on Configuration in the left hand menu and then Integrations and it will ask you to automatically connect the Hue bridge to your Home Assistant installation.
When done, you will find all the lights as entities (e.g. light.bedroom_light) you can use in automations and your groups.

If the Hue bridge does not show up in Integrations, you have to manually add it to your configuration.yaml file. Therefore you need to have the Configurator add-on installed.
You can find how to do that in this post.
When installed go to the configurator and open the configuration.yaml file.
Add the following code to the file:

Hue:   
  bridges:      
    -host: DEVICE_IP_ADDRESS 

You can find the IP address of your Hue bridge by opening the Hue app, go to Setting —> Hue Bridges —> click the little “i” on the right of the name of your bridge.
Remember to do the configuration validation and reload the Home Assistant server.

That’s all for your IKEA integration into Home Assistant!

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