Rachel KaserInternet Culture Writer
Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.
IKEA is opening smart home lighting up to the masses with an affordable collection of app-controlled lightbulbs.
The TRÅDFRI collection is a series of cheap smart lightbulbs and accessories. The lights only glow on the white spectrum. Features include timers and color temperature control, which are pretty simplistic. The price point will no doubt make it appealing to IKEA’s audience of cash-strapped twentysomethings (including me; hey, I own it).
The centerpiece of this new collection is the TRÅDFRI Gateway kit, a collection of two bulbs, remote, and gateway hub which connects everything to the app. Also in the TRÅDFRI collection is a motion sensor, and a tiny, circular remote that dims lights by being spun in your fingers.
TRÅDFRI lacks a lot of features — it’s definitely not as cool as the Aurora lights Napier was drooling over. But it’s cheaper than its competitors by a longshot. The Philips Hue Starter Kit costs $200 for three bulbs and a remote control, while the largest TRÅDFRI collection, the Gateway, is only $80.
Also, it’s available at IKEA, the most approachable big box store in the world. There’s no better way to convince doubters to buy a seemingly-frivolous item like smart lightbulbs than to put it between the cheap desks and Swedish meatballs.
The TRÅDFRI app will be available at the end of the month. Presumably the rest of the collection will follow soon after.
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