This spring will see IKEA venture into smart home technology and an article in The Verge points out that it’s every bit as inexpensive as you’d expect. Instead, IKEA is focused on providing consumers with the best value for money with its wire free smart kit.
This will include wall mounted dimmer switches that are battery-powered, white spectrum bulbs and a small hub so users can create groupings for devices to work together. With this wire-free kit, there are free apps for android and iOS, but the price is some $50 lower than Philips Hue starter kit which has very similar specs.
The article also breaks costs of items in unit prices, showing the savings that can be made by choosing IKEA. For example, whereas a wall mounted dimmer switch will cost $12.99, one from Hue will cost $24.99. Even their lightbulb is less than half the price while still being dimmable and throwing out an equally as good light. It is also possible to buy a motion sensor from IKEA that comes as part of a kit with a smart LED bulb and which will retail for $24.99. A comparable sensor from Hue costs $39.99 without the extra light bulb.
While there’s no denying that Philips Hue offers a more sophisticated selection of stand-alone lights, the possibility of incorporating IKEA Smart lights into furniture from this retailer makes it far more likely that people will adopt their smart home technology. The article also points out that the furniture retailier sells a lot of lights and to some extent is able to influence the industry in the direction it would like to go. It could be that smart home lighting is just the tip of the iceberg for IKEA and that it could introduce smart controllers for window coverings that could, in turn, be integrated with a thermostat or with a smart lock. This might be the future, whether IKEA intends to carry out these initiatives on its own or with a partnership with other companies.