Tag Archives: Hue

How To Use Ikea Tradfri Bulbs with Philips Hue



When it comes to smart lighting, Philips Hue is the market leader (UK) with a range of bulbs, luminaires and accessories, plus a good app and comprehensive integration to other smart systems. On the other hand, Ikea’s Tradfri is more basic but with the important benefit of being cheap and widely available in Ikea’s stores.

Inevitably, the question crops up… can Tradfri bulbs be used with Philips Hue? The short answer is yes as the Tradfri bulbs use the Zigbee system to communicate, just like Hue. The slightly longer answer is that while it’s possible, there are a number of steps in the process to get the Tradfri bulb transferred reliably onto the the Hue system. This article runs through those steps and the included video will show them too.

As a side note, the cost benefit of Ikea bulbs over Philips isn’t what it used to be, as the price of Hue bulbs, especially white, has significantly dropped in the past year or two, especially with regular 3-for-2 deals. Where the Tradfri bulbs really score though is on brightness. The brightest Hue bulb is around 800 lumens (lm) whereas Tradfri does 1000 lm, which is a noticeable difference. I now have three 1000 lm Tradfri bulbs in my home setup for spaces that would otherwise be too dim using Hue lights.

Let’s cut to the chase….here are my steps to painless use of Tradfri bulbs with Hue.

Part 1 – Tradfri Setup

  1. Buy (or borrow) a Tradfri gateway, dimmer (or other steering device, as Ikea calls them) and bulb(s). Ok, you might not need the gateway and dimmer but my experience suggests it makes life a whole lot easier (you can try going to Part 3 directly). Yes, it puts the price up so maybe this is a chance to ask around and see if you can nip round to a friend’s house to do the first part.
  2. Connect up the gateway with power and a network cable. Wait for all three lights.
  3. Download the Ikea Tradfri app to your phone. Run the app and pair with the gateway – all you have to do is scan a QR code on the back of the gateway.
  4. Continue to the use the app to walk you through the linking process for the dimmer. Pair the dimmer with the gateway by holding down the link button until the lights on the gateway flash. Read the instructions for other steering devices. The app will confirm correct linking.
  5. Plug the bulb into a handy lamp or light fitting and turn it on. The bulb should be lit. Make sure the lamp can be turned on and off easily – you’ll need it later.
  6. Again using the Tradfri app, go through the process of pairing the dimmer with the bulb. Hold the dimmer close to the bulb and press the link button. Watch the app to confirm linking.
  7. The bulb should now be shown in the app and can be controlled with the dimmer. Try it out to make sure.

Part 2 – Update and Disconnect

  1. The next step is to ensure that the bulb’s firmware is up-to-date. Use the Tradfri app to check  and update as necessary. This step is important in case the bulb is an old model with incompatible firmware. Updating to the latest version will remove the incompatibility.
  2. Next, use the app to disconnect the bulb from the gateway. Yes, I know it’s only just been added but trust me. Follow the instructions and use the dimmer. Don’t turn the light off yet.

Part 3 – Connect to Hue

  1. In the next part, you will need to be able to hold the Tradfri bulb very close to the Hue hub. Sort that out first.
  2. I recommend an app called Hue Essentials. It works with both Hue and Tradfri systems, but it’s only available for Android. The reason to recommend Essentials is that it supports a feature called Touchlink. It does have in-app purchases but you don’t need to pay for any of them. There must be similar Hue apps for iOS – look for ones that support Touchlink.
  3. Use Hue Essentials to find and select the Hue hub. Ignore the Tradfri one. You can even turn it off.
  4. Navigate to the part of the app to add or search for new bulbs. It should be like the screen shot on the right.
  5. To reset the Tradfri bulb, you need to switch it off and on six times. A steady quick pace does the job.
  6. Now position the bulb right next to the Hue hub.
  7. In Hue Essentials, press the “Touchlink” button in the bottom right. I find you often have to press it twice to work properly.
  8. If successful, the Tradfri bulb will start to pulse. At this point, press the “Search for Lights” button at the top. With luck, Hue Essentials will find the bulb and add it into the Hue system. Sweet!
  9. That’s it. Now the Ikea bulb is in the system, it can be used as any other Hue bulb. Mine was allocated to “Garden” and then set to come on when motion was detected at the back of the house. I’ve had no problems in several weeks of use.

If you’d like to see these steps in action, then check out the video below which goes through all the steps. It’s about 20 minutes overall. Get a drink.

Any problems or issues, leave a comment below and I’ll see if I can help.


Sleep Well with Philips Hue at CES



Announced at CES, Philips Hue will closely integrate with Google Assistant to activate sleep and wake lighting effects to replicate the best lighting for winding down before bed time and waking up naturally in the morning. This is the first integration of the Philips Hue sleep and wake up feature with a digital assistant platform.

From launch, the features will include:

  • One-time alarm sync: Users can say “Hey Google, turn on gentle wake up” which will sync their Philips Hue lights with subsequent morning alarms on Google Assistant. Every time the user sets their alarm on the Google Assistant, Philips Hue lights will naturally wake the user up with a sunrise effect commencing 30 minutes beforehand.
  • Scheduled sleep / wake: Users will be able to set sleep by saying “Hey Google, sleep the lights at 10pm”, changing the lights to a warm tone of white light which gradually fades over thirty minutes. It’s the reverse of the wake up process.
  • Direct action: Users can instruct their Philips Hue lights via the Google Assistant to sleep and wake immediately, meaning the Philips Hue lights will activate the sleep and wake process directly for the 30-minute duration.
  • Multi Person activation: Just like the Hue app, the Google Home app lets you manage your lights in different rooms which means you can set the wake-up routine not only for your own bedroom, but also for other rooms, e.g. Kids’ bedroom, Jimmy’s bedroom, etc

I have an Hue Iris as my bedside light and can attest to the benefits of having a light-based alarm clock.

Research is increasingly showing the important role light plays in how we feel and how well we sleep. Melatonin, the hormone that helps to regulate our wake and sleep cycle, is influenced by light, whether that’s natural or artificial light. By having the right light as we prepare for bed, we can get a better night’s sleep, whereas waking up with the right light can help us start the day feeling more energised.

While many people need an alarm clock to wake up in the morning, by using light that simulates sunrise by gradually increasing light levels before the alarm goes off, you can improve well-being, mood and cognitive performance even much later in the day.

Sleep plays such an important role in our health and well-being, so we’re pleased to be adding yet another option for our users to help them relax before bedtime and wake up in a way that prepares them well for the day ahead,” says Duncan McCue, Head of Partnerships for Philips Hue at Signify.
Signify is the new name for Philips Lighting – not sure on pronunciation, though…Sig-nify or Sign-ify? Probably the latter.

The new feature will be accessible to all consumers in English speaking countries by March 2019.

For more information about Philips Hue products visit www.meethue.com.


Philips Hue Expands Outdoors at CES



The Philips Hue range has been extended into the garden at this year’s CES with new outdoor luminaires and, more importantly, there’s now a Hue Outdoor motion sensor.

With a premium on indoor space, outdoor spaces are now an affordable extension of your home. Hue’s outdoor lighting range gives you more choice than ever before to brighten up gardens with 16 million colours or bright white light. Whether it’s welcoming a guest at your front door, enjoying a BBQ on the patio or a quiet drink as the sun goes down, you can add a touch of light and ambience for the perfect moment with the new Philips Hue Outdoor fixtures.

Your home is not only the space within your four walls, but includes your outdoor areas, too. We saw tremendous enthusiasm for our initial Philips Hue Outdoor range and we’re now giving our consumers even more ways to bring their front and backyards to life with light,” said Jasper Vervoort, Business Leader, Home Systems and Luminaires at Signify. “We’re happy to expand our Hue Outdoor range so our users can set the right light for each moment of the day. Most importantly, we’re helping them feel safe and secure at home with powerful lighting options while allowing them to personalize their outdoor ambiance.

The addition of a wireless, battery-powered and weather-resistant motion sensor to the Hue range is much needed. With this, Hue can turn on lights automatically when you arrive in the dark, welcoming you home with light as you approach. Via the Philips Hue app, you can choose which lights – inside or out – go on when someone passes by the sensor, and make it look like someone is always at home.

Place the Hue Outdoor sensor on a flat wall in your garage, around your door or where it matters most in your garden. It has a detection range of 12m (39ft) and an integrated dusk-to-dawn sensor, ensuring that your lights will only turn on when it is dark outside. The sensor (RRP: EUR 49.95 / USD 49.95) will be available for purchase in Europe and North America in February 2019.

The newest additions to the outdoor lighting range, available in North America and Europe in February 2019.

  • The Philips Hue Welcome Flood Light (RRP: EUR 129.99 / USD 109.99), a wall-mounted fixture in one shade of bright white light
  • The Philips Hue Discover Flood Light (RRP: EUR 149.99 / USD 139.99), a wall-mounted fixture with White and Color Ambiance light
  • The Philips Hue Econic family of wall lights (RRP: EUR 139.99 / USD 129.99 and EUR 139.99 / USD 129.99)

Available in Europe only, in February 2019.

  • The Philips Hue Econic pedestal and post (RRP: EUR 129.99 and 159.99)
  • The Philips Hue Fuzo family (RRP: from EUR 79.99), which includes a pedestal, a post and three wall lights, with white light.
  • The Philips Hue Calla large bollard (RRP: EUR 149.99, extension available for EUR 119.99), which is a bigger version of the already available Calla path light and has White and Colour Ambiance light

For more information about the new Philips Hue Outdoor smart lighting products, please visit meethue.com.


Immersive Entertainment with Philips Hue at CES 2018



At CES 2018, Philips Lighting have announced the latest evolution of the Hue ecosystem which brings immersive interaction between entertainment – gaming, movies and music – and Hue lighting. Simplistically, Hue can colour the room around you to complement the action in the game. Sweet!

Following a free, over-the-air software update, Philips Hue customers with colour-capable lights and a Philips Hue v2 bridge can enjoy truly immersive home entertainment experiences. The new software, created as a result of pilots (Sharknardo!), insights and feedback gained from leading companies in the entertainment industry, synchronizes Philips Hue lights perfectly with gaming, movie and music content. Razer, the world’s leading lifestyle brand for gamers, is the first partner to go live.

Accompanying the new Hue Entertainment functionality, Philips Lighting will introduce Hue Sync, an application that will run on any Windows 10 or macOS High Sierra-based computer, in Q2 2018. Philips Hue Sync creates immediate, immersive light scripts for any game, movie or music played on the computer, so consumers can enjoy the content they are playing, watching or listening to even more. I have to say that sounds pretty cool but I hope they bring out a version that can work with DVRs like Sky Q or Tivo and media streamers such as the Roku or Fire TV.

Finally, In summer 2018, Philips Lighting will take the Hue experience outside the home with the debut of an outdoor line. This new line of products will let consumers get more out of their exterior lighting by allowing them to personalise their ambience for any moment outside, whether simply relaxing with family or entertaining friends. It will also increase their peace of mind when arriving home or while away.

Keep an eye on meethue.com for further Hue updates.


Philips Brings Candles to Hue



In news that will delight Hue and smart home owners everywhere, Philips has announced Hue Candle bulbs in two variants, one in white ambiance and the other white and colour ambiance. Philips say that the new shape means Hue bulbs can be installed in over 80% of lights commonly used round the world.

The new bulbs will be equivalent to 40W at full brightness and come in the B39 form factor for lamps with B14 (SES) sockets. The white bulb will consume 6W and output 470 lm @ 4000K. The colour one consumes more at 6.5W but light output is similar.

The candle has been one of the most requested products by Philips Hue customers. We’ve spent time ensuring it is of the highest quality and available in both white ambiance and white and colour ambiance. It is an important next step to ensure seamless integration in all rooms, giving you the freedom to personalize lighting throughout your home,” says Sridhar Kumaraswamy, Business Leader Connected Home Systems at Philips Lighting.

As Hue already integrates with other smart home systems like Samsung SmartThings and controllers like Amazon’s Alexa, the new candle bulbs can be seamlessly added to an existing Hue set.

The new Philips Hue Candle will be available in Europe by the end of April and later this year in North America, priced from EUR 34.95 (that’ll be the white ambiance bulb, I would imagine).


Philips Hue at Gadget Show Live



Hue Personal Wireless LightingWe’ve always been fans of the Philips Hue here at GNC and looking back I reviewed Hue back in December 2013. At that time, Hue was only a small range of connected light bulbs. Today Hue has a much wider range of bulbs and integrates with other elements of the connected home such as Nest, while Hue Tap brings practicality, turning on lights with a physical switch.

The latest addition to the family is Hue Go, a portable light with a built-in rechargeable battery giving three hours of light. Bowl-shaped and 12 cm across, the Go can be controlled as any Hue light via the app. Off-net when there’s no smartphone handy, the Go’s on lamp controls can switch through seven presets, making the Go great outside even when there’s no wi-fi.

Hue Go

For more on the latest developments in Hue’s world listen to my interview with Chris from Philips at Gadget Show Live.


Philips Hue and FC Bayern Munich



Hue Personal Wireless LightingThis is going to be a challenging post for a large chunk of GNC’s audience. Not only is it about football with a round ball, it’s about German football too. Anyway….Philips have partnered with one of the biggest club’s in Europe, Fußball-Club Bayern München to promote Philips Hue LED lighting systemFC Bayern Munich logo (German / English)

With names familiar to soccer fans worldwide, the promotional video shows off the footwork of Xabi Alonso and Rafinha, the skills of Arjen Robben, Jerome Boateng and the safe hands of Manuel Neuer. The video’s short lighting sequences illustrate the wide range of options and lamp colour changes, all controllable via an app available for both iOS and Android.

The eye-catching and visually impressive campaign with the FC Bayern stars underlines Philips Lighting’s leadership,” says Thomas Fine, Head of Brand, Communications and Philips Digital DACH. “It also shows how the future of lighting looks in your own home, and how light brings emotions into our everyday life.Light Magic is the 20 second, emotional spot that runs on all major private broadcasters in Germany from mid-December onwards. There’s a longer version of the advert here.

In the coming months, the Munich football stadium will also be equipped with comprehensive exterior LED lighting. Its 380,000 light spots will allow dynamic colour changes with a range of 16 million colours, just like Philips Hue bulbs. The partnership between Philips and FC Bayern Munich is long-term, designed to increase awareness of light as an emotional product and position Philips as the leading innovator in the field of LED lighting.

You can read GNC’s review of the Philips Hue lighting system from last year.