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Philips Hue vs. Ikea Tradfri

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Phillips Hue is one of the leading smart lights in the home lighting market. It has bulbs that are white, color changing bulbs, light strips and switches, but how does it compare to the Ikea Tradfri that is a naturally affordable lighting system that makes it a great entry point into smart lighting.

Apart from the price, we will look at the deeper functionality of Philips Hue compared to Ikea Tradfri as seen in this article.

Philips Hue vs. Ikea Tradfri

Philips Hue vs. Ikea Tradfri

This table below competes Hue with Ikea Tradfri.

Philips Hue Ikea Tradfri
Philips HueIkea Tradfri
Editors Choice
Rating
Available in Color?
ConnectivityWi-Fi, ZigBeeBluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee
Max Output800 lumens980 lumens
Requires Hub?
Dimmable
Geofencing-
Amazon Alexa
Google Home
Apple HomeKit
IFTTT-
PriceCheck it OutCheck it Out

The only thing missing from Ikea is color, Ikea has different bulbs that are white and which can easily swap the average existing fixtures and lamps of buyers; the absence of the LED color-changing bulbs is one of the greatest omission in the line. It is also a cool thing about smart lighting that is disappointing. Phillips Hue is strong on color and therefore has an obvious advantage if this is important to you.

On the other hand, Ikea Tradfri’s offer is noticeably simpler and easy to understand in the early days. Its starter kit is brought around with two E27 screw bulbs “white spectrum,” the bridges that are wireless which are needed for the use of the app and a remote that is portable. In it, you also get a dimming kit that has a remote with a light bulb, a wireless motion sensor that has a bulb. E14 and GU10 bulbs are also available.

Connectivity

Both lighting systems require a bridge that the bulbs wireless connect too, also both have an app for your smart phone and tablet that we discuss in the next section. You can pair up with fifty devices with a single Hue bridge. Hue can be bought with a dimmer switch, or the Hue tap giving you a physical switch in your home that works with your Hue bulbs. There is also a motion sensor allowing your lights to come on when you walk by, another great way hue bulbs connects with other hue products in the home.

The Hue system will work with a lot of other smart gadgets in the home, as well as controlling your lights through Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple Homekit for instance. As you can connect your light with these systems you can also link them with other gadgets such as the Nest thermostat, Ring doorbell, Nest smoke alarms or security camera.

While Hue is certainly not limited by what it can work and connect with, Ikea bulbs are, they have however recently announced that their bulbs now work with Google Home and Amazon Echo, so better late than never.

Again the Phillips Hue is the best when it comes to connectivity.

Winner: Philips Hue

Apps

Phillip Hue’s latest 3.0 smartphone app had a recent redesign, making it easier to use, adding new scenes and the feature of Hue entertainment added. Hue Entertainment allows you to set up rooms where you can mark where your lights are making it work with gaming products such as Razor and Hue Sync which we discuss below.

As well as the official Philips App, there are loads of other third party apps that help maximise the use and potential of Hue bulbs, such as Disco apps, music apps and special effects for halloween or Christmas.

The Ikea Tradfri app offers almost the same basic functionality’ although not all of it. The Ikeas app is simple, and easy to use, it is a bit slow at times and can be sluggish to connect too.

As well as phone and tablet apps, Philips have Hue Sync, an app for Mac and Windows PC’s that allows you to sync your lights with music, films and games being played through that device. This is a big advantage not over just Ikea bulbs, but also other smart bulbs on the market.

Winner: Philips Hue

Light by Color

At the moment Ikea bulbs are white only, where as with Philips Hue it is all about the color, they do white bulbs too, however they also have a range of color bulbs, lights such as the Bloom and Hue Go, as well as light strips. When it comes to color Hue is the one winner here.

Winner: Philips Hue

Brightness

If there is one downside to the Hue bulbs it is the brightness of them, they are at the dimmer end of the spectrum compared to other smart bulbs when it comes to brightness and compared to the Ikea bulbs also loses out.

Although I don’t think the brightness is an issue, others do flag this as a concern, brighter is always better as you can easily dim them down via the app.

Winner: Ikea Tradfri

Price & Value

Compared to all smart bulbs Philips Hue is at the top end and one of the most expensive bulb systems on the market, Ikea’s range on the other hand is a lot cheaper making it great value for someone that is looking to enter the smart bulb world.

Most would always expect that since Ikea is about value it would be cheaper and more cost effective. One can save on Ikea’s white bulbs since they are cheaper than Hue’s bulbs, so if you are not interested in color then Ikea bulbs are worth considering as you can make a good saving with these over the Hue ecosystem.

That being said Hue has a lot more options and features, but when it comes to value and overall price the Traffri bulbs win here.

Winner: Ikea Tradfri

Our Verdict

For a smart bulb system Hue wins hands down, it has a lot more options in terms of bulbs, fittings and switches, it also works seamlessly with Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apples Homekit. Hue bulbs can be bought in white only, or white and color, another advantage over Ikea bulbs.

However if you don’t see the need for color and only need white bulbs, then Ikea bulbs are worth considering mainly due to price and the saving you can make over Hue like for like bulbs.

Overall Winner: Philips Hue

To get going with Philips Hue a starter kit is a great place to begin, it comes with a bridge that is needed as well as bulbs to suit your home. You can buy starter kits with white only bulbs, or color too.

In conclusion, the comparison between Philips Hue and Ikea Tradfri shows that Hue is the best product that one can purchase for it has a lot more options and possibilities as compared to Ikea’s. The only area in which Ikea Tradfri beats the Philip’s is in prices.

Philips Hue is a little bit expensive, but it offers the best services; when it comes to connectivity, Hue easily connects faster than Ikea, and when it comes to the app, Hue still has the best app and after being recently updated and new apps such as Hue Sync it has to be a clear winner.


Founder & Editor

Mike is the founder of Hue Home Lighting, a huge Hue fan with far too many lights, covering home and garden. A smart home gadget addict and also enjoys the odd bit of DIY

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