Smart home technology is increasing in popularity, with more people using their phones and tablets to control lighting, heating and appliances around their home.
Unfortunately for many, buying accessories to control can be expensive, with a simple disable lightbulb costing over $60.
A less costly way to dip your toe into smart home waters is to use the Ikea TRÅDFRI range. It's a relatively simple system in comparison to the higher end products available, and crucially, works with Apple's own Home app for HomeKit. This, in turn, allows you to use Siri you control your home appliances for minimal cost.
In this tutorial we're going to use Siri to switch on a lamp that's plugged in via an Ikea Wireless Control Outlet by using the command:
Hey Siri, switch on the living room lights
Here's what you'll need before you begin:
This is the procedure we'll be following:
For HomeKit to be able to control your devices, you need to have a designated Home Hub connected to the Wifi signal in your home. Ideally, this would be an Apple TV, HomePod, or iPad (as long as the iPad never leaves your home).
HomePod automatically sets itself up as a home hub so you can control your HomeKit accessories remotely with the Home app and create home automations. Just make sure that the iOS device you used to set up HomePod is signed in to iCloud with the Apple ID that you used to set up your HomeKit accessories in the Home app.
In true Ikea style, the TRÅDFRI Gateway instruction manual consists of a selection of pictures. Thankfully the process is quite easy and involves plugging the device into your router with an ethernet cable for the internet connection, and a USB cable for power.
Once installed, download the Ikea Home Smart app onto your iPhone or iPad.
IMPORTANT: You won't be able to pair devices with your gateway unless you have a steering device - which can be a TRÅDFRI Remote Control or TRÅDFRI Switch.
Depending on the steering device you are using, you will need to follow the instructions supplied. In our case, we're using the remote control.
At this point, you should name your outlet for future reference. Press the 3 little dots next to the outlet name to rename it. This name will be reflected in the Home app.
Your TRÅDFRI Gateway is connected to your HomeKit system.
Once the gateway is connected, all of your devices should display in the Home app, according to the name you gave them in the Ikea Home Smart app.
IMPORTANT: If the name of your accessory has not synced correctly, make sure you enter it again within the Home app by pressing holding the appropriate button. Then tap the small settings icon. Siri will only be able to control accessories individually if they have a unique name.
Asking Siri to control your lights via the Wireless Control Outlet simply requires referencing it by name in your instruction.
For example, if you called your outlet 'Lounge Light', you can say:
Hey Siri, turn on the Lounge Light
Hey Siri, switch off the Lounge Light
In our example, we've used the control outlet to switch a single lamp on an off, but the same method can be used to control any device that is plugged into a socket.
Once your devices are added to the Home app, you can take advantage of features in HomeKit that aren't available in the Ikea Home Smart App.
You can configure all, or specific lights to come on or go off at certain times, or when it's sunset or sunrise.
You can give scenes custom names, so you could say...
Hey Siri, bedtime!
..and your lights would all switch off.