Tradfri — How to setup an easy smart light system for absolute beginners
Are you looking to make the lights in your apartment a little smarter? You like the idea of having a smart light system but have no knowledge and/or time to deal with a complicated setup process? Here is how you can build a super simple automatic lighting setup for cheap with the IKEA Tradfri system.
If you are just getting started and are looking for a smart yet cheap system with potential for something bigger try looking at the IKEA Tradfri line of smart devices. Most smart light solution are expensive, require you to install an App or setup some more complicated control system. Don’t get me wrong, a smart lighting system like I describe here, is awesome. But at the same time it is also too complicated for some. The IKEA system can be super simple and is quite cheap.
For the very simple setup you just need two things: a smart lightbulb from the IKEA Tradfri and a motion sensor. A standard white light costs around 8–15€, the motion sensor 10€, so you can get a full setup for less than 25€. Everything is wireless and batteries for the motion sensor are included already (they are supposed to run for about 2 years).
The best part about this for me: the setup takes around 5 minutes and you don’t need anything else: no App, no controller.
Just screw the light bulb into your lamp and turn on the light. It should light up like a normal light bulb. Now take your motion sensor and hold it close to the light bulb. On the back there is a button for pairing (see manual). Click and hold that for about 10 seconds until the light bulb flashes one time. Congratulations, the setup process is done, the motion sensor is not linked directly to the light bulb. It will turn on the light for some time whenever it senses motion and automatically turn it off again afterwards.
If you want to you can now change some settings via switches on the motion sensor. Set the sensor to night mode to only turn on lights during the night and control the brightness by setting it either to 30% or 100%.
At any time you can also link more light bulbs to the one sensor by using the same linking process. Up to 10 light bulbs are possible, so this trick should also work for big rooms. You can also get additional sensors and light bulbs for other rooms. The only important thing you need to do is keep the power to the light bulbs on at all times. Otherwise they can not work. So no more “old school” switching off lights. All of this works best for smaller less used rooms like hallways and bath rooms.
Once you are finish building this setup above you already have a nice and kind of smart light system. This is only for absolute beginners though. If you are willing to put a little more time into this project, head over to my blog to see how to build a full awesome smart light system out of this.