Ikea has a lightbulb moment as it muscles into the home automation turf

Ikea has muscled its way into the home automation sector with the release of a cut price smart lighting hub, bulbs and motion detector designed to sex up the simple act of flicking a light switch.

Trådfri, meaning wireless in Swedish, is currently only available in selected European markets but is expected to launch globally at the end of March.

Built around a base station which connects products in the range with a home ethernet connection, the system enables multiple bulbs to be connected, all of which can be controlled centrally in a similar fashion to Phillips Hue – though at a fraction of the cost.

Standard E27 Tradfri bulbs will retail for just $22.68 while smaller GU10 and E14 bulbs can be snapped up for just $16.99. You will need to splash out $28.49 on a gateway controller for any of this to work however.

Where Ikea’s system differs however is in its motion-controlled dimmer switch, a yellow disc which can be rotated clockwise and anti-clockwise to dim and brighten connected bulbs.

In a sign of how seriously Ikea is treating its latest product the retailer has also begun selling a series of LED panels and illuminated doors which can be attached to compatible storage units.

Ikea's most recent innovation was a satirical border wall, a flat pack assembly barrier between the US and Mexico although with only one potential customer it is unlikely to hit the mass market.

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