There’s nothing smart in my home.
I still need to get up, walk over and flip every switch, turn every knob and draw every blind.
While I do not mind the physical exertion (it does help add up to 10,000 steps per day) and may not fully embrace this whole Smart Home concept, I have been watching IKEA’s foray in the field of home automation.
From my standpoint, I believe it’s one of those things that will eventually become a way of life. Like television with a remote control. (Who remembers the days when you had to turn a dial to change channels?)
But it’ll still be a few years along.
IKEA’s entry into the game has hastened its development, no doubt. Making home smart solutions a lot more affordable and accessible to the masses.
For instance, it’s latest smart light offering in a retro brown glass bulb costs only $9.99. (A competitor sells for $24.99.) On the product page, it writes the 250-lumen wireless dimmable product “resembles old light bulbs with filaments, tinted clear glass and warm light which create atmosphere.”
Besides the growing range of TRÅDFRI smart lighting, IKEA Home smart collection includes the FYRTUR blinds, SYMFONISK wifi speakers and wireless control outlet kits that basically lets you automate anything plugged in, say, a coffee maker to start brewing your java first thing in the morning.
What does it mean for us IKEA hackers?
We rejoice, of course. Because there are more things to hack.
The SYMFONISK has started to get hacked. Like this hack, making it a battery powered portable wi-fi speaker.
And now, the TRÅDFRI remote control gets a hack.
The TRÅDFRI remote control is sold separately and can be paired with up to 10 LED light bulbs, LED light panels or LED light doors at a time. With it, you can dim, switch on and off, choose colors and step by step change from warm to cold light.
However, Per found an issue with it. He says, “Using TRÅDFRI on a sofa lamp is great. You can turn it on and off from your phone, and you can place a remote switch where you like.
However when you start using TRÅDFRI to replace existing ceiling lighting, you will soon realize a problem: If the light is turned off by the wall switch, you cannot turn it on by remote or app, because there is no power going to the light.”
His solution is to replace the wall switch with a remote. Only problem was, it didn’t look integrated.
So, now the plan is to transfer the electronics from the remote to a switch that fits the design. The the design is so compact, that is does not require space behind it, and can be mounted directly on the wall.
Per modified it to fit the FUGA system, only used in Denmark. See the modified switch on the left.
He says, “It is possible to used a converter to fit the size used in the rest of Europe. But it does not look as good.”
The full instructions for the conversion is in this wiki.
Be inspired by this hack to make a solution that fits your wall switch and plug system.
Please be careful with mains electricity, and take note of the law and regulations in your country. This hack avoids mains electricity by being mounted directly on the wall.