The just-released Tradfri LED bulb E26 250 lumen isn’t Ikea’s first smart light bulb — far from it. As of this writing, Ikea sells at least ten different smart lights. Yet, the newest addition to the Tradfri smart light family stands out for two reasons. First, it’s the company’s first smart filament light bulb, meaning it’s more decorative and glows a little warmer (2200 kelvin to be exact). And two, it costs just $10, which is significantly cheaper than other smart filament light bulbs, most significantly the $25 smart filament bulb by Philips Hue.
But before you get too into this, there’s a little bit of catch.
Like the rest of Ikea’s Tradfri smart lights, the new filament light bulb requires a separate piece of hardware if you want to control it with your smartphone. We recommend buying the Tradfri gateway, which costs $35, because in addition to allowing you to control the Tradfri app, it also lets you integrate the light in your smart home system (it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit). If you don’t care about voice control, or you maybe you only have Tradfri smart lights, the Tradfri remote ($16) will let you control up to 10 Tradfri smart lights.
On the flip side, most of Philips Hue’s line of smart lights are a bit more independent. Since most of them are either Zigbee- or Bluetooth-enabled, you won’t need to buy anything else to control them with your smartphone — this is the case with its smart filament bulbs.
(Note: not all of Philips Hue’s smart lights are Zigbee- or Bluetooth-enabled, so be sure to check before buying.)