The Swedish furniture giant IKEA has now launched a series of LED smart lights. The design of the LED lights is very slick as they look like ordinary light bulbs yet allows control via a remote. The series will also come with a gateway which enables that the lights are controlled via an app. The app will be an interface to make timer settings so that the lights are automatically switched On or Off.
Picture 1 Network courtesy of ZigBee.org
The technology used is the ZigBee light link open standard which uses a mesh network topology. The standard is commonly used for low power devices where long battery life is critical. The trade-off is the distance that a node can transmit but this is compensated with the mesh network topology. Generally the standard is more cost efficient compared to WiFi or Bluetooth and is for that reason preferred in some home automation applications.
The basic kit (Gateway, remote and 2x LED lights) comes at a price of 75 EUR. Other add-ons in the series is motion sensors, LED doors, Dimmers but it is also compatible to other products that apply to the ZigBee alliance standard. IKEA goes out strong with very competitive prices and given their market reach they will present a challenge for other players in this area.