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Do you need the Ikea Button Controller to use Ikea Smart Bulbs?

Do you need the Ikea Button Controller to use Ikea Smart Bulbs?

I went to our local Ikea store a few weeks ago to start shopping for Ikea Tradfri Smart Bulbs. I wanted to check out the acclaim of these bulbs. The Ikea store had a nice little ‘Ikea Home Smart’ setup. You can see the pictures below. They had lights, and window blinds on one side. Bulbs, controllers, hubs in the middle and Ikea Symfonisk Speakers on the other side.

I was intrigued by the Ikea bulbs because I heard they run on Zigbee protocol. Ikea had joined the Zigbee Alliance late last year. I have a Hubitat at home. Maybe I could connect the Zigbee Bulbs to the Hubitat?

When I arrived at the Ikea Home Smart, I was approached by an Ikea representative. I asked if the Tradfri Hub/Gateway was required to connect to the Tradfri smart bulbs. The rep said that the Tradfri Gateway/Hub was the way to connect to the Tradfri system. The representative continued to explain that the Tradfri controller button was also the only way to control the bulbs.

I was looking for a cool white bulb. There were only 600 lm bulbs at the display, so I thought I’d walk down to the main lighting area. There were lots of people there, looking for these Ikea bulbs, searching the box to see if they needed anything else to connect. I asked one customer what they used to connect to the bulbs since he was not reaching for the Ikea Tradfri Gateway/Hub. The customer said that they had the Philips Hue system and was able to manage the bulbs that way. He said that he had the Ikea Tradfri controller button, and that was the only way to control the bulbs. Suffice to say, I told the customer that I had a home automation blog called I was going to test out this theory – whether you need the controller button to manage the lights.

Do you need the Ikea Controller Button to operate the Ikea Tradfri Bulbs?

I brought the bulbs home opened them up installed them in the Laundry Room. I wanted to use the Samsung SmartThings Motion sensor to activate it.

I flicked the light switch on; my 1000 lm-supposed to be cool white, was a nice soft yellow. Uh-oh. Not looking good so far. I checked the Ikea website for any information on the Tradfri light bulbs. Every support question referred to using the controller button. But, I did not have that. The Hubitat was not finding the Tradfri Zigbee bulb either.

I found out that the bulbs can be reset by flicking the switch on-and-off six (6) times. I thought this might be my chance to get the Hubitat to find the bulb. I flicked the light switch 6-times. I ran back to my PC (connected to the Hubitat) and started the Zigbee Device inclusion process.

Ok, I got it to see the bulb! Yes, we were getting somewhere, but I did not want the bulb to stay soft yellow. I had to search through the to figure out the answer. You have to match the Zigbee Bulb to a generic Hubitat driver called “Generic Zigbee CT Bulb (dev) driver”. Then I had all the options to control lighting temperature (from soft white to cool white).

Using Hubitat commands to control the lighting might not be the first thing you might think of when controlling your lights, however, I have confirmed that you do NOT need the Ikea Tradfri Controller Button to operate the Ikea Tradfri Smart Bulb. Once you connect via the Hubitat, you can then integrate into Google or Alexa.

I hope that you have enjoyed the article. Thank you for reading.


Tuesday 9th of March 2021

Once you got the ikea bulb into the hubitat, did you run into an issue assigning it to the google home app so that the assistant could operate it? I assign it to the google app and it seems to take it but then it kicks it out. I am using the Tradfri LED E26 Zigbee bulb. It works fine in in the Hubitat dash but I just can't get it to crossover into the google home app yet.

Alan Varughese

Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

Hi Ken,

At first when you get the tradfri bulb into ikea, yes. There was some issues assigning it to Google Home. It's been some time, so I need to go back to my notes. I think I was able to add the bulb to google home using the generic CT driver for the ikea tradfri bulb.