Using IKEA Tradfri remote or dimmer with Hue

There are a number of articles around the web about how to use the (cheaper) IKEA Tradfri bulbs with the Philips Hue hub after a firmware update. However, after doing this they will no longer be controllable by any Tradfri equipment. I have not come across anybody who has been able to use Tradfri remotes and dimmers with the Hue hub (or any lights paired with it). I have however discovered that it is possible to use an IKEA Tradfri remote or dimmer with the Hue system. This means you can use the cheap and well-designed Tradfri steering devices at the same time as the Hue app, motions sensors etc.

Step 1 - pair the Tradfri remote/dimmer with the Hue network

In this step, you must reset the remote, and then pair to the Hue hub via TouchLink. This joins the remote to the Hue's ZigBee network. There are a few different ways to do a a TouchLink search, which is not the same as a regular search. You can use the Hue Lights iOS app, Hue and Me Android appLampFinder Mac/PC/Linux app, or Hue Developers' API (the method I used).

Here's what you need to do in this step:

  1. Reset the remote or dimmer by pressing the pair button 4 times quickly.
  2. Wait 10 seconds.
  3. Hold the remote directly next to the Hue hub (as close as possible).
  4. Hold the pair button.
  5. Immediately initiate a TouchLink search.

The light (on the front for Tradfri remote and next to the button for a Tradfri dimmer) will glow a steady red, then turn out after a couple of seconds when paired. If it doesn't go out repeat steps 5-7.

If you have trouble, check that the TouchLink is not finding other ZigBee devices further away (e.g. bulbs - they will flash). During my many attempts to get this working I found that the Hue hub always preferred to steal a lamp further away (even ones registered on the Tradfri gateway) than register my remotes, but am not sure if this is because I wasn't timing the button presses properly.

Step 2 - pair the Tradfri remote/dimmer with the lights

Note that this works with any lights that are already connected to the Hue hub - I have done it with both Hue bulbs and Tradfri bulbs.

  1. Turn on the bulb at the mains.
  2. Position the remote immediately next to the bulb.
  3. Hold the pair button on the remote. The red light will come on and the bulb will start flashing.
  4. Keep the remote next to the bulb until it stops flashing, then release the button.

Repeat this process for any more lights you want the remote to control.

Success!

Check that you can control the bulb using the Hue app, and with the dimmer/remote. By comparison, here are a couple of examples of how mine are set up:

  • Two warm white Hue bulbs in the hallway, controlled by the app, Hue schedules, Hue motion sensor and a Tradfri dimmer
  • White spectrum Tradfri bulb in the bedroom, controlled by the app and a Tradfri remote. The remote supports on/off, brighten/dim, and colour temperature cycling.

Caveats

It's important to understand that the IKEA remotes work differently from Hue remotes. Hue remotes send their commands to the hub, and the hub then instructs the bulbs to take certain actions. This means the remotes can be configured to take more complex actions, a feature that 3rd party apps make good use of to allow different scenes to be programmed for 1st, 2nd, 3rd button presses etc. By contrast, the Tradfri remotes communicate directly with one or more bulbs (albeit whilst remaining part of the Hue ZigBee network). This means:

  • The buttons are not configurable - they work exactly like they work in the Tradfri system.
  • The remotes are not visible in the Hue app or any 3rd party apps.
  • The remotes do not take up any space on the Hub.

Update 2017-11-05: Unfortunately it appears with Tradfri RGBW bulbs, the remote will only control on/off and brightness; the side buttons do not cycle colours. I have put mine (bulb firmware 1.3.002) back on the Tradfri gateway.

Lutron and Osram systems

I expect this also works with the Lutron Connected Bulb Remote (though I don't have one) and Osram Lightify/Smart+ switches. I have successfully paired the Lightify four-button switch, but it is not very useful because I have not foound a way to configure the buttons to do sensible things - pairing it to the hub makes the top-left and bottom-left buttons turn ALL lights on and off respectively. I have yet to try applying the logic above to this switch; it may work but if I remember correctly, the switch only goes into pairing mode after it is reset (which wouldn't work). I don't know about the other Lightify/Smart+ switches.

Comments

Have you any experience with Tradfri motion sensor and connection to hue ecosystem?

I'm afraid I don't have one, but it wouldn't be as useful as the Hue one (which I do have) without the ability to configure it in the app. I doubt that will be possible, though you never know. Maybe you only want a simple trigger behaviour, which may work, but for me being able to configure it is important - the Hue one allows you to set it so that it only triggers the light when ambient light is below a configurable brightness, and also to set different bulb brightness for different times of day (i.e. evening vs nightlight). What options are available in the Tradfri app?

Hue stuff will be reduced for Black Friday (Philips emailed me to say so) which hopefully will bring the prices a bit closer together.

Firstly, congrats - great workaround. Before I attempt it though, two questions please:

- does the remote retain the ability to control white light temperature on white bulbs?

- I assume with this trick you also retain the ability to control the lights via alexa?

Yes the colour temperature control works fine. Sadly the colour control on the RGBW bulbs does not work however. I don't use Alexa but yea I should imagine it works fine, the hue hub shouldn't care. Alexa via the tradfri hub obviously won't work though.

Hi, thank you for this guide!
However, when I pair the remote to the bulbs they become Unreachable in the Hue system, could it be that the pairing of the remote to the bridge was unsuccesful?

Thanks!

Yes it sounds like you have not paired the remote to the hub. If you don't get the timing right the touchlink process can often be applied to another device like a bulb. Make sure the red light on the remote goes out fairly quickly.

Yes this was it. Got everything up and running now! The IKEA bulb that was incorrectly paired with the remote seems broken now however, won't pair with the bridge again.
Just a warning, luckly for me I had a spare e14.

Thank you once again

Hi

I think my Hue bulbs also paired with the IKEA remote and are now unreachable by Hue bridge. Any workaround to make them reachable again?

Thanks

Joao

Your hue bulbs would only pair with the remote if you held the remote next to them, so I assume you meant for them to be controllable by the remote. This would happen if you have not bound the remote to the Hue hub first - the remote is telling the bulb to join its separate network. I would reset the bulbs (if I remember correctly by turning on and off 6 times) and remote and re add to the hue hub.

Hi Andy

 

Many thanks for your quick reply. Yes, I've paired them with the remote but I think I didn't pair the remote correctly with the Hue Bridge first.

I've tried to reset the Hue lamps with the 6X On/Off, but that didn't work. Probably only work for the IKEA lamps. Interstingly, I can connect them in the IKEA Bridge...

JS

Yes so that means the remote wasn't reset and paired with the hue hub, so it is joining your bulbs to the IKEA network. I think the IKEA hub does a reset of bulbs when you remove them using the IKEA app, maybe that will work with the hue bulbs. I can't remember what the reset procedure is for hue bulbs, I'm sure it's documented online somewhere.

Thanks for this got puck dimmers workin with a hue and three tradfi gu10 , hue app, and google home

 

Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.

Normal input

  • Allowed HTML tags: <div> <span> <a> <em> <strong> <b> <i> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <pre> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <div> <p> <br> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <table> <tr> <td> <th> <thead> <tfoot> <hr>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.