Ikea Trådfri

I recently bought an Ikea Trådfri starter set, to test out their home automation offerings. I bought the gateway and motion sensor kit.

It was a very easy installation and connected to the app seamlessly. It also took a very short time to get my node-red instance to talk to the bulb directly.

So, my first impressions of the system seemed good.

I do have some issues resolved that I’d love to see. Firstly, the motion detector has light level detection, but what I would really like would be the ability to ignore motion detection during daylight hours. I have the bulb in a desk lamp, and it’s on for 5 minutes whenever I’m on the room, day or night. I’ve switched it onto night only mode, and will see how that works. I’m not sure how it decides on light levels, whether it’s guessing my location or whether there is a light sensor. Will find out.

Current downsides to the system :
– no native external access (possible through my node-red access, though)
– No official API to access the system locally or remotely
– Seems as though Ikea didn’t quite follow the Zigbee ZLL protocol quite correctly

It’ll be interesting to see what other ZLL manufacturers products I’ll be able to add via the Ikea gateway. I’d like to add in temp/humidity sensors and light sensors. Any suggestions on these, gratefully received.

In terms of the API, it’d be great to decouple the motion detectors from devices and just use a system such as node-red to make the decisions on what to do. It’d would also be really important to keep the communications local, so in case of internet downtime – the system would still be available.

Price wise, the system is very affordable in comparison to Phillips Hue lights.

Hive heating issues

I’ve been having an issue where my heating system (Hive) is ignoring the commands from Hive themselves. So, switching off heating makes no difference. They receive the request, no issue there, but sometimes fail to send it to my Hive receiver, meaning my heating remains on. Their web dashboard and iphone app both show the request has been received (show heating off), yet the boiler continues to fire.

My setup utilises HA-Bridge (to create Alexa Smart Home Skills), Node-Red (to aid generating my entire home automation project) and IFTTT (for Hive only as they don’t officially provide an API, although there is a legacy AlertMe API which I am tempted to switch to, but it will have zero support from Hive themselves – although that might not be so much of a problem with their policy of denial).

Read moreHive heating issues