After months of waiting, Ikea has now started rolling out HomeKit support for its FYRTUR and KADRILJ smart blinds. While I have been using Apple’s smart home platform for several months via Homebridge and pleased with how it works. Let’s now look at the official HomeKit deployment and it works with the Ikea smart blinds.
I have also written an in-depth review of the smart blinds and it’s worth checking out if you are thinking of buying a set, or more!
If you want to watch a video version, then checkout this YouTube version
To get HomeKit support on your Ikea smart blinds, you need the following firmware and hardware
- Tradfri Gateway running 1.10.28
- Smart Blinds running 2.2.009
- Open/Close Remote running 2.2.010
- Ikea Signal repeater running 2.2.005
First, if the firmware updates have not started, then you can start it manually by opening up the Ikea Home Smart app. Then click the settings cog wheel in the top right. Finally Click on Ikea Home Smart version and click “check for updates.”
If this is your first time setting up the Tradfri Gateway with HomeKit, then adding the smart blinds to HomeKit is like adding any other device. You scan the HomeKit code on the back of the Tradfri gateway. Then follow the setup process, add them to a room and you ready to go.
If you already have Tradfri connected to HomeKit, then once it has completed the firmware updates. The blinds should appear in the Home app, you will just need to add them to the correct room and rename if required.
Once added to HomeKit you can control the blinds through the Home app, Siri voice control, and through automations.
Tradfri blinds and Home App
When using the Home app to control the Ikea smart blinds, you can open and close them using the tile associated with that blind. This method will fully open or close the blinds, but using this method you cannot stop the blinds half way. If you press the tile again, it will send the blinds in the opposite direction.
However, if you want more precise control, you can also set how far the blinds open up or close, such as only 50% if desired. You do this by pressing down on the Blind tile in the Home App and using the slider to operate them. I found this gave me a very precise level of control.
If you have more than one blind covering a window or opening such is my case across with my bifold doors. You can group the blinds like any other HomeKit accessory. This means that you will have one tile for multiple blinds.
Despite the positive experiences with the Home App, I have a minor complaint; I have been using the Homebridge Ikea plugin for two months now. Which it exposes the battery level information to HomeKit. Meaning you can see the battery levels at a glance. However, Ikea has chosen not too to implement this and I am hoping they change this down the line as I have found it useful.
HomeKit automations and scenes
It’s when you come to HomeKit automations then you got the most out HomeKit control. This is because you can include the Ikea smart blinds into new and existing HomeKit automations. Which allowed me to have the blinds open and close at certain points in the day and also be included in my “shut down” automation at night.
Setting up or adding to existing automations is just like any other HomeKit Automation. You go to the automations tab and then either add the blinds to an existing automation or create a new one.
You have the choice of;
- “People arrive,”
- “People leave,”
- “A time of day occurs,”
- “An Accessory is controlled,”
- “A sensor detects something,”
Because I could not find a practical use for the other automation routines. I only used “A time of day occurs” as I only operate my blinds in a morning or evening.
You can also include the blinds in scenes. So if you have a scene you use for “movie night” setup. You can activate this via Siri or the Home App. Then you will see the blinds close to create a cosy atmosphere for movie night.
Siri Voice control
You can use commands like “Hey Siri, Open the kitchen blinds” or “Hey Siri, Open the studio blinds to 75%.” Both commands worked as expected.
I tested it with the HomePod, my Apple Watch and my iPhone and had no issues at all operating the blinds with my voice and Siri.
While Ikea has taken its time and missed the original delivery for its HomeKit support for the smart blinds, albeit only by a few weeks. They have done a good job and everything seems stable, which is more I can say for its own App.
The control via HomeKit is responsive and gives you a good level of control over the blinds. Being able to include them in HomeKit automations will be a major relief for users that have tired of Ikea’s own timers failing to work.
Being able to control the blinds with Siri voice assistant from Apple Watch, iPhone or HomePod is great.
Yes, I had a small grumble that they do not expose the battery information to HomeKit, but this is a small gripe compared to the positive experience I have had. But now Ikea has delivered on its HomeKit support promise, it could mean that some concerns with its own Home Smart app could be taken away as people may use them only in HomeKit.
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