Ikea launched the Ormanäs, its first smart RGB LED light strip, in the Netherlands. The news comes by way of Dutch tech site Tweakers, which notes that the Ormanäs is a four-meter, or roughly 13-foot, dimmable Zigbee affair for €29.99 (about $32) that works with the company’s Dirigera smart hub. The light strip is only available in the Netherlands for now, but Ikea typically starts its rollouts there before bringing products to the US and beyond.
The strip is simple and, judging from the images on Ikea’s site, won’t have individually addressable LEDs like some of the fancier strips on the market — which means the whole strip will show only a single color at a time. Still, it supports multiple control methods like the Ikea Home app and the Ikea Styrbar remote as well as Apple HomeKit, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa smart home platforms (through the Dirigera hub). It also supports Google Home and Amazon Alexa. And being a fairly standard LED strip, you can cut it to length in designated places.
The Ormanäs has a nice balance of features — it’s affordable, long, dimmable, and with Zigbee control, is likely to be very responsive. It’s rare to see a smart LED strip that ticks all of those boxes and also supports HomeKit and out-of-home control via the maker’s app — something the Dirigera hub improves on over Ikea’s now-defunct Trådfri Gateway.
Down the road, Ikea is planning to add Matter support to the Dirigera hub, which should make cross-platform setup a smoother process given the latest Matter update. That’s great for the smart home commodity market Ikea is targeting with cheap smart products like the $8 Rodret wireless dimmer switch or the Parasoll contact sensors it’s releasing next year. It would also mean the addition of Samsung SmartThings support.
Matter is a new smart home interoperability standard that provides a common language for connected devices to communicate locally in your home without relying on a cloud connection. It is designed to be secure and private, easy to set up, and widely compatible.
Developed by Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung, Matter is an open-sourced, IP-based connectivity software layer for smart home devices. It works over Wi-Fi, ethernet, and the low-power mesh networking protocol Thread and currently supports over 20 device types. These include lighting, plugs and switches, thermostats, locks, security and environment sensors, refrigerators, dishwashers, smoke alarms, air quality monitors, and more.
All of this means that if a smart home gadget you buy has the Matter logo, you can set it up and use it with any Matter-compatible ecosystem via a Matter controller. Additionally, you can control it with multiple controllers simultaneously, a feature called multi-admin. Once connected to an ecosystem, a device can work with any others in that ecosystem, regardless of whether it’s a Matter device.
Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple Home are some of the major platforms that support Matter, and they have all updated their compatible smart speakers, hubs, and other devices to be Matter controllers.