IKEA Trådfri vs. Amazon Eero Zigbee Smart Home Hub


The Amazon Eero 6 has a built-in Zigbee smart home hub, so in theory, you could eliminate the need for a separate hub / bridge / gateway / whatever, such as the IKEA Trådfri Gateway. That sounds awesome on paper, right? Less money to spend, less junk in your way.

The Zigbee hub in the Eero really does work. You enable it, and you can reset your bulb to put it in pairing mode, the Alexa app discovers it, all is fine, right? No, not quite. The first issue is that apparently Alexa devices aren’t visible in Apple Home, which for some reason I thought was a given. Now, this wouldn’t bother me so much if Alexa at least had a Watch app, but it does not. So now I just lost my ability to control my lights from my Watch.

Secondly, with the Eero in place, it seems you can only pair your light bulb either with the Eero (Alexa) or with your On/Off switch. You can’t have both. Then you might try to reset the switch to pair it with Alexa instead, and it will actually pair with it, except for the fact that it shows up as an “other” device and provides absolutely zero functionality. You can’t create a “routine” for the bulb and the switch. You can rename this “other device”, or delete it, and that’s about it. That’s the functionality.

So to summarize things, yes, the Eero can control your Trådfri bulbs without a Trådfri Gateway, but the one and only way to do that is in the Alexa app, on your phone, and nothing else. No physical switches, no HomeKit support, and therefore no Watch support either. Even if I found a switch that works properly in this setup, I’d still lose Watch support, so for now, I’ll just keep the IKEA Trådfri Gateway running, and turn off the Zigbee hub in the Eero. It’s a shame. Luckily, this wasn’t the main reason why I bought the Eero, otherwise I’d be way more pissed.