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IKEA Trådfri Garage Opener

by Finn Espen Gundersen on September 28th, 2019

Modifying an IKEA Trådfri mains switch to become a potential free/non voltage relay, using only two components, even leaving the mains outlet free for other use.

The IKEA Trådfri (or Tradfri) smart home system is inexpensive and widely available, but limited in functionality. If you want more, for instance a simple relay (not connected to mains), you need to get it somewhere else, often necessitating the install of another Zigbee controller in addition to the IKEA one. Instead, I modified a Trådfri outlet switch to become a potential free relay to control the garage door.

Trådfri simply means wireless in scandinavian languages (Norwegian, Danish, Swedish). The letter å is pronounced like the o in long.

The IKEA Trådfri outlet switch, as is, allows you to control one phase of a mains outlet on/off. By adding a solid state relay it now instead controls whatever is connected, e.g. a garage door. Optionally, you can also bypass the mains relay so the mains outlet is left always on.

The first step is to gut it open. The one single screw looks promising, but the case is also heavily glued so expect to spend some time prying with a knife while swearing. Take care not to bend the knife too far inwards as it may damage components along the edges. It would probably be just as wise to cut the whole thing open with a dremel.

When looking for somewhere to connect our stuff, the white LED at the right is perfect. It is used to indicate on/off, and as luck would have it, the input side of a solid state relay electrically also behaves like a LED.

Snip it off, and find a solid state relay, such as the CPC1035N, and two pins. Any solid state relay will work, thought. If you’re into details, I have attached the datasheet.

I have never had a shorter bill of materials than this

The dot on the relay package is placed on the positive input. The IKEA PCB helpfully also has a + to show the positive LED input.

The parts are small and the soldering joints very fragile. Bring on the glue.

Optionally, you can cut the yellow metal connector from the relay to the mains, and connect the top mains phase to the bottom one with a short wire of appropriate dimension. This ensures the mains is always on, and the new improved relay does not occupy a mains outlet all by itself. Do keep in mind this is mains power so skip this step if you don’t know what you are doing.

Drill an 8mm hole in the top case and assemble.

The finished modified switch installed to control the garage door – and providing an always-on mains outlet for the garage door itself.

If you are using the IKEA app or the on/off button to control the relay, you will need to click on-then-off. But if you, like me, have a home control web page and are using a script to connect to the IKEA gateway API, you can provide your users with a simple toggle switch performing both operations with a slight delay automatically.

From → Electronics

  1. John permalink

    This looks very interesting. Are you using the Gateway to control the switch? Did the modification take a long time? I’d be interested in contacting you about making my on hacked switch. Thanks for the info.

    • Finn Espen Gundersen permalink

      I am using an ordinary switch as well as the gateway to control it, either way works. The mod itself is not too time-consuming, but it is a hassle to separate the top part from the bottom. Take care not to cut yourself as you work along the edge with a knife.

  2. Santtu permalink

    Tack så mycket! I have been searching solution like this.

    Hälsningar från Finland.


  3. csab permalink

    Thanks, really nice! Did the same, works really well! I am using a smartthings hub and was able to set an automation to turn off then switch 10s later it was switched on, so no need to double switch.

  4. Ben permalink

    I recently applied this mod, thx to the good explanation it works! Many thanks, I was looking for a (zigbee) solution for my garagedoor but didn’t find any plug-and-play on the market. Before this I modded a wifi (wofea) tuya by flashing it with tasmota but my config was not perfect. When loosing the wifi connection or after a powerloss the garagedoor opened automatic. Very anoying when it is night or when we were not at home…

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