IKEA JETSTRÖM smart LED wall light panel embodies the brand’s minimalist spirit

It’s almost too easy to get into the smart lighting scene, especially if you consider bulbs you can simply screw on, string lights you just need to hang, or panels you can stick to walls or other flat surfaces. That said, the theory might be simple, but the design and features of these smart lights can sometimes be complex and confusing, requiring owners to spend time, effort, and energy on setting up the “perfect” installation. Ever the masters of minimalism, IKEA is fighting against the flow with its newest smart light design, basically just a simple, nondescript square panel that does one thing but does it to beautiful perfection.

Designer: Andreas Fredriksson (IKEA)

IKEA can probably be credited for popularizing two things: flat-packed furniture, and Scandinavian minimalism. Granted, some of its designs straddle the fine line separating design trends, and it has also become infamous for simple yet overpriced products. The new IKEA JETSTRÖM, however, seems to go back to the roots of the brand’s design language, championing elegant minimalism that can fit any interior motif over complex shapes and features.

Like the ceiling lamp of the same name, the new JETSTRÖM is a single-piece lighting panel, this time just a 30cm x 30cm (11.8in x 11.8in) square. It’s not a plain square though, as it has rounded corners and curved edges, softening some of the harshness that usually comes from straight edges and inorganic forms. There’s only one color available for the diffuser cover, and you can’t really go wrong with white in order to blend well with different wall colors and decors.

That’s pretty much it in terms of visual design and aesthetics. There are no connecting mechanisms to worry about, as each JETSTRÖM is intended to be a self-sufficient and sometimes isolated unit. You can place several of these squares side by side if you want to, but there’s no requirement or expectation to do so, unlike wall-mounted smart lights like those from Nanoleaf. In a way, it’s a “what you see is what you get” kind of experience, and it’s a simple yet powerful one.

It might look simple, but the JETSTRÖM isn’t lacking in smart lighting features, at least when it comes to the essentials. The default cold white light can be made warmer to set the mood, or set to different colors to match a theme. All of these can be set from the IKEA Home mobile app, whether on its own or in concert with other IKEA smart lights via the DIRIGERA hub. To keep things even simpler, you can use a dedicated remote, though that’s a separate purchase. And contrary to expectations, the IKEA JETSTRÖM actually only costs around $44, which is pretty affordable for a large smart LED panel, especially one that comes from IKEA.