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Cover image for Showing My Family If I’m “In A Call” Or Not
Lars Richter
Lars Richter

Posted on • Originally published at lets-do.tech

Showing My Family If I’m “In A Call” Or Not

I’m a big fan of Scott Hanselman. He is a very polite and nice guy with a cool podcast and an awesome blog. His blog is full of informative and easy-to-read posts on a wide variety of topics. In May he wrote about the hardware and software update of his "busy light". He requests the Microsoft Graph API to check his current Microsoft Teams presence (Available, In A Call, Busy, Away…) and sets the color of a smart LED RGB light bulb accordingly. It’s a great way to show your family if you are in a call BEFORE they come into your home office (and bomb your video conference).

I loved the idea of the "busy light" because I’m still working from home full-time. But I do have a working smart home system, so it should be easy to integrate the "busy light" into my existing lighting automation. Here is what I used:

  • for the lamp itself, I bought a cheap IKEA FADO (9,74€ in the german IKEA online shop)
  • the light bulb is an IKEA Tradfri RGB light bulb that uses the Zigbee technology (19,49€ in the german IKEA online shop)
  • my homee smart home system

That’s it. So, I only bought the lamp and the light bulb for less than 30€. The LIFX light bulb that Scott used in his blog post costs more than 58€ on Amazon.

But to be fair: That’s not a fair comparison. If you don’t have a Zigbee-compatible smart home system, the IKEA light bulb is not an option. Scott’s LIFX version, on the other hand, works with Wi-Fi. And everyone has Wi-Fi.

Show Me The Details!

Let’s look at what I did in detail. There are three basic steps.

Step 1 - Integrate the light bulb

I trained the light bulb on my homee. Well, that’s a short paragraph. 😁 But that’s basically it. Just add the new light bulb to your smart home by following system-specific instructions of your smart home.

Step 2 - Create Webhooks

In my homee, I created two webhooks. One to set the light to “green” (meaning "Available”) and another to set it to “red” (meaning “In A Call”).

Step 3 - Automate it!

This might be the part that is the most fun... if you are allowed to create an API key in the Microsoft portal. But sadly, I’m not. But that’s ok. I’m fine with setting the light bulb to “red” manually.

That's it!

Now it's your turn. Do you have a "busy light" at home? Or maybe you have a better idea for achieving the same goals? Let me know in the comments. :-)

Discussion (1)

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Wow this is really cool!

I’ll be building a pair of these as my wife and I both work from home and could use this. 😄