Recently I was asked if I knew of any busy lights for Mcirosoft Teams. Remember those days when you would walk down the office to see a colleague rather then check their Teams presence? With hybrid working the presence indicator in Teams is still important but its needs extending into our physical spaces too.
Personally I am still working from home full time and still using the manual Do Not Disturb light I created in my blog Using Flic and Hue to build a Do Not Disturb light – Sara Fennah’s Blog (m365train.co.uk) Though I now control it from my Stream Deck most of the time. I have buttons on my Stream deck that sets all my lighting, with different settings for attending or delivering and bright/dark environments. If I’m attending a course/meeting I set my Do Not Disturb light to yellow and my streaming lights low whilst for a training delivery the Do Not Disturb light goes to red and my streaming lights are brighter. If its dark then I also switch on the room lights which are also using Hue bulbs.
But my personal solution doesn’t work for the hybrid office scenario, plus for a largescale roll out, we want quick and simple. After a bit of research I decided to give the plenom Omega and Alpha busy lights a go and was fortunate enough to secure a sample of each to try. These are not new products and there was confusion around how they worked with Teams, and many vendor sites being unclear if you needed additional hardware etc.
Well, I can report that they work perfectly. I tested both lights with Windows and Mac and both were just as simple:
- Plug light into a USB port on your computer
- Download the driver
- Change your status in Teams to watch the light change
My phone was not great for photographing the light, but I did manage to capture a video of the light changing with Teams.
With just the driver software you still a fair amount of customisation:
You can also control the way the light behaves and set additional features using the kuandoHUB software. If you do I can STRONGLY recommend first backing up your priorities before customising.
If you use the Duration option in Teams to set your status for a period then revert to automatic, I have had the light get stuck on the manual status once, but a quick reboot of Teams fixed that.
If your light does not pick up Teams status but another app, check that Teams is set to your default chat app. If its still not working then you need the kuandoHUB software to change the priorities and sources.
One of my biggest challenges working from home is that my office is downstairs and anyone coming to the house walks past the window I am sat next to, so they often try to engage me or even bang on the window. I can’t exactly jump up in the middle of a course delivery and answer them, it’s just not very professional. So I now have the perfect use for one of my busy lights:
Whilst the other has been adopted by my teenage son using the kuandoHUB software to indicate if his parents are allowed into his room! The light is pure red, the two tone effect is only in the photo