Using a Teams Panel as a Personal Busy Light

Previously I ‘ve written two articles on busy lights for Microsoft Teams. I started with a manual approach in Using Flic and Hue to build a Do Not Disturb light and moved on to using purpose built devices from Plenom with A Busylight with Microsoft Teams.  Now we are taking it a step further using the Teams Panel devices.

Teams Panels are designed as meeting room companion devices to show when meeting rooms are booked, what meeting they are booked for and to allow for ad-hoc bookings.  After the family complained that my existing busy light solutions didn’t let them know what I was working on to decide if they could interrupt, I decided to see if the panel might work.  

My Conclusion

Teams Panel showing current meeting, current date and time with username

It’s a neat solution to display your schedule outside the room BUT it doesn’t respond to status changes, so not the whole answer.

A Bit More Detail

Let’s look at how you can set up a Teams Panel as a personal device and then consider the pros and cons.

I purchased and am using the Yealink RoomPanel (details here)

Step 1: Admin Preparation

Before you even have a device you can configure the device configuration profile in the Teams Admin Center.  This is not essential.  If you do not configure a profile the default settings will be used or the settings can be configured on the device itself.  No additional licenses are needed to use the device as a personal device.

General and Device Settings Sections in Teams Panel Configuration Profile in Teams Admin Center
Network Settings Section in Teams Panel Configuration Profile in Teams Admin Center

Step 2: Unpack and Power Up

Using the supplied power adapter, plug in the device and power on.  It’s best at this point to also connect an wired internet connection.  If your ethernet cable is PoE (Power Over Ethernet) you can dispense with the power supply.  I wanted my panel to use WiFi after set up, so I started with both power and ethernet.

Team Panel powering on showing Yealink logo

Step 3: Device Set Up and Login

The device has a series of screens to set up.  Choose the language and then time zone.

Teams Panel showing Language Setting Options
Teams Panel showing time zone options

I really like the way you can search for the time zone.

Searching for London time zone by typing “lon” on the time zone options screen

Then you need to sign in.  You can sign in on the device or wait for the code to come up on screen and use the device log in on a different device via the website  

Teams Panel showing device login screen
Device login portal in the web browser showing entry box for device code

Here you can sign in with a personal account, the same as you use with Microsoft Teams on any other device.  No additional licenses are needed to use the device with your account.  Once signed in wait for the login process to complete and your calendar will load.

Teams Panel showing Company Portal screen whilst signing in. In this image the configuration is checking for security requirements

Step 4: Custom Configuration

As an administrator you can sign in to the Team Admin Center, and assign a configuration profile to the device as soon as it shows in the Panels section of Devices.

If you are not assigning device configuration you can configure settings on the device.  There are some settings such as LED Brightness for the status light which can only be configured on device and not in the configuration profile.

To assign a configuration in the Teams Admin Center:

  • Navigate to Devices and Panels
  • Select the panel to apply the configuration to
  • Select the Assign configuration button
  • Search for the require configuration and Apply
Teams Panel with settings cog in the bottom right hand corner of the display highlighted

To edit the settings on the device:

  • Tap settings cog
  • Navigate the menu to find the chosen settings
  • For example under Basic you will find the LED brightness settings or you can choose the link WiFi options to switch to WiFi. For both you will need the device admin password, which is one setting you can set with the configuration profile.
Teams Display showing Basic options including LED brightness
Teams Panel Panel app settings screen
  • You can also connect a device via the panel app settings. This may solve my issue with the light not changing with status in Teams app, but I do have issues with this for some reason with my account and haven’t yet managed to get the panel to find my computer.

Using the Device Day to Day

Sitting outside my home office the device now shows my calendar and even allows people to reserve the current slot in my diary, by tapping Reserve

Teams Panel with Reserve option

Choosing the required end time, then tap Reserve again

Teams Panel showing end time selection

Which then pops into my calendar and turns the LED on the panel to red.

Appointment in Teams Calendar

Wish List

Two things would makes this the ultimate home office or executive office busy light

  • If the LED responded to my Teams status
  • If the panel could be used to book times in advance with ability to edit the name of the meeting.  Though I guess we could use the Teams app on a mobile device to create a meeting invite whilst stood outside the office.

Published by sfennah

I am a freelance learning professional with over 22 years’ experience including holding 30+ Microsoft certifications and Microsoft Certified Trainer status since 2008.

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