Using Flic and Hue to build a Do Not Disturb light

Its April 2020 and due to Covid-19 a lot of us are working from home, trying to find quiet nooks to hold conference calls without inappropriate interruption from family members.

There are some great articles out there on building your own automated “Do not Disturb” lights and also some great products, but I decided that I needed one that was a little more manual, but still a bit geeky.

Why?

  • I like technology so it needed to be a little geeky
  • I’m not a developer – firmly no code here if I can possibly get away with it
  • I’m working across 5 different Microsoft Teams Logins as a member of teams in 11 organisations – so which log in would I automate from? (One of the downsides to being a consultant)
  • We have multiple people in the same house who need to indicate their Do Not Disturb Status and not all of that is triggered by Teams

The solution I chose was to program a Flic button for each of us and set up a Hue light near the entrance to each persons work are to let each other know if we were available or not.

Our system now works like this. We are lucky enough to be able to each use a different room to work in, so we close the door to the room to indicate we are working and then set the light to red/green to indicate if we can be disturbed.

  • Closed door & red light = Do not enter, send me a text if its urgent
  • Closed door & green light = Busy, but you can come in
  • Open door (regardless of light status) = I’m happy to see you 🙂

Each Flic is programmed the same and we have them linked to a Flic hub, so they work even if our phones are out of range/off. (See https://flic.io/) The flic buttons are programmed from the mobile app. You also need a Philips Hue hub and colour change light. But Flic does integrate with other smart bulbs and IFTTT too, so there are quite a few options to recreate this. These are the steps assuming you already have a Philips Hue bridge and lights but are new to Flic.

  1. Buy your button
  2. Download the app
  3. Follow the instructions in the app to add your hub and/or button.
  4. Give the button a name once you have added it
  5. Tap the + beside the action and pick Philips Hue
  6. Follow the instructions to connect your Philips Hue bridge – you’ll need to be close to the bridge to do this as you’ll have to press the button on the top of the bridge.
  7. Pick the light and setting you require. Below is my button and the ‘Click’ setting to switch on the red light:

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