Introduction: Work From Home Status Indicator

With the current situation of working from home, I am facing some challenges because my kids are also studying from home.

Sometimes the working and family life can be a little bit blur. So I need to be able to setup some ground rules with my kids to make sure that they know whether I am available or in the flow state with full concentration.

I have an old LED Strip, and ESP8266 from previous project, so why not create a Busy status indicator to let my family members know whether I am currently busy or not.

So here are the ground rules:

- Red: Daddy is busy, so do not disturb and keep the noice down

- Green: Daddy is available for interruption

- Blue: Daddy is doing work, but can be available if needs be

I hope you enjoy this post and have a bit of fun with the kids.

Step 1: Gather All the Required Materials

This circuit is quite simple, we don't need much materials:

- ESP8266

- 5 V addressable LED Strip (WS2812B)

- 330 ohm resistor

- Prototype board

- Connector Wire

- Diffuser (I am using a milk bottle for this purpose)

Please note that the link above is an affiliate link

Step 2: Build the Circuit

The Circuit is quite simple as you can see. I am using the 5V LED strip. Because the ESP8266 is operating at 3.3V, I need to put the current limiter resistor 330 Ohm, to connect D2 to Din of the LED Strip.

The LED strip can be powered from the Vin which is 5V. I powered my ESP8266 board from the USB port of the PC.

The ESP8266 acts as the gateway to the internet. It will connect to the WiFi and wait for instruction.

Step 3: Load the Code

The full source code can be downloaded via this link.

You will need to change the following section to suit your WiFi settings.

/* Network settings */<br>const char* ssid = "yourssid"; // SSID - your WiFi's name 
const char* password = "yourssidpassword"; // Password

Once that is done, you can compile the code and upload it to the ESP8266.

You might want to tweak the IP address as well if you think it will clash with the current device that is in your subnet.

IPAddress ip(192,168,1,111);  // static IP adress of device <br>IPAddress gateway(192,168,1,1); // Gatway
IPAddress subnet(255,255,255,0); // Network mask

and the following section of the code in the SETUP section

void setup(void) {
delay(1000); /* Begin some (un)important things */ Serial.begin(115200); WiFi.begin(ssid, password); WiFi.config(ip, gateway, subnet); // commented this out for DHCP

You can remove the code completely so that it will be automatically assigned using DHCP.

Step 4: Activate the Light

If all goes well, you should be able to point your browser to the IP address set in the previous settings:

You can click on any colour combination that you like.

Sometimes I forget to set my status when I am on a call during work from home time. And my kids automatically set it for me to reflect my correct status.

I hope this project brings some fun to the working from home life we are all in at the moment.

If you like this post, you can also check out my website for other Arduino related projects.

The is an updated version which allow you to connect it to MQTT, so that you can control the light from the internet.

Step 5:

Work From Home Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Work From Home Speed Challenge