Turning a Bug into a Feature

I recently had a chat with my physiotherapist to fix the neck pain I have experienced more and more in the past few months.

He advised me to stretch my shoulders and neck. Better than a single 30-minute stretching session at the end of the day, he advised taking frequent 5-minute breaks during the day.

I recently discovered that the PIR sensors into Philips Hue devices require active movement, and not actual presence to be activated. This means that when I sit at my desk for an extended period of time, the sensor feels like nobody is in the room.

It was just enough to turn the timeout time for the sensor in my studio to 25 minutes, and I now have a perfect system that fixes both of m problems during the day: stretching my neck and shoulders and fully automate the lighting of my studio.

When I walk into the room, the lights turn on, and after 25 minutes after I leave the room, the lights turn off. When I’m working, if the lights turn off, it’s about time to stand up, stretch a little bit, drink a glass of water, and get back to work.

I also have a complicated node-red config that allows me to trigger on and off the sensor, so to avoid the awkward darkness during extended video meetings. But this is another story, so I’ll save it for another post.

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