In my last blog article "Field Report: Healthy Room Climate in the Homeoffice with LoRaWAN® Part 1: Setup, CO2 Content & Temperature" I shared with you my experiences regarding the sensor placement for the room climate monitoring in my homeoffice and regarding the monitoring of the CO2 level and temperature. In this part 2 we continue with the relative humidity and the illuminance/amount of light. I also answer the question of whether my ventilation behaviour has actually changed, what other observations I was able to make and draw a final conclusion.
For monitoring the relative humidity, I created the following notifications in the B.One Gallery:
Notification 1: Humidity drops below 30% + reminder if no change after 1 hour
Notification 2: Humidity rises above 60% + reminder if no change after 1 hour
Notification 3: Humidity no longer below 30%
Notification 4: Humidity no longer above 60%
Here I can draw the same conclusion as last time with the temperature monitoring. These settings also worked for me. So I was actually mostly in the recommended range of 30 - 60%, which was certainly also due to the regular airing.
The last parameter I also monitored was/is the illuminance/amount of light. Here I had initially activated the following notifications:
Notification 1: Light quantity falls below 500 lx + reminder if no change after 0.5 hours
Notification 2: Light quantity exceeds 10,000 lx + reminder if no change after 0.5 hours
Notification 3: Light quantity no longer below 500 lx
Notification 4: Light quantity no longer exceeds 10,000 lx
Monitoring the amount of light available revealed to me that it is often far too dark in my office. An example to illustrate this: On a sunny day with the roof window blinds open, everything was usually great, with values usually exceeding 1,000 lx. The problem with this: Due to the suboptimal positioning of my desk directly below, the sun usually blinds me. Ergo: In the end, the blinds usually remain closed, at least for a few hours a day, and so the amount of light available at my workplace is usually below the recommended minimum value of 500 lx, regardless of whether I also switch on my room lighting or not. So I clearly have a need for action here. The simplest measure is certainly to rearrange my desk so that I can leave the blinds open most of the time. In addition, I should also improve my room lighting, which I would of course benefit from, especially in winter. I don't know exactly how yet, but I will definitely tackle it and also deal with the topic of daylight lamps. Until then, I have deactivated the notifications for the illuminance/amount of light, as I am currently receiving too many notifications about this. Of course, intelligent lighting that always automatically adapts to the current lighting conditions would also be cool, but that's more of a somewhat larger future project.
Here is a screenshot from the B.One Gallery showing the brightness curve for an example day. Here you can also see the large fluctuations, which can be explained primarily by the occasional opening and closing of the skylight blinds coupled with the constantly moving sun.
An example : With the value marked above at 10:00 a.m. with 1,248 lx, I opened the blinds under a bright, cloudless sky and then closed them again at 10:15 a.m.
I also found the option of restricting notifications in the B.One Gallery to certain periods of time and, alternatively, of being able to completely deactivate them without deleting them, to be very practical and useful. This is useful, for example, if you have a day off in an otherwise normal work week.
Here is an example of restricting a notification to specific times and the working days Monday to Friday:
And here is an example with notifications disabled during a vacation day:
In order to be able to quickly check all current values at a glance if necessary, it is possible to create an individual report in addition to the notifications. I simply saved the link to it on my desktop (of course this also works on the start screen of the smartphone), so that I can access it at any time with just one click and without having to be logged in.
Has my ventilation behavior actually changed as a result of monitoring the room climate? Yes, it definitely has. Instead of airing it very rarely, as in the past, and often only really noticing the bad air after leaving and re-entering my office, I now open my window regularly and don't let it get that far in the first place. Does this also affect my well-being and productivity? Even if I have not carried out any scientific study on this, I can only reflect my subjective perception here and a few other factors have an influence on it in addition to the room climate, I perceive a positive effect on both. So I definitely have the feeling that I have fewer phases in which I get tired, which means I can maintain my concentration longer and am therefore certainly at least subjectively more productive at the end of the day. Without the notifications when the threshold values are exceeded, I quickly forget to air the room again or to adjust the light conditions again by opening/closing the roof window blinds. You just look too seldom at the devices themselves or at the dashboard in the B.One Gallery.
In addition to my already mentioned improved ventilation behavior, I was able to observe another positive effect that is certainly relevant for one or the other of you. Since I wear contact lenses, I often have problems with dry lenses and yet I keep moistening them afterwards. By airing it out more regularly, I had far fewer problems with it. A nice side effect: lower expenses for expensive contact lens solution.
Monitoring your own room climate with the help of IoT sensors and the B.One Gallery is really very easy, quick and inexpensive to implement, and you don't need any prior technical knowledge. It showed me that I should change the positioning of my desk and the lightning in my room. By airing the room more regularly, I have the feeling that I can maintain my concentration for a longer period of time, which is sure to have a positive effect on my productivity. And as a contact lens wearer, monitoring relative humidity has reduced my eye/lens dryness problems, which has the nice side effect of spending a little less on re-wetting agents.
So my clear recommendation to you: Monitor the room climate in your homeoffice and/or office as well ;-) You may have to experiment a bit with regard to the placement of the sensors or the threshold values for notifications, but that's not rocket science. If the measured values, like mine, for example, the values of the CO2 sensor, initially seem too high to you, then simply change the position of your sensor and you will quickly notice whether something changes or not.
Do you have any questions or already have your own experiences with this application or the sensors used here? Then I look forward to an exchange, also via the comment function :-)