I wanted to use a Raspberry Pi to check whether my room's ceiling light was on. I’m an electronics amateur and do not want to solder anything, so I am using a Pi Zero W with presoldered pins, and using female-to-female Dupont cables I bought to connect the GPIO pins to the sensor board.
I bought this cheap little photoresistor board: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32806322505.html
I set it up successfully (using the digital out, since a regular Pi can't see analog signals). I can easily set it up so that flashing my phone flashlight at it will make it return something different over the digital out.
But with all the adjusting I'm doing of the potentiometer, I just can't get it to reliably trigger when the ambient room light changes. If I am REALLY careful with it, tweaking the potentiometer to the point the “DO-LED” starts flickering on and off, barely turning on, I can get it to work for a few minutes to return 1 or 0 over the digital output based on the room’s light, but it’s very flaky. Right now I just thought I got it right, but after five minutes, find it’s flickering between 0 and 1 again.
What would be a better, more reliable room sensor I could purchase? I bought a similar board that used a photodiode instead, and it's just as bad. Maybe worse, because photodiodes are more directional, I guess. It just seems like these little potentiometer-adjustable sensors have a microscopic “sweet spot” for detecting ambient room light, which doesn’t make sense to me.
One critical thing is that I don’t want to solder anything, or use a breadboard, or anything that seems complicated. I really liked my little setup with the dupont cables and this board, and I’d like something that is just as doable with my hands alone. What should I get?