Saturday, February 4, 2023

Making Your Home Automation Work for You and Your Guests: A Guide to Smart Home Guest Management

Home automation is a fantastic way to make your home more comfortable and reduce the amount of manual work you need to do. Automating your lights, locks, and other devices can be a great time-saver, but sometimes things can go wrong when your schedule changes. One such example is when you have house guests, who can throw off the regular routines in your home and cause helpful automations to become disruptive.

In this blog post, we will cover the current setup in our home and the adjustments we made to our home automation to better handle house guests. We will discuss the changes made to our Google Assistant routine and Roomba vacuum schedule and provide examples of how to make similar adjustments in your home.

Current Setup:

In our home, we use a Google Assistant routine to say "Good night" and turn off the lights around the house, and lock the doors. This works well when the schedule in the house is regular, but when things change, such as having guests over, it can cause problems. For example, the routine would normally turn off the lights in the guest room, but when guests are staying over, this can be quite disruptive as the lights and fan could turn off unexpectedly.

Another issue we faced was with our Roomba vacuum, which would vacuum the downstairs at night, including the guest room. When guests are staying over and the guest room door is closed, the vacuum would bang against the door at night, causing discomfort to the guests.

Adjusting the Home Automation for Guests:

To better handle having house guests over, we made some adjustments to our home automation setup. The first thing we did was create a toggle helper, in Home Assistant, that would represent when the guest room is occupied at night. With this helper, we made the following adjustments to our home automations:

Good Night Routine Changes:

We had previously configured the Google Assistant good night routine to turn off all lights and switches directly. To make this work with house guests, we removed the direct control of the lights from the guest room and instead had the routine trigger a script. In the Home Assistant script, we have it check the value of the helper before turning off the lights in the guest room. This way, if the guest room is occupied, the lights will not turn off, avoiding any discomfort to the guests.

Roomba Schedule Changes:

Instead of using the scheduling functionality in the Roomba application, we now use Home Assistant to schedule when the downstairs vacuum runs. This was quite easy, using Home Assistant's automations and checking the value of the helper toggle. If the guest room is occupied, the vacuum will not run in that area, avoiding any discomfort to the guests.


By making these adjustments to our home automation setup, we were able to ensure that our guests are comfortable while they are staying over, while still enjoying the benefits of home automation. We hope this guide helps you make similar adjustments in your home and that you find it useful. In the future, we hope to see more integration between smart home devices and home automation systems, which would make managing guests even easier. Until then, with a little bit of effort, you can make your smart home work for everyone.

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