Ideas for guest usage

I've struggled with how to do mode changes when we have guests. Looking for some advice or input.

My mode setup is pretty simple. Home, Night, and Away. Home when anyone is home and not asleep, Night when everyone who is home is asleep, and Away when nobody is home. Presence is tied to our phones, and we control our individual sleep status with Minimotes on the nightstand. Works great when we don't have guests.

The problem comes when we have someone staying with us for an extended period, which happens a couple times a year. Guests come and go while we are at work, or get up before us, or go to bed after we do. I've tried to compensate for this by incorporating guest presence/sleep logic into my modes. Conceptually it works. Where it breaks down is in the control of the guest presence and sleep switches.

What I've found is that guests don't typically understand or follow any directions around pressing buttons to control presence or sleep, so I'm trying to figure out good ways to set these with either incredibly intuitive interactive ways (i.e. hard to screw up), or automatically with no interaction at all.

What are you all doing when you have guests in your home?

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I use a switch to put the house into "guest" mode, i.e. I disable automated mode transitions. Although I do have a spare presence sensor so I was considering making the guest mode switch just include or exclude that sensor in my automations.

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I do the same, have a virtual switch called Zzz-Guest (z’s put it at bottom of list) that I turn on when guests are staying. Then I have several RM actions that disable when this is turned on. Originally I had one action that executed on mode change that I had to break up into several with the guest switch restriction.

I do something similar with a “vacation” switch that affects my Away mode actions. This gives me away for a few hours vs away for days with a simple switch.


I've struggled with this also, trying a few options none of which I've liked.

I used to have a Guest Mode, but I wanted automatic change to the appropriate mode when presence sensor present. Since Mode Manager can only go back to the appropriate mode from Away on presence change, I would need to create several rules in RM that have the same timelines as my modes in Mode Manager, allowing presence to move from Guest Mode to the appropriate mode with presence. I don't like keeping variables in more than one place, when they are changed in one place they're often forgotten in another. So I've been trying to think of another way to do it.

I tried to rube goldberg it, by having a simple rule that forced Mode to Away when we arrive and then forced a recheck of in Mode Manager all with virtual buttons and such, but could not get it to work reliably. So I'm still searching for the perfect solution.

I use a ‘virtual presence plus’ device for guest mode.
It’s a presence sensor and switch combined.

Some of my automations are based upon having a ‘Humans’ presence restriction
I use Presence Central to combine guest, me & the wife into ‘Humans’
If anyone is home then Humans are present

I have a physical momentary switch on the wall in the hall which toggles ‘guest presence’ which I hit as guests arrive.
Using the guest presence sensor means that if the wife & I leave but guest is still at home then some of the automations can continue (like the heating in the conservatory which we switch off if not at home)



I like the idea of a virtual presence doohickey for guests. Nice!

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I switched over to your virtual presence plus driver for all of our presence last week, it's awesome :slight_smile: I'll check out your presence central app.


Modes Plus will set any mode when a sensor arrives or leaves


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I get this trying to setup mode plus automation

I use a virtual presence switch for my mother in law. When she comes to watch the kids my wife presses the button on our Sharptools display on the kitchen or homekit on our phones.

Mode manager looks at that plus our actual presence. We feel weird asking her to set up life 360 or put a sensor in her car.

It seems a few of my apps have gone kaput since the update.
I’ll look at the code as I have an idea what it is.


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I just use motion sensors and rule machine to control modes. I have motion sensors in every room in the house to make sure that I always have motion status.

Between 9pm-6am if motion in all common areas (excludes bedrooms and bathrooms) stops for x minutes (30 or so) then switch the home to Night mode.

Between the hours of 6am-12pm, if motion occurs on a specific sensor (Kitchen, because everyone gets up and gets a drink or has breakfast) switch the home mode to Home.

Between the hours of 6am and 9pm if motion is inactive for x minutes on all motion sensors, set the home mode to away.

If the monitored locked door becomes unlocked, switch to home mode if in any other mode.

This has worked well for our household for a long time now.

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Anyone using the 2nd gen Iris key fob for presence? If it works reliably, this could be a good solution to guest presence.

I'm envisioning "arrived" being triggered by either the key fob or lock code, then "departed" being triggered just by key fob.