How to best deal with guests?

So I have a quite solid setup in Homey now which works great for me being a single household. This is what I have set up:

  • Timed flows that acts on sunrise & sunset to set different light scenes independent of anything else
  • Timed flows that acts on specific time during day to set different light scenes independent of anything else
  • Presence flows that triggers when I come home or leave home
  • Timed flows that acts on specific time during day and depends on if I am at home or not
  • Surveillance flows based on Heimdahl that is dependent on if anyone is at home or not

With regards to the last 2 flows mentioned you can see that these are dependent on if I am at home or not. For example, Homey detects if I have been away for longer than 5 minutes, then surveillance will enable and also a scene to turn of most indoor lights & media will trigger.

Now what I want to have is like a guest mode that overrides most of the above. This is important if for example a carpenter is at home to fix something during the day when I am away elsewhere, or if my mom stays over while I’m away. I don’t want something like:

  • All lights are set nicely but then all of a sudden at 7 pm Homey sees I am not at home so all lights and all media turns off. Mom would be frustrated in the middle of her favorite TV show :smiley:

Since I cannot give a Homey account to all carpenters or others that stay here temporary I was thinking about creating a guest mode flow. When a specific state is enabled then Homey thinks the house is currently having guests in it so I can act on that. When the guest leaves they can click a button by the door to disable the guest mode.

I was hoping I could simply create a new Guest in Homey but that requires a unique user per guest account that also installs Homey to function as intended.

How have all of you others done it? Do you think it is a good idea to make a virtual switch for “Is guest mode” and then act on that?

The simplest solution is to introduce a virtual switch “Guest present” and check in your flows if the switch is turned on or off. I myself use an actual button set at the door, “home”, “Away”, “Sleep”, “Vacation” to set a variable that I act on. I based this on what my Homewizard used to do. This is in addition to Geofencing of course, to overrule when needed.

Just create a logic ‘is guest mode’ and switch between ‘on’ and ‘off’ with a button.

Then process this logic card into your flows but this depends on how your flows are set up. Maybe you can turn off all the flows related to your presence. That should be the easiest way.

If you still would like to use alternative versions of your flows when your guest mode is on you could create these new alternative flows and turn these on whenever the guest button is pressed.

You don’t need the logic value once you have the virtual button: the virtual button state is already the booean you can test on. By creating an extra logic boolean, all you do is create a chance for the boolean and the button to be out of sync.

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Thanks for the quick feedback! I will use a virtual button and toggle the state using that one as I have a tablet mounted by my door that is always on, so then I can have that button added to favorites to show it on the (fairly limited) Homey Dashboard.