Suggestions for when cleaning service comes over?

Hi, not sure if this is the right forum for this. Looking for ideas for when Merry Maids come over. #firstworldproblems They come to clean every other Tuesday. Right now, I have an action that just turns all the lights on every Tuesday, and I have to remember to turn it back to Away later that day.

Without spending another small fortune on motion sensors, I’d like the living room and bedroom lights (where there are Hue bulbs) to turn on when motion is detected or maybe when the front door is opened. I thought about a SmartPresence sensor on the key they use to get in, but then I’d have to get the battery replaced.

Can’t put door open/closed sensors on the bedroom door, because I leave it open so my cats can roam freely. Also no doors to the living room. Thanks in advance for any ideas!

You could make a Maid Mode in Hello Home that can just turn everything on for a certain schedule. Or maybe when the front door opens on Tuesday? Might not solve all of your requirements but some.

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I did something similar on a house that sits vacant a few weeks each month…I have a monthly cleaning service that I put in as a reminder in my Google Calendar. IFTTT triggers on that entry and puts my house into a ‘clean’ mode at 12:01 (using my own code to turn on a virtual switch that then triggers a mode change) . This turns off the sensitivity of the alarm (Smart Alarm). At 8:00, usually an hour or two before they arrive, if the house is in clean mode, a Hello Home action activates and turns on the heat and preps the house for them to arrive. Typically, by 4pm they are gone, so the house locks up, heat turns off, lights turn off, and the house goes back into ‘out of town’ mode.

A unique case for my situation, but it works.

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Right now I have my door unlock automatically at the time the cleaning crew is supposed to arrive. If they are early they text me and I unlock it for them from wherever I am. This is a perfect use case for firing events/mode changes based on which code is entered into a lock. There is some effort that has gone into this but it isn’t complete yet:

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Different things are going to work for different people depending on the details of the use case.

I am quadriparetic, and have personal aides who come to the house. One of these has house keys. So we have experimented with various different things.

For us, The simplest has been to use the combination of a special mode and zigbee presence fob. It sounds like that might work for you also. Still have the cleaners use their regular keys. But the fob should detect them sometime between the sidewalk and coming through the front door. Its presence should then shift you to the “maids are here” mode and you can control the lights then however you want to. Then when they leave, The fob moving out of range can change the mode back to "away "or whatever you want.

You can also set this so it only runs at certain times or on certain days of the week.

I know you indicated a concern about battery life. Ours looks to be on track to last about a year, which seems fine. It should last a minimum six months. If you get it and it drops very quickly, then it’s probably a defective unit and should be replaced. You will be able to see the battery level in the smartthings mobile app, so you can arrange for the replacement when it gets down to about 20%. worst case is you have two fobs, and have them take the replacement and leave the old one when the battery level is low. (Or you could have them leave the fob with the low battery, manually change the mode that day and the next time they come, and replace the battery and leave the fob for them to pick up, although that takes more synchronization.)

Anyway, if you’re already trusting them with the keys, I think the presence fob is worth considering.

But whatever devices you choose, having the special maids mode is what really makes it work.

I forgot about this app:

You should use a smart lock to trigger a mode change when the cleaning folks enter their code.

Until I get my new locks installed (over the next two months), I’ve had to keep it very simple. I have a Visitor Expected mode that prevents any alarm or my Sonos from tripping. I know about what time they’ll arrive every other week and, since I’m always away from home when they show up, I’ll check my door/motion sensors to see that they arrive. Then, I’ll check in a few hours to see that they’ve left (I know I could get notifications but they open and close doors and move around the house a lot and would flood me with unwanted notifications).

I also make sure that I set Visitor Expected before I leave the house that day; otherwise, if my phone gets past its geofence, my house goes into Away mode, alarms and Sonos blaring at a door opening/motion detected. That’s happened only once and it will not happen again.

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You should be able to switch the mode automatically using the “when things quiet down” setting rather than checking manually.

That would be great, but I can’t figure it out how that would work in my use case. If I’m away from home and in Visitor Expected mode (all alarms, sound and notifications OFF), “Things Quiet Down” would happen twice: 15 minutes (or whatever time I set) after the motion stops, both when I leave the house and after the cleaning folks leave the house. The first instance would but me back into “Away and Armed” mode, causing the cleaners to trip everything when they open my door.

I’ll probably just set up a notification for when my front door opens and closes while in Visitor Expected mode.

Yeah, you’d need the lock first. You would trigger a mode change when the cleaning service code is entered and then another after they leave (when things quiet down).

Exactly what I was thinking. Only problem is the delay in updating mode from the time the code was entered to the time mode changed. If the door opens up in my “Alarm” mode, that would not be good. ST’s delay in updating modes has been a problem for me in the past (although, assuming my phone is unlocked, there’s been zero delay in updating modes using the iOS widget).

I’ll give it a try once I install the locks over the next 2 months.