Home automation users

Our Airbnb is fully home automated. We have created some very interesting effects and activities using the Alea echo dots. Guests even send us Amazon playlists for them to enjoy. All the lighting except the kitchen and bathroom are controlled. Outside on the deck are safety LEDs (red). We’ve set up a laser light show that talks to you, sequences the turning on and off of the lasers and plays music. The lasers were the most expensive part. The Echo dots and LEDs are not very expensive. We do pay monthly for Amazon ulimate music. Setting the “routines” to contol lights and outlets is not difficult.

Has anybody create a video that automatically plays on a TV when the host arrives? I am getting close but haven’t been able to link a motion detector or the door “unlock” to starting the TV and video. Our guests love the home automation and shows. Thanks

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You do mean when the guest arrives, right?

Really, I’m just following this thread so I can read all the posts about people who dislike automation, Amazon Alexa and so on.


I use Alexa in my own home (“Alexa, add olive oil to the shopping list”) but I see no point at all in automating the drawing of curtains or the switching on of lights. You see, I have these things called legs.

I’m always willing to hear from guests regarding things that might make my rentals more comfortable or better for them. Funnily, no one has ever mentioned automation.

As for a video that plays on arrival, I am the ‘video’. I do the house tour which is tailored to every guest.


The home my friend group rented in Boston had an Alexa device downstairs and we used it many times to play music. It was a very nice addition but not one to make or break a rental. I would have traded it for plenty of toilet paper.


Yes, I do mean when the guest arrives. So much for self editing. I wanted to include this post because the automation has turned out to have strong market appeal. The review rave about what it can do. Many guests end up saying, “We love it, can we do this at our home.” We intend some interesting upgrade later this year.

Haha. That would be me. If guests are into that sort of thing, great, but if I had to read some instructions or watch a video to turn a light off, I’d be quite annoyed.

We use the lighting to set an ambiance for our guest. “Echo, TV” turns dims the couch lights, changes the fireplace light to a warm glow. “Echo, Romance” , turns the main cabin lights to a warm reddish glow and plays romantic classical music in the master bedroom. The “echo, get ready for the show” turns the lights to red to help the guests eyes adjust to the night. Instructions are given to introduce the show. Music plays for 3 minutes to make sure the guest’s eyes are adjusted to the night. After the music, the Echo invites the guest onto the deck. Once on the deck, the instruction “Echo start the show” is given and a laser show with music starts.

I would like to have the auto start TV so that our repeat guests can get an update on any new additions that have been made without us having to meet them at the cabin when they arrive. We always try to say hello at some point during their visit.

All of these routines are easily set up on the Alexa app. You just need the light bulbs and switches to make it happen. The lasers are really incredible but get a bit pricey but are a huge hit with guests.

We always meet our guest when they arrive also. We show them the cabin and all the amenities. We have a “cheat sheet” of how to work the Alexa (Echo) system. Guests are also invited to send their favorite music playlist. I can then add title of their playlist to their welcome note. Some guests love it and it is also easy to do. They come back and ask, “Do you still have my playlist?” Of course we do.

I’m not surprised you don’t have folks asking you about home automation. Even folks that have the Alexa system are blown away by the way it is used at the cabin. We have had some guests book because of the home automation description in our writeup. They leave with some great ideas on how to expand their system.

I have fun with it and it is very low maintenance. There is even a summer project in the works.
Thanks for your comments.


My air is totally automated (or as much as I can). Lights in the hallways and out front go on at sunset, floods outside click on when cars come into the lot, front door and room locks are synced with airbnb.

@CamTN So are there manual options for guests for simple things like turning lights or fans on and off, or is your place only suitable for those who like all those high tech features?

I guess that’s YOUR niche, but it would really creep me out. The last thing I want in my house is a device that calls home unless I specifically ask it to.

And this from a guy working on his own homebrew control/security system that will NOT be installed in the guest area of the house except for heating/cooling/alarms.

I’m glad your guests enjoy it, but I all I want is a good Wifi connection, a clean place, and a comfortable bed at a reasonable price.


Do provide a link to your listing - love to see how this set up works ? @CamTN

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I agree with you. A host that gets the “creep me out feeiling” will do a good job of mitigating negative issues when planning the system. We do not get a phone call. I get a text message and an email if the fire alarm/smoke/CO dector is triggered. The guest might leave for the day and leave a pan on the stove with the heat still on. We would find out about it. We have Gig level Wifi with a guest network and a landing page for that network. Your perspective on marketing is similar to the other folks in our area. We all have locations that are beautiful and have a wonderful natural environment. We just created a differen perspective. Others have a nice place for folks to stay. We have an experience they want to enjoy in addition to being a great place to stay.

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Happy to share! The Coreglow path illumination rocks are not shown yet. (just added)
/h/Brae-cabin. I hope you find it interesting.

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I would observe that you seem to really like working on the light show/guest interaction set up, so good for you, and have fun.
As a guest feature, I’m sure it’s interesting but from a bottom line perspective the cost is probably not worth it in terms of increased bookings. I could be wrong.
If the reason to provide it is because you enjoy it, all good.

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I think you’ve found a great way to stand out. The cabin is run of the mill. The laser show distracts from the the 1982 range/oven/microwave combo though. That could be your selling point. :wink: I think it’s cool and your infectious enthusiasm about it all makes me want to stay with you just to meet you and Nancy.

I don’t care what anyone says here, 113 all 5 star reviews in a little under 2 years speaks for itself. I’m going to direct all the hosts who arrive here to whine about how unreasonable guests are, how they’ve changed during the pandemic and how hard it is to get 5 star reviews to your listing so they can see how a top host does it.

You actually seem to like people and understand that it’s “Hospitality” not “Hostility” for starters.


I love your infectious enthusiasm and while I don’t know how I’d feel about all that automation (and I work in tech), it’s very cool. And a light show.

I remember when I read an article about Kiwis creating a product like core glow for sidewalks in the boonies and I love the idea. Kudos to you for creating a very successful niche and loving your guests.

A happy host with happy guests. Who knew? :wink:

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Exactly. I was going to expand on that, but won’t for now as the naughty step may have beckoned :rofl:

OP, I think you’re a bit nuts, but I’d stay in your listing, and like @KKC said, enjoy meeting you both.

That said, first thing I’d do would be to power off every single Amazon device…



Me too. But he hasn’t answered my question as to whether that’s even possible. If you turn them off, can you even turn on a light switch with your fingers, or are you then sitting in the dark?


Excellent question because I think many of us thought the same thing.

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Automation does not replace human interaction, it enhances and assist. In my airbnb, many things (like turning on lights in the house at dusk) ASSIST guests. They can always opt to turn the hall light off.