Smart second home strategy


Novice Member
Hi guys, I'm new here.

I currently live in my three bed house in England but moving to Japan next year, and I'll be letting it out via Air BnB full time.
Looking to automate as much as possible, while not violating the privacy of my guests.

Already in place is:

- Amazon Echo (gen 3) in kitchen/diner.
- 2x Amazon Echo Dot upstairs.
- Nuki Smart Lock - with bridge and keypad.
- Geo Cosy Smart Thermostat (my boiler has no other thermo so this works great, can controll from app, although doesn't seem to intregrate much with other IoT systems)

The Nuki Smart lock can be integrated with Air BnB to provide time-limited access keys (for keypad) for the duration of the stay and enable me to check whether the door is closed/locked/lock and unlock remotely, etc.

What I'm looking to do is find the best smart home solution that will enable me to integrate all of the above plus:

- Control every light bulb in the house (in case guests leave lights on after checkout)
- Get 2x Smoke + carbon monoxide sensors that I can monitor and control via an app
- Possibly a smart doorbell or camera system that can be physically disabled by guests while they are there
- Possibly motion sensors instead of cameras

I'm looking to find out:

Do I need some sort of bridge or hub to enable me to control the lights?
What is the best bridge or hub that will allow me to control all of the above (new and existing) using the same app (e.g. nest, hue, samsung)?

I am a software engineer so would like to be able to use IFTTT to experiment with integrating some of these features e.g.

- turn all lights on if smoke sensor activates
- turn hall light on when smart lock is unlocked
- turn off heating after guest checks out (smart lock is activated after checkout time)

Can anyone suggest

1. the best hub or bridge to bring this together
2. thes best of each of these devices that can interconnect or be hub-compatible.
3. the best deals!

Seb Briggs

Well-known Member
Besides the geo cosy Hubitat elevation hub will work with that list . They have a very active community so a driver may be on the horizon for Geo cosy.

this will also allow you to run all the scenes you need

I use doorbird for door cameras and this will integrate as well

finally rather than smart bulbs I would use modules behind the switches so the bulbs don’t get isolated if turned off. Either Fibaro Zwave or Shelly WiFi modules


Well-known Member
If it were me I’d be choosing the best option for each class of control and then use their integration apis to try and build the automation layer to sit on top and provide the additional functionality.

For heating I’d suggest looking at Honeywell Evohome as this would allow individual room level temperature control without rewiring or replumbing provided your existing thermostatic radiator valves are compatible. This way you get around customers leaving manual TRVs turned up to max or minimum and allow the heating to be easily set back when empty and returned to a normal level for the next occupants. You can choose whether to implement some of the other features such as optimum start, cold weather boost, warm weather cutoff etc. once you are happy with the system.

An alternative that would give you better control of the heating would be Heatmiser Neo stats with a Homehub. Again you can choose the levels of automatic functionality you want to use but it will now be a single thermostat/whole house only control.

For smoke/carbon monoxide then Nest would be my preferred choice for easy monitoring. Add a Nest thermostat and you get the option of automatic boiler shut down on a carbon monoxide event too.


Distinguished Member
You may want to look at an Ajax alarm. You can integrate your smoke and CO sensors and ensure that the property is secured when not in use. It can also be managed, set and unset remotely and you can give guests temporary alarm access whilst using the property. You can also add leak detection sensors, to help you manage the space.

Seb Briggs

Well-known Member
Just a note and maybe not an issue but IFTTT is no longer free though using Hubitat and/or Ajax you wouldn’t need it anyway
I would strongly suggest that you give some consideration to the data protection aspect side of things especially when it comes to things like the Echo.


Distinguished Member
Yes you can disable if smoke is detected and just have heat and rapid heat rise to alarm


Well-known Member
Liking the sound of this system more and more. Was just looking at their break glass detectors, very clever technology. Just had a bifold door smash and it’s so ridiculously easy to push the glass through once you crack it.


Active Member
If you're not living there then I'd be very careful about installing smart stuff.
  • It takes a bedding in period to get things set up right.
  • You're going to be on call for anything that goes wrong, and more complex stuff goes wrong more often
  • Smart stuff might go walkies - a guest replaces a few hue bulbs or smart radiator valves with normal ones, or an Echo vanishes and you don't notice till a few guests later. Now you're out the replacement money plus you've got to pay someone to go and replace it, and they're almost certain to mess up the install if they're not the kind of (expensive) handyman that's used to installing smart stuff.
Stick to stuff that's aimed at landlords. The smart lock seems good if AirBnB recommends it. Otherwise have as little stuff in the house as possible and keep it simple. Talk to your letting agent or whoever you have local that deals with the cleaning / keeping an eye on the house. Stick to their capabilities.

Funny how psychology works - if you have two Echos, highly likely one will go missing, but with just one left, it's probably safe there :)

PS Amazon has a 50% offer on Tado smart heating stuff today.

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