Another one bites the dust

I used Conrad Connect briefly after the demise of Stringify (RIP) because it had a similar graphical UI for building flows/rules and a really nice looking dashboard. Sadly, yet another IoT system bites the dust.

What do you use now? You're probably already aware of Node-RED. I've never used it, but it looks very similar to Stringify.

Never heard of Conrad Connect, but I did use Stringify when I first picked up Smartthings. It really connected with my designer brain and helped me visualize the logic. Then I found webCoRE. Then I moved it all to Hubitat. :rofl:


HE but Node-RED for any flows that need to be fast (motion lighting for example). Also I'm tired of having to keep rebuilding old rules to take advantage of new HE features, so Node-RED isolates me from all that nonsense. I really like it. It's crazy flexible and very graphical as you say and there are a stack of nodes that integrate with almost anything. It does take a bit of learning but is well worth the effort.


I've never tried Node-RED but keep seeing posts regarding it on here. I'm intrigued - why would a motion lighting automation run faster in Node-RED than RM or the inbuilt Motion Lighting app?

You really don't. What changed in rewriting the rule that wasn't working in the old version? I have an open door rule from 4.0 that doesn't need to be updated because the variables work just as good now as they did when I created the rule 2 years ago...


Happy it works for you. Hub variables is one example. There are many others. If you want/need to use the latest features to improve or extend your pre-RM5 rules, then yes you do absolutely have to rebuild them. No problem if that's what you enjoy doing. I've done it for some rules. But using NR isolates me from that issue now and into the future. Don't get me wrong, HE is great and RM is cool.


speed depends on a lot of different factors including hub overhead - the fastest way is a custom HE app/driver. NR (HE Maker API) can be faster than RM in certain situations..

What you get with NR is:

  • A reduction in HE hub resource usage (using less apps) by offloading things.
  • Flexibility with other systems and also less reliance on a single vendor.
  • Ability to upgrade your hardware as necessary (add memory/storage/processing power).
  • Increased ability to diagnose/troubleshoot issues at a lower level.
  • very easy migration and rule copying/duplication though to be fair HE is definitely getting better in this area.
  • Visual Flow paradigm is super intuitive once you get past the learning curve. Though it's still not to everyone's tastes so ymmv.
  • Can run on a variety of systems from a Raspberry PI to a VM (NAS or otherwise) and is very easy to install and integrate with HE.

On the downside:

  • Yet another system to maintain/update.
  • An additional point of failure in your system.
  • Requires a LAN to operate.
  • Troubleshooting issues becomes more of your responsibility. Community definitely helps with this though.
  • The combination of the HE "RM Lite" apps and the dashboard (And phone app) are great for a general purpose setup so I probably would recommend that first as a workable solution. If you like to tinker or have a more complicated setup then it might be worth checking out.

Some examples from my setup:

Using Node-RED and Homebridge (running on same server) I am using my Ring Floodlights motion events to control various HE devices. Have even been able to disable the motion lighting events in Ring and control them directly allowing me to easily disable and leave the lights on for as long as I want depending on several factors I've set up.

Using a certain Alexa node in NR I have a custom command that reacts differently depending upon which Echo is listening. "Lights On" in the basement turns lights on in the basement, while "Lights On" in the kitchen will turn on the kitchen lights.

I also have a set of rules that prevent my daughter from listening to her Echo Dot after hours. It checks for detected events, and cancels them and responds with "Echo unavailable right now".


Thanks @erktrek. Yes I like to tinker - which usually results in a post on here when I break something or it's not working as expected! I might take a look at it. I'd never used a Raspberry PI before a week or two ago, but I installed one and managed to get Homebridge & MQTT up and running as well as some software to get my Hikvision RTSP streams converted and onto my (SharpTools) dashboards.

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I wasn't aware Node-RED had any Alexa integration. This is really interesting. Only reason I'm using NR right now is because HE has no ability to open an encrypted socket. I haven't used it for any other purpose, so far.

Looks like there are a few NR Alexa nodes out there. Which one are you using?

The AppleStrudel version..

Are you using the HE nodes? They are fantastic.

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No, I'm just using a mqtt node to pass info to/from HE, and a daemon node running openssl to pass info to/from the device that I can't talk directly to with HE.

The rest of my stuff is either in webcore or RM. At the moment, anyhow. I like webcore but it's just as constrained as RM (or an app or device driver) is when communicating with the outside world.

NR has no such constraints but I was hesitant about adding another point of failure to the mix. It's been extremely stable so far though.

My Pi 4 running NR + a few other services (using an SSD) has been pretty much flawless, have never had to do a reboot to keep it running. If the pi itself fails just plug the SSD into a new one (even an older pi 3 will do) and off you go.


I like WebCoRE too - very powerful and the UI is great but can generate overhead due to it's generic nature almost like the full RM app vs the RM Lite apps. Also on the editor side, you might consider running a WC server locally if you can in case the dashboard UI server goes away.

Node Red offloads all of that and only deals with HE through the Maker API so is very lightweight in terms of hub interaction. You can swamp the hub with too many simultaneous requests though but in practice it is very fast and responsive.

Well it can also communicate with HE via MQTT and if you have more than one type of controller this might be preferred making your system MQTT centric rather than HE centric. I believe that’s how he’s using it currently.

For most users with just HE controllers the HE nodes are ideal though. Knowing current ‘state’ is a bit easier this way and no MQTT app needed on HE.

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Centralizing on MQTT as the backbone would be the ultimate goal for my personal system. I could then attach ANY type of controller/rule engine/service I wanted and everything would just talk to each other. It does require a large time investment to set up and get right.. especially if trying to package for clients.

For now Node-RED hits the sweet spot. I still am using MQTT though for event generation in NR among other things.


I have NR running in a docker container on my NAS, and it has never given me a drop of trouble. My point of failure concern is largely theoretical, if not perhaps a bit irrational.

I really would prefer a single device/hub/controller to handle everything, but that's probably a pipe dream.

In my particular case, I don't think the HE nodes would buy me anything. I am using NR to connect with my alarm system. In HE, I have a device driver which represents the alarm system itself, and a bunch of child device drivers which represent the alarm sensors (door, window, motion, smoke, etc.).

NR feeds the raw data supplied by the alarm system (via openssl) to the parent driver via mqtt, which then parses it out and if needed, sends the info to the proper child driver. Similarly, commands from HE (arm, disarm, etc.) are sent back to NR and then back to the alarm panel, again via openssl.

Only reason I need NR is because HE can't open a simple encrypted socket.

Yep different use-cases!

I use NR to offload the rules and apps, allowing the HE to run with as little overhead as possible with my system not being constrained by the HE hardware itself. Makes packaging, deployment and management very easy for me and my clients. With NR I also have platform independence - I can theoretically switch out HE with HomeAssistant or another Home Automation system and keep all my sequences (rules) with minor editing. This provides a measure of security and future-proofing - I like to have options.

HE is one of the best Home Automation hubs out there and the combo of HE + NR for me has proven to be a winning one. As I've said previously for most people rolling their own who do not want to deep dive into things - a stock HE with RM Lite apps + dashboard is probably the best way to go..

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For most people this would probably be enough, however I have number of devices that don't play well in HE and running a few different controllers is for me unavoidable.