Must-have apps

That's what my wife says about me all the time...

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Smartly Dashboard skin with drag-and -drop.

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Event Engine .. very flexible and quicker than Rule Machine (important for motion lighting)

Follow me (if you use Google Home)

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I started with Battery Monitor, but lithium batteries are difficult to monitor, so I switched to Device Activity Check, which I’ve liked a lot more, as I can monitor non-battery devices too (e.g. WiFi presence, Konnected, Roomba, weather station) for any connectivity issues.

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  • Hubitat Package Manager
  • Groups and Scenes
  • Hub Watchdog
  • Hubitat Safety Monitor
  • Maker API
  • Motion and Mode Lighting Apps
  • Rule Machine
  • Simple Automation Rules
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I would recommend [Deprecated] Amazon Alexa Text to Speech (TTS) v0.6.2 - Direct Integration (USA, Canada, UK, Italy, Australia, & Brazil) instead of Echo Speaks. when i had echo speaks on my hub, it was so laggy and also dependent on heroku. TTS connected to a local linux server for me and it runs a lot smoother

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@erktrek, @danabw, @jason5, @672southmain, @Ranchitat, @cwwilson08, @yannick00000, @mikee385, @lawsonad, @dadarkgtprince -- thanks a lot guys, brilliant stuff. My next week sorted!

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It looks like it's for Z-Wave mesh only...? I don't (yet?) have any Z-Wave devices, only Zigbee. Generally, I find Z-Wave offering in the UK pretty much non-existent. Everything that I find or am recommended is Zigbee...

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Guys, I am trying to create a simple 'scene', 'rule' or whatever you want to call it that creates my 'office doorbell'. I have a button right outside my home office and want people to use it to 'knock' so that I know someone is out there even if I have my headphones on. So:

  • Press the doorbell, my light goes to 100
  • After 2 sec it transitions to 10%, for 2 sec
  • After 2 sec it transitions back to 100%, for 2 sec.
  • [Repeat a few times]
  • This sequence stops after 12 sec or so

Fairly simple and I have set it up in Rule Machine, but I've been doing some reading up and the general recommendation is to try to avoid Rule Machine when possible and set things up in lighter apps. There are so many apps that in my mind do pretty much the same thing:

  • Rule Machine
  • Simple Automation Rules
  • Event Engine
  • Groups & Scenes

...and I am sure tons of others. However, I can't figure out how to do what I want to do in any of them, apart from Rule Machine. Which one would you recommend for setting this up, other than Rule Machine...?

I made a similar comment about what I thought was the general recommendation of avoiding RM for lighting due to its size, making the comment on a thread Bruce was also part of. Bruce responded to my post clarifying that while RM can be a relatively large app to load compared to others, and obviously time matters in lighting rules, the actual impact of using RM doesn't necessarily warrant avoiding it entirely, even for lighting. I'll try and find it and update with a link.

EDIT: Like most things I tend to go off memory, which is not always accurate. Bruce gave a very balanced answer which at least leans towards using ML over RM, but he was careful not to overstate the impact, I guess that was what I was remembering most.

In terms of other apps (like Bruce talks about) you may also be interested to look at the motion lighting built in app, which may still work with the button... But I can't be 100% sure.... Oh and I also hear good things about Event Engine, which you mentioned, so that does sound like a good one to check out.

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This is RM 100%. It's designed for odd cases like this. The comment on not using RM are for use cases when it's a very simple request, like at this time turn on light and at this time turn off. Or motion lighting set-ups in all those conditions the other more simple apps would be quicker to use.

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Another addition that I would make is that, to me, it makes sense to work out what you want by trialling ideas and options through RM rules then, once you know what will work, finding the right solution in terms of the most appropriate app, etc. I'm not saying I got any impression I needed to make that point from the original post, just offering it up as an approach for anyone weighing up how best to get started.

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OK, sounds good. I thought those lighter apps were a bit more capable but doesn't sound like they are. :slight_smile:

It's just about finding the right tools for the job. Motion lighting for example is better and easier to set up than a RM for lights with motion detection. It's a perfect app for simple and really complicated set-ups where as RM would be really complicated to even get anywhere near it.

Generally start with the built in apps then if you find it's not possible, your probably doing something odd. I'm which case ask (just incase your just looking at it wrong) and then do it in RM.

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RM is a last resort

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Exactly, only if you can't do it elsewhere.

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In terms of apps used to build automations, I think of them in this order. All of the ones below are Hubitat built-in apps, except Event Engine, whic is a community built app that has a lot of powerful features in an easy to use interface to build automations that Simple Automations rule can't do, and that don't need the additional complexity and learning cuve that Rule Machine requires. Definitely install and take a look at Event Engine. You can find it in Hubitat Package Manager.

  1. Notifications
  2. Motion and Mode Lighting App
  3. Simple Automation Rules
  4. Event Engine
  5. Rule Machine
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This is a super helpful ordered list -- thanks! So far everything I have sits in either Simple Automation Rules or Rule Machine. My favourite is Rule Machine because it can do anything without the need for workarounds. But I should indeed have a think about migrating what is possible to some of these lighter apps...

When were you using it? I haven’t tried it out yet, but my understanding is that v3 was optimized quite a bit so as not to overload the hub and keep things running much more smoothly.

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While not "apps" I also recommend:

Node-RED Server + HE Nodes - Visual style controller can be used to integrate a wide range of systems and potentially act as master rules engine (which can reduce overhead on HE hubs).

Homebridge Server + Homebridge App - Apple Homekit connectivity works great.

NOTE: These are not for everyone and require some initial setup so ymmv!!!

1 Like