Rule Machine vs Simple and Motion Lighting?

So far I've set up all my rules in Rule Machine. Is there any reason other than preference or organization to use the Simple or Motion Lighting apps instead of Rule Machine? I haven't explored them much yet. Do they do anything that RM doesn't


Rule Machine is a pretty big app. Simple Lighting is probably tiny and Motion Lighting not much bigger. This will likely result in lower execution times for these apps compared to RM (I think some people have measured this and found this to be the case, though I've seen one or two claim the opposite, perhaps due to some odd case Motion Lighting that may or may not have been fixed). They are also both much easier to set up than Rule Machine. The tradeoff, of course, is the classic one of ease-of-use vs. power: Rule Machine lets you do pretty much anything, the other two only what their options allow (which is really quite a lot in Motion Lighting and most people I see ask for help with RM could really use it instead). For example, Motion Lighting has a lot of "disable off" or "disable on when..." options that you could certainly re-create in RM, but with more effort.

But if any is working well for you, there is no reason to change. :slight_smile:

EDIT: I'll piggyback on a comment made below. I think it's a lot easier to switch devices out in "regular" apps compared to rules (I occasionally swap which real-world devices do what in my home), and unless the rule is pretty simple, I prefer to use an app instead in most cases. RM has gotten better, but it's pushing the limits of what's possible in the current Hubitat UI, and it sometimes takes a lot of clicks to get something done. "Regular" apps are...also quirky sometimes (in their defense, Hubitat didn't invent the app UI model they're using)...but usually a lot better/easier to navigate.

It kinda depends, I had a ton of rules and have been converting them more and more over to custom apps instead, so here's my take on RM4 vs apps:

  1. If your needs are met by an app....why write a rule? It'll always be faster to get something new setup and adjust.
  2. When you have 5 RM4 rules that all do the same thing it's annoying if you want to update them all.
  3. If your device appears multiple times in a rule and you want to update it's pretty painful.
  4. RM4 is a 2-3 times slower than apps like simple lighting. I find it noticeable when you do things like switch->lights or motion->lights.
  5. After 3,4 or 12 months will you remember what the RM4 does and all the little gotchas if it's complicated?

That said, simple lighting is pretty simple. In my personal experience either I don't understand Motion Lighting, or it's a bit buggy, or I wan too much from it.

Does that help?

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Thank you both for the feedback. Coming from Smartthings I've been plenty happy with the rule processing speeds in RM. I like the idea of keeping all my automations in RM just to have everything in one place but you've convinced me to explore the other apps because I do appreciate future flexibility if I change any devices.

Thanks again.

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I have hit some weird happenings in motion lighting. I don't know if it's buggy or just my misfortune. I am going to move them over to rule machine or simple lighting


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Don't know. I use Motion Lighting for 100% of the lighting automation in my house. Works fine for me. :man_shrugging:

I've only used RM, because I have a couple of things I want to do. Can these be done in Motion lighting (or Simple Lighting)?

  • porch lights go on/off with a motion sensor. BUT, if I turn them on myself (via the dashboard or a switch), the motion is ignored until I turn them off myself. (Or 11pm when they are turned off and motion control resumes).

  • rear porch lights go on/off with a motion sensor. BUT, if I turn them off with a switch (physical switch off), they go off and STAY off until the next sunset.

  • lights in the garage go on/off with a motion sensor, but also get turned on (if off) when I open the laundry room door, with a 1 minute delayed/cancelable off. Motion cancels that off command.

All of those involve 2 (or more) rules each, one for normal motion/on off, one for "turned on/off by other than the motion sensor". Plus one for "outside lights off at 11pm" and outside lighting rules enabled at sunset and disabled at sunrise.

I haven't explored Motion Lighting much, but if all (or most of) that can be done in there, I should take a look at it.

How do you ignore the Motion rule of you turn them on yourself

The switch I use for the rear porch light can distinguish between "digital off" and "physical off". So if I see physical off I just disable the rule. It gets re-enabled next sunset.

For my front porch, I use a private boolean, so the rule reads:

 If motion:
    If light is off:
        turn light on
        set private boolean true
else if private boolean is true
    turn light off

When I turn on the light manually, the RM rule never turns it off because IT didn't turn it on (the boolean is not true). I have a second RM rule that simply says "If this light is turned off, set the private boolean (of the motion rule) to false"

So no matter HOW the light is turned off, the motion can take over again. I have the same kind of rule for my driveway lights.

Nope, for that complex of motion lighting reset logic I would use RM.

@JasonJoel -- thanks. That's pretty much what I thought.