When comparing Lightning vs bspwm, the Slant community recommends bspwm for most people. In the question“What are the best window managers for Linux?” bspwm is ranked 6th while Lightning is ranked 31st. The most important reason people chose bspwm is:
It has a low footprint.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Free and open source software
This means you can help developing new features if you would like to contribute.
Moreover you can inspect the code if you are concerned about privacy.
Pro Slide-out tab switcher
Tab switcher can be quickly accessed by swiping from the left.
Pro Built-in reading mode
Reading mode allows removing everything on a page but the content. It removes ads, styling and anything else that could get in the way of a comfortable reading experience.
Pro Incognito mode
Pro Very lightweight
It has a low footprint.
Pro Very flexible
The keyboard shortcut are handled by another module so it's easy to use other inputs. The configuration is also simple.
Pro Based on binary space partitioning
The windows tiling is handled as the leaves of a full binary tree. This makes it easy to partition as you like.
Pro Drag&drop / Mouse support for resize/move
You can resize, switch panes, and resize tiles via the mouse.
Pro Open source
It's open source
Pro Live configuration updates
No need to restart for updating configurations.
Pro Simple, adheres to the UNIX philosophy
Configuration takes much less work than in similar window managers. Hotkey binding is handled by a separate utility, sxhkd.
Pro Simple interface
All actions of the window manager (like opening or resizing a window, changing the workspace, etc.) are handled by a program called bspc, which communicates with bspwm over a socket connection. The config file is just a shell executable making calls to that program. This makes it very easy to write your own scripts to handle bspwm's behavior.
Pro Adherent to the Linux philosophy: Do one thing and do it right
Pro Easily scriptable / modular
All window management is done via the bspc command allowing for easy scripting and extensibility. This also means your sxhkd keybinds can be ported elsewhere without being tied to the wm.
Pro Comes without a compositor
You can to choose which compositor you want! A popular one is compton.
Out of the box it "Lacks transparency support" but if you choose to add compton then you can have transparency, blur etc.
Pro Has basic ewmh implementation
With basic ewmh I can easily config to make a fullscreen program show in a window.
Pro Native gaps
Con No bookmark folders
Bookmarks can't be organized into folders.
Con Poorly documented
Compared to something like i3 for example, a user following through i3's documentation is basically guaranteed to get a working desktop suited to their needs. Setting up bspwm is much more of a headache due to developers assuming things are clearer than they are.
Con Lack of layouts
It offers less layouts then most of the tiled windows managers. (Only binary and monocle)
Con Lacks transparency support
Like most window managers there is no built in compositing, which means no transparencies.