Controller advice: isy994iw vs. vera + PLM vs. vera + isy?

Hi All,

I am trying to decide what I need to set up my home automation, but even after reading a lot of articles including gduprey’s excellent description of his thought process ([url=,26962.msg192982.html#msg192982],26962.msg192982.html#msg192982[/url]) I’m still not sure what’s the best route and what the real pros and cons are. Here’s how I understand it, and I would appreciate if somebody could correct me on what I got wrong.

A little background: What I would like to do is control the lighting in my house, control the front door lock and garage, some fans and maybe a camera/motion sensors or two. I would like to be able to do that with an app on my Android phone/tablet or with buttons on the wall or a simple remote (for the inlaws). Applications are something like turn the base lights on when I come home, turn everything off when I go to bed, turn off all the kitchen lights and turn the living room to watch TV etc. Nothing too complicated. In addition to that I would like to be able to simulate an inhabited house when I travel, hopefully fully automatically and with some randomness to fool even semi-competent thieves. I like the looks of the Insteon switches and remotes, so I would like to do Insteon for lighting, but some things like door locks don’t come in Insteon but need Z-Wave. I have a file server running 24/7, and I do software for a living, so I’m not afraid of a little programming, but don’t mind not having to deal with it.

So if I understand it correctly the main differences between the isy and the Vera are that the Vera has a nicer interface for programming scenes and a more powerful plugin architecture. I haven’t quite figured out what the power of the plugins are, but there seem to be a lot of people that benefit from them a lot, so it should be worth something. But when using Insteon it does not take advantage of the ability of the Insteon devices to run scenes by themselves and instead everything goes through the Vera, which has some impact on latency and sometimes reliability.

The isy supports Insteon better by using the built-in scenes, but it’s interface is not a pretty/functional. But they do have a REST API, so it is possible to control it from a computer if needed. I have no clue how good the Z-Wave support works.

Some people, like gduprey, use both, essentially using the isy as a macro player for Insteon. I’m not sure I’m excited about that, both from a cost and a complication point of view.

What I’m not sure is what the quality of the Android apps is. There seem to be several, but I’m not sure which ones people recommend.

What are you using? How happy are you with it?

Any comments appreciated!

This is a MUCH discussed topic with many threads - I suggest you search and read those.

For the record… I have an ISY & use it only as an Insteon control unit. The Vera is far more functional in almost all ways and Altsteon plugin works well for Insteon. I wish I had not spent the $ on the ISY.

While the Vera company has idiots running it, the Vera device is made great by the community. How long Vera will be around remains to be seen (I predict 2-3 years before they sold for parts or fold completely)… but ISY’s company, Universal Devices, is already in the grave and dirt is starting to pile up on them; they are just not smart enough to know it.