Fibaro Home Center HC2 - comparison experience vs. Vera 3

Hello. Firstly, and most importantly, if you would like to try a new HC2 why not buy mine? It’s now available for 25% less than retail :slight_smile: [url=][/url]

I am a UK user; interested in HA but not an obsessive techie by any means. I was having great difficulty getting Vera to talk to everything I wanted. Various bits never worked quite right, and the UI is, let’s face it, pretty grim.

So last week I gave in and bought an HC2 from Fibaro. Out of the box, it looked much slicker and “sexier” than Vera. The UI is smartly designed and feels more finished - it doesn’t, for example, contain options like “Hack to convert 2.78 to 3.20”, and it is much quicker. However, those first impressions soon fell apart once I started using it. I upgraded to the latest firmware version, but was asked to check a box that said (exactly): “I accept the risk that system in 3.600 and this particular configuration may not become fully functional or unresponsive after upgrade”. :o

Things got progressively worse, with a lack of the well-rounded plugins I was hoping for, and an assumption that it will all “just work” that really made me appreciate Vera’s ability to let you see under the hood of each device and tweak a few settings when needed.

The killer for me was the lack of activity in the Fibaro user forums, and lack of support for Visonic (which is cheap and fairly clever); Vera works with this like magic. It also didn’t seem to be possible to create scenes for Hue lights (or much else) using the visual scene designer - you have to resort to chucks of luup code in many cases; and unlike Vera it doesn’t poll the status of hue lights, it’s a one-way interface.

In summary, trying out the HC2 really made me appreciate how close Vera is to being the right solution for a “normal” user. It is very rough around the edges, and both systems rely far too heavily on the generous support of the user base for the really clever integration points - many are critical and the developers should be producing these, not end users who (rightly) may stop supporting a plugin at any moment. Having said that, my failure with HC2 forced me to go back to the forums and see if I could solve some of my nagging issues; and I am delighted to say everything works, thanks to the users here:

[ul][li]Z-Wave Dimmers & Appliance Modules[/li]
[li]Logitech Harmony & Hubs, controls all IR devices[/li]
[li]Sonos Playbar, Play 5s, Play 3s and Play 1s (love the little icons)[/li]
[li]Philips Hue bulbs, blooms and lightstrips[/li]
[li]Yale YRD220-ZW-EU Door Lock[/li]
[li]Netatmo indoor, outdoor + rain sensors[/li]
[li]Nest Thermostat & Smoke detectors[/li]
[li]Visonic PowerMax Alarm Panel[/li]
[li]Various IP cameras[/li][/ul]

I’ve even got rid of the annoying “Energy” tab thanks to a tip I got here. As someone who moves around regularly for work, I love the fact that everything is totally wireless and can move with me if I change location. I also now have a decent interface via iPads & iPhone using Homewave (which I also found based on a tip on the forums), and is simple and quick to use, and can be customised with pretty graphics. My faith in Vera has been restored!

HC2 looks good and works seamlessly for the basic fundamentals of z-wave (especially if you use Fibaro modules & sensors) but doesn’t have much else going on.

I’m sticking with Vera, and am finally able to back up a working configuration at last.

In summary, buy my HC2 and see for yourself! :wink:

For who needs a Fibaro HC2 with USA frequency, I have one for sale too…
half of the more cheap price you find…


I have some land in South Florida for sale if you want to buy a domicile to employ those HC2’s. :wink:

A buddy of min in Europe bought one and is basically saying the same things. I gave him a view only user ID to my Vera UI5 and Vera UI7 and now he’s pretty jealous and looking for a EU Vera with UI7. I can’t take all of the blame as rstrouse has to take his part. wink My buddy was already 70% convinced after playing with my UI5 Vera. (My poor dogs wondering about lights and garage doors and the HTS switching off and on) but when going to the UI7 Vera, he just drooled over the 2 panels that run on it. That clinched the deal for him.

In short, Vera isn’t everything as she has her quirks. But the grass being greener over the next hill may just be spray painted a brighter green than it actually is. About the only one that I would consider as a plan B in case Vera goes (apart from OpenHAB) would be SmartThings next version if it fulfills it’s promises. But I am counting on Vera staying around for a while.

Wink? Definitely. but only rooted and as minion to Vera to provide Zigbee et all access. I have one but just need the time to get it rooted and set up.