When I decided to take a serious look at alternatives to my Vera, I went down the path of using the HA to Vera integration to provide a path backwards if needed as well as to help with the gradual migration.
I started by figuring out how to duplicate all of my PLEG automation in HA. YAML kinda scares me, so I used Node-RED which, after a bit of a learning curve, is very easy to use and has support for some key integrations (like my Roborock) with simple add-ons. Some other API-based interfaces I simply ‘built’ using Node-RED. Different than PLEG + Lua, but more powerful and easier to debug. But after I got my automations all working (with Vera as the device interface), I felt more confident in HA as a replacement solution.
The first device transition was to HA’s Zigbee support which went very smoothly and was orders of magnitude better than Vera for my Keen vents and other Zigbee devices. And as I migrated more and more to HA, I simply deleted those items from Vera and rebooted. Along the way, I kept making incremental Vera backups and HA snapshots so I could revert at any time if needed.
The toughest migration was my Legrand Adorne switches & dimmers. After almost breaking down and writing my own integration, I stumbled across someone who had created a very simple broker between the Legrand interface and MQTT which I could leverage in HA. Not the easiest step, but the overall performance and reliability is now better than on my Vera.
The second last step was a Zwave migration which was made easier because I only had about 10 Zwave devices. Just like with my Vera, enrolling my Yale lock was truly a royal pain, but I got there in the end.
One area that Vera still shines is the out of the box UI. HA has a lot of very cool tools, but effectively requires you to build your own user interface if you want something simple and user friendly. That was the last step for me before mothballing the Vera. I eventually used a community-supplied theme that was easy to customize and looks good on any device. A very high WAF and very easy to grow out as I add more capabilities. At this point, my HA now does about 150% of what my Vera formerly did. No more getting nervous about proprietary hardware or being afraid to upgrade firmware based on previous bad experiences.
Home automation is never really simple, but I’m very happy with what I have now and it’s a vast improvement over my Vera. I’ve been using Vera for a very long time (the last one was my third Vera) and felt increasingly boxed in with the platform. HA has issues (especially with documentation) but it has a very viable community and near constant additions that I can leverage.
My Vera now sits in the pile of disused tech and will soon end up at the recyclers. It’s been an interesting ride. Anyone looking to start a similar journey would be wise to do what I did and initially leverage the HA Vera integration. Where you go from there is dependent on how much time you wnat to invest to meet your particular needs.