Migrating from Control4


Fed up with Control4 for various reasons (not to do with the platform itself or Zigbee reliability ) but the way an end users devices were continually EOL’d (when they had no say in it…case in point only recently with Composer 3.0), the inability to do firmware updates myself, and the inability to make simple changes to the platform within my own house myself (upgrade a TV etc) - I have been slowly migrating away from Control4.

Alexa has helped big time here. Ist with music Control (I predominantly use Sonos/Spotify), and next with Harmony Remote (I now don’t use Control4 for A/V control) and finaly with my Nest TSat.

I now want to move my lighting and relay control. I have a Ness Security M1 Alarm Panel. And I have a garage and set of blinds controlled via a Card Access Zigbee controller and direct wiring to the relays on the HC800 controller. I have one light circuit with a C4 zigbee dimmer and 3-4 GPO’s. One of these controllers a water pump. A Also have a LiLin NVR and 9 IP 1080p cameras. That’s pretty much it.

My 11 questions are these

1/ Will Z-wave be as reliable as Zigbee?
2/ Is Vera all DIY? I am pretty Ok with that I learnt alot of C4 roll out and programming working with a C4 certified dealer.
3/ Do I have to rip out all the Zigbee dimmers and GPO’s?
4/ What would you suggest I use for the relays? Or will the Card Access ones still work ? discoverable by Vera?
5/ Is Vera Firmware upgradeable by the end user?
6/ Does Vera gear get EOL’d?
7/ Is there a market on ebay for it if it doesn’t work out? (There isn’t for c4 gear)
8/ How easy is it to set up a “remote in” using the Vera app and what do you see? Are all IP cameras for example visible within the app? (mixture of Lilin and HikVision)
9/ Can I integrate the NESS alarm panel?
10/ Where is the list of all compatible pieces of hardware?
11/ Can you set up Prowl notifications?


  1. based on my experience no one can truly give accurate comments on zigbeee and z wave reliability, its totally dependent on your network they are 2 different standards Zigbee uses the IEEE’s 802.15.4 which is same as 2.4ghz (so same framework as your wifi, 2.4 Cordless Phone, etc.) Z Wave’s 800-900MHz so for my setup, I have Phillips hue which runs ZigbeeLL on channel 20 with 2 huge external antennas connected and I have never had issues, while most of My IOT stuff runs Z-Wave flawlessly. so its totally dependent on your situation (Oh there is also z-wave plus which is Z-wave that has been going to the gym for a while, so its a bit beefy, security and range wise. https://dgit.com/zigbee-vs-z-wave-58857/

  2. Vera is not all DIY, but it opens a host of flexible internal and external applications and the endless customization ability. If you don’t like Vera Interface u can use Altui Openluup bind it to Openhab or Bind it to home assistant.

  3. Good question - if u already have made the investment in ZigBee, I would say stick with it, Vera is still working on its ZigBee implementation so u might want to shop around first, that’s my honest opinion. (So yeah vera favors z-wave at the moment) [thats one of the reasons I just went with Phillips Hue- and bound it to vera]

  4. Probably not (would be good to test once Zigbee stack gets finished) but Card access is ZigBee t so I think I answered in question 1, remember Zigbee will be ZigBee and Z-wave is Zwave, so if u can find Zwave relays (I don’t have any but I know they di exist) u would have to use them

  5. 5/ Is Vera Firmware upgradeable by the end user? Yes for a very long time Vera used to force updates, but they have fixed that because we, the community, yelled a lot. everything is right here on the form. It’s definitely not as problematic as it once was

  6. No, but at some point, the ability to support it becomes way too costly, just like a cell phone, at some point, you will just need to upgrade, I’ve had a Veralite and now I’ve moved to vera plus and I have been doing this since 2011.

  7. Great Question. so remember Vera is just the controller to interface with Z-wave devices. so devices are not specific to vera, as long as its Z-wave it should work. So you have a great deal of Z-wave devices on eBay new and used (I’m assuming contol4 was very closed and limited and they told you the infamous “its not compatible” phrasing a lot). So an example, You get your vera and need to replace some dimmers and you see someone on u can buy from ebay, homedepot, amazon, bestbuy, anywhere that sells Z-wave devices and pair it to the Vera.

  8. as easy as 123, I personally Use BlueIris4 for Ip Camera and its incorporated into Vera Via Plugin (I have nest cameras, cheap cameras from China, POE cameras, None of them can access the internet by themselves they connect only to the BlueIris server)

  9. Elk/ness M1 app

  10. Pretty much most Z-wave devices are compatible / the Z-wave Stack is pretty robust and all devices simply use a standardized command class to communicate, mandated by Z-Wave Alliance.
    so light switch use On/Of (COMMAND_CLASS_SWITCH_BINARY) command class so any light switch u purchase will communicate with this class, brand name does not matter
    but here u go

  11. Yes via 2 apps (Push Notification and VeraAlerts) that I’m aware of

Hello, I saw your post and have a few questions for you, as I am new to this. I currently have a Control4 system as well and I am looking to integrate shades into my system without breaking the bank. You said that you have shades that work with your system via card access Zigbee controller. What is this? Does it work with Vera and Control4? I am interested in getting away from Control4 as well so I am looking for any advice as I have so many “smart” devices and I want to make sure that they will all play nice together.

First issue; I have about 15 Control4 light switches. My dealer would not install any of the light switches on any of my 3 and 4 way lights which is very frustrating because this is an application that would be very useful. I current bought a brilliant 2 gang light switch which looks pretty cool but I don’t want a screen at all 3 or 4 locations. I have the one installed in the hall between my family room and kitchen. Now the screen is cool there but I need 2 more switches to complete the 3 way light switches and 3 more screens will look very odd and be overkill in my opinion. So I am looking at getting the VeraPro to get all of my 3 and 4 way switches online and talking to my system. What do you recommend for 3 and 4 way light switches? I have at least 10 in my home, the builder went a little crazy with these 3 and 4 way switches.

2: I want to add motorized shades. Most companies I am looking at use a generic motor with a 433hz remote what have you found works beast with VeraPro and Control4?

3: I have ring front doorbell and side doorbell. I just added a flood cam and Yale lock. Does ring integrate with VeraPro? Ring does not play nice with Control4 from what I have been told.

4: I have 2 garages that use the Chamberlain MyQ does VeraPro work with this?

5: We had a hardwired security system from ADT and got it finally connected with Control4 but it is horrible. It is very buggy. I think we have an Ademco board. I am not allowed to change it to DSC if that is better. What security system do you recommend to work with VeraPro that uses or can use hardwired contacts?

6: I have a Hikvision NVR and 1 Hikvision camera. I have a second Hikvision camera not installed yet and a LorexPing2 camera that my dealer sold me that I have now learned doesn’t work with Hikvision NVR. Is there a camera system that can work with the VeraPro? Is there a way that I can integrate my current Hikvision camera, Lorex and Ring? I am not loving the ring front doorbell camera so I thought about changing this to am more standard intercom door station camera with doorbell.

Any thoughts, advice, suggests would be greatly appreciated!


^ I haven’t put in Vera at this stage. I am putting in Alexa instead (with it’s built in Zigbee control of lights, relays and of course other skills (sonos, Harmony etc)
Control4 is still in my house but just as a backbone left just running alarm and garage and a few other security type prowl messages etc…
I am going to move the Alarm and garage control when a suitable Alexa relay becomes available
I won’t be upgrading Control4… the HC800 will be run on vintage software if I am made to…

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