Noob to automation, will Vera do what I want?

Thinking about getting a VeraEdge to do some automation at our home. Our youngest son is not fully autistic, but he’s on the spectrum and we’d like some extra peace of mind.

What I’d like to do, eventually:

  1. Sensor on the front door that will trigger some sort of alarm.
  2. Motion detector on stairs from the bedrooms, with different actions based on time of day (ie during the night, need to alert us in our bedroom with something that would wake us up, but during the day do nothing and in the evening alert us downstairs with a lower-level alarm). Could be alarms/lights plugged into a controlled outlet or something.
  3. An adult-bypass on the front door alarm (like a button mounted above the doorframe, where we could press it to deactivate the door sensor for 30 seconds so I don’t wake people up when I leave for work in the morning)
  4. (lower priority) An adult bypass on the front door that can be done from outside, so I don’t scare anyone when I get home from work :slight_smile:
  5. Eventually, start adding some motion-sensor based lights in laundry room, closet, etc. But that’ll be down the road as budget allows.
  6. Add some cameras around as well - record when motion is detected as basic security.

Does the out-of-the-box system accommodate those things, such as different response to the sensor based on time? Or would I need other software, or a different hub, or a different system all together? Any suggestions on how to handle the alarms? Is there a better option than using outlet modules? I just figured that would be easy. I’d probably do some sort of audible alarm upstairs in our bedroom for night alarms and a light-based one downstairs that we could see in the evening without waking anyone up.

My advice is that you get a real security system. Security systems are designed for 100% uptime. Vera is a computer and it occasionally reboots or stops responding. It’s inevitable that this will be when your son decides to open the door.

By all means, buy a Vera too. You can connect it to your security system and use the security system’s sensors in Vera’s automation actions. Vera is great for automation, but automation isn’t security.

Your question gets asked a lot. Take a look back through the discussions, or Google some keywords with “” and see the responses.

Thanks for the input.

So if I’m understanding correctly, you’re basically just saying that the “brainbox” of an actual alarm system is more reliable than a Vera or other HA brain? I’d consider doing a DIY wireless alarm system if that’s the reasoning. I do NOT want a monitored or pro installed system, that’s not at all in the budget right now. And with where the doors are, there’s no good way to run wires unfortunately.

I’ll do some research in that direction then - I do like the idea of a security system with potentially cheaper and more reliable sensors, and then interfacing that with Vera for triggering some extra actions. If you’ve got any specific suggestions on systems to look into (I know I’ve seen some things on here, I’ll do some searching and find them again)

I full agree with “futzle”…

I have such a Hybrid myself a Visonic PowerMaxPro Alarm AND a Vera 3.
Visonic Alarm is in the lead for all Main Alarm events but has a connection to the the Vera 3 (with an Vera App). Secondary events (non critical) can be configured via Vera 3.
Reading a “tripping” of a sensor switches on a light.
Or If Alarm is set to Arm Home all lights go OFF, but not on Arm Away.
Possibilities are endless.

For conditional actions like “If time is between 15:00 and 17:00 and sensor is triggerd, THEN do XYZ” is not out-of-the-box configurable with Vera… it needs:

  • A plugin/app like PLEG (low cost license)
  • LUA/LUUP skills (free)

Both are documented on this forum and allot of skillful people on this forum can help with both.


Yup, get an alarm first then use a vera plugin (or app) to have vera update with the alarm and tie them together. Wireless is great for install but a door sensor is 25-40 bux vs. 1.50 wired. Wireless motions are good for security use but lag and stop reporting (after so many continuous trips) so using wireless motions to say turn on a light when walking in a room is not so good. You might want to have someone install the alarm for you (not on a contract) if you have trouble doing an install.

Wireless z-wave devices (do research first) have similar drawbacks. Batteries run out, power saving must be in use to make them last, power saving means performance degrade. z-wave Battery devices don’t repeat or improve the mesh network either. Just do alot of reading and know both sides of the story before you just pick one on ease of install.

Yes, I would definitely do with a Security System integrated with Vera, Wireless systems are great and inexpensive. Some companies will send them all pre-configured for you with the door and windows sensors , and then you can cancel the paid monitoring after the first month (just make sure to get the dealer code from them when you cancel). Wireless security sensors tend to be a little less expensive their ZWAVE counter parts and have incredible battery life (2-5 years depending on the sensor type).

The main thing to think about is motion sensor. Door sensors are pretty much immediate on either security or zwave. But Security System motion sensors tend to have a few second delay (they want to see multiple moves) before they will trip to prevent false alarms. Zwave automation motion sensors (like the Fibaro) trip almost immediately so are good for motion based light controls. Battery life on a PIR security system motion sensor is about two years, similar to what the Fibaro, the Aeon 6 in 1 zwave I believe gets significantly less.