I don’t use Vera for anything mission-critical–no HVAC, or locks of any kind. The HVAC system is pretty fancy and has a thermostat that’s really a terminal for the processor in the system. The only “smart” T-stat that will work with the system is the vendor’s own, and it’s ridiculously overpriced, is cloud-based, and gets some of the worst reviews imaginable. The stock non-automated T-stat works great, and there’s no reason to have it be part of Vera.
Wireless locks scare the heck out of me, and not just because Vera might hiccup and unlock all the doors. There are too many ways they can be compromised, and the latest security flaw in Z-Wave means all these locks could be compromised. I did automate the garage door when I first started with Vera four years ago. It seemed cool to be able to operate the door remotely, until the door opened all by itself for no apparent reason. I removed the control, but still have the door position sensor so I can check it remotely.
There’s an electric wall heater and a wall-mount AC unit in the shop outbuilding. These are both on Z-Wave outlets, but since they take care of themselves, there’s no danger if they get turned on unintentionally. The remote control is to either heat or cool the shop before use; convenient but not essential. And there is a scene that turns them both off at 11PM just in case we forget.
And as far as irrigation goes, I had a battery-powered irrigation hose timer fail in the “on” position when I was out of town. You can imagine the result, so no automation for irrigation, Vera or otherwise.
I use Vera for lighting, where failures are annoying but not disastrous. I also am careful not to write scenes with delays, for obvious reasons. I run with as few plugins as possible (Countdown Timer, DelayLight, Wunderground and couple more that are solid) and don’t want to interface to external cloud systems.
I bought Vera as an experiment, to see if low-cost home automation was ready for the masses. HINT: It’s not, but I’m not convinced that any of the other solutions out there would be that much better. I don’t think Vera’s hardware is that bad—I’ve built much-higher performance real-time control systems with much less powerful hardware. Vera’s problems are on the software and corporate management side, and in fact Z-Wave itself in 2018 is a primitive, low-performance HW/SW solution. That said, my Vera has been very stable since summer of 2017 when I rebuilt it from scratch (I had carried over a config from a VL) and I’m pretty happy with it.
So I’ll follow your lead and take Vera off-line as time permits. If I decide to get a fancier system in the future, I’ll probably look at Homeseer as I have a 24/7 Win 10 box that should handle it with ease. Thanks again for sharing your experiences.