Some Vera good news stories...

Hey guys.

I always here on these forums how people are annoyed with there Vera controller for whatever reason, but i find it hard to find any positive stuff. Could some of you please share your positive experience. What you have done and like about your Vera?

I personally have Vera running my house which includes 15 Lights, Yale Lock, 4 Sensors, RGB downlights (MiLight) Plenty of scenes. aeon labs light switch connected to relay to boost hotwater. Aircon controller.

I find it very reliable and affordable for what i can achieve… :slight_smile:

Ok, well I’m a bit frustrated and find lots of problems. I have not tried another platform and I’m quite tempted but overall I’m tolerating the issues. As I can see and say some positive things.

I purchased a Vera 3 in 2012 and a Vera lite a bit later after deciding to move from X10. I probably spent a year trying then I gave up on the whole thing as I really could not get much to work well - but came back about 3 weeks ago. I’d say a break of at least two years possibly more - (I did not realize I started in 2012 till I looked up the order)

Anyway the Vera 3 is fine, its always been there and its still running still able to control, I updated to UI7 - and its working for me , The devices it knows about work well, It monitors energy, the new scenes I created work , Its simple and basic control only - no fancy logic, but they do work and they are convenient.

From an energy usage point of view (the reason I restarted the system )
The Vera shows me that two lights of lights are quite high wattage, The fridges are similar efficiency , but use a fair bit, the chest freezer is efficient , my whole house usage , well I still have to work out about 40% of where it is coming from , but this is good m, it works well and has a nice graph.

I use both Datamine graph and the built in one(ERGY) . Datamine because its fast, ERGY because its built in

since I turned it back on for this I also looked at some quick controls , the devices I gave up on two years ago, now seem to work , not easily and with some quirky problems - but I’ve got them working
So now ,the Garage door open, drive way flood light turns on
I turn on the Front porch light , the driveway flood lights turn on

Its on a timer, and soon to have a motion and light sensor to make them more efficient (I hope)

So its working for me, and I see a great improvement in stability and device support .

The Vera lite is not back yet as I need to get the network out to the again backyard - however I have hopes that the ZWAVE mesh algorithm may have improved and that would mean I do not need this second vera anymore

Anyway I hope this helps or is of interest

I am actually very happy with Vera and a z-wave set up so fare. I started out adding smarthouse components during a renovation last year and went from knowing nothing about smarthouses to now controlling everything of lights and a brand new water based heating system and some curtains and roof windows. I have around 50 components now and it works pretty well.

In my setup all z-wave devices are set so they talk directly to each other and my Vera are mostly used to configure devices, run scenes on given points and setting the house in home/away/vacation modes etc. and access my home from remote. My attitude to the Vera controller is that its an addition to my z-wave network of devices. Not a central component. All other parts of my z-wave network should work if the Vera controller breaks down.

Off cause, there has been a couple of issues with setting up all this and the biggest one have not been related to Vera but hardware. There has been a couple of small issues with the Vera also, but nothing big so I am all over pretty happy.

Happy with vera now. It was not always the case. Things started out very rough and for about 4 months, wondered if I made a bad decision.

Now, everything works. I have two vera’s. One for a small cabin retreat and one for my main house. The house vera is monitoring/controlling a concord 4 security system w/automation module along with about a dozen or so z-wave modules. I use imperihome on touchscreens for various things including viewing security cameras tripped by outdoor motion.

The cabin vera is total zwave and is being built up with more devices slowly. I use it to monitor for flooding and to track when there is activity.

My problems in the beginning seemed to involve updates. Inevitably, each update generated an issue that would take hours to fix/problem solve. I found this very annoying. Last few updates have gone well.

I do wish there was a way to “stick” with an update without having the “update screen” pop up as a default. When I was having issues with updates I felt like I was being tempted to walk in to the mouse trap…which I did, each and every time.

Mine works great and the WAF is high. Most of the house has been automated, but it’s not nearly as extreme as some convoluted PLEGs I read about here. It now feels strange to walk into a room that has not been automated and it doesn’t react to my presence. Having to turn On/Off a light feels alien now.

Televisions “follow” people around using motion sensors and Global Cache to turn On/Off and set channels. In the beginning I thought that this would be totally awesome. It’s actually kind of unwanted. The wife says she doesn’t need TV shows following her to other rooms. But, she does like music following around with Sonos.

The house also speaks, using Sonos, announcing various activities, door states, and reminders. It’s pretty cool to have the music lowered, an announcement, and then returned to the music. Sometimes I feel the the response time is a little too slow, interrupting my favorite song, but… Initially it was reading morning news and weather as well but, that’s been turned off. The house has been reprogrammed to STFU until after coffee. ;D

Remote control, on the rare times that we use it, is great as well. The ability to open garage doors for deliveries while I’m on vacation and watch what’s happening, or open the front door for in-laws is awesome.

The only “problem” that I can recall in the past year was a wonky PLEG schedule that insisted on turning On a light one morning. Every time I turned the light back Off, Vera would turn it back On. A run now on the PLEG schedule resolved that and it’s never done it again.

I don’t give the house or Vera much thought. If it weren’t for my forum presence, I’d forget about Vera completely. It just works. Vera’s uptime is now 135 days. I don’t remember what caused the last reboot. I suspect that it was something to do with Christmas lights, but who knows.

Same here. My main Vera 3 on Ui5 does most of the switches/dimmers and the climate and doors. My secondary Vera 3 on Ui7 does most of the sensors et all. It turned from a QA box to test devices on UI7 into a production box which gets all new Zwave devices. I don’t use motion sensors to follow me around as I have several large dogs which would cause all kinds of unwanted moving of TV or music. (Following the dogs rather than myself and no I will not give up my fur kids!)

I have a Vera Plus and Vera Edge setup ready to migrate the house to but I’ve been procrastinating on that as the current setup is so reliable and stable.

About my only issue is with geo-Fencing. Even running the latest beta somethings it will work but most times it will not. Luckily I still have my presence script running on my DD-WRT router so that back the geo-fencing up and sets the house depending on if I am present or not. I get a notification of the state on my Android Wear watch as a confirmation.

Could I live without Vera? Yes, if I had too but I would lose some nice creature comforts I have started to take for granted and am enjoying.
Would I want to live without Vera? That’s a resounding no. :slight_smile:

I have a mostly positive experience with my Vera. I have a Vera Lite unit I purchased at the end of 2012 and still use it today. My system is fairly small compared to some of the other setups on here. My front door, front exterior lights, a few lamps and two thermostats. Other than about a doze scenes, I don’t have it doing anything complicated. I am also still on U15.

My only negative is in regards to the garage door with Homelink. I am using a MimoLite for the opener and a Wayne-Dalton bridge. If I open or close the garage door using my Vera App, everything works fine. When I use the HomeLink buttons in my wife’s car, the door opens fine, but I have issues on close that I have not been able to troubleshoot.

My experience with a Vera 2 on UI5 since 2012 has been good. Very few, if any problems. I use PLEG and several other plug-ins. However, I switched to a Vera Plus and UI7 in February and it hasn’t been quite as good. I prefer the newer interface but triggers that worked flawlessly under UI5 aren’t 100% under UI7. One or two days in a row they will work and then for a day or two they won’t work. If I do a Vera restart, they’ll work again but then go back to the same cycle. Rather frustrating, to say the least.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I started out with a Vera Edge only 12 months ago. I changed all my light switches to dimmers and switches, using single and double paddle switches. I use the second paddle via association as two way switching and in the lounge as control for table lsmps connected to z-wave sockets. After time I added RGBW tape LED lamps to thd underside of my roof fascia boards and control them with a Fibaro RGBW unit and Vosmonts app.
I just used scenes and the timer app for all my automation.
I never had a problem with any device. All installed perfectly first time and I never had a crash.

Planning ahead, I purchased the Vera Plus ready to use thd zigbee and bluetooth (I know I have to wait) and rather than transfer I took the chance for a clean install just in case my previous playing abought had left rubbish .
Apart from a problem on first run with the Plus, which was solved by a few reboots and time I have again had no problems.
I bought a Pleg licence to play with Pleg and apart from my mistakes that has been good too.

All in all, a great product.

I can see problems with many new devices which all try to do more things than just the basics. I can see that Mios are going to have to include ‘drivers’ for these devices and so there will be more delays for every new device. With the addition of Zigbee and bluetooth they will have even more to include.

I have been very happy with my Vera Lite. I love how HomeWave integrates with it and keeps my SO happy. I brought openHab into the mix to take over the automation logic. It is been running great.

Keeping a positive tone, I won’t mention my Vera Plus other than I have hopes for sometime down the road.

I didn’t have any issues with my veralite, but upgraded to the veraplus because i wanted the zwave plus chip and i am adding many more scenes, and doing the ge switches in the whole house.
it was a bit of a struggle to get things set up. but that was all account based issues. once it was up and running then it’s been running pretty good so far.
so far pretty happy with my VP

Some good examples there and good to see some positive experiences. Seems like everything works really well when using basic features.

And that is the important thing, if you are using basic features you will be fine with no problems. If you want to connect to other systems or use new typ devices then there is a chance you will have problems.
The more add ons you use (apps) the more chance there is that they will cause problems or possibly interact with each other in such a way as to cause problems.

Agreed. A while back I reviewed the plugins I had installed on both my Vera’s and found some I rarely used or had used maybe once. I uninstalled those and have found I can easily do without. And example being on the Ui5 Vera3 I had both the Foscam plugin and the Blue iris one. As all camera’s are handled via BI, there was no need for the Foscam and the Vistacam plugin to be installed as well.

Note I’m not running heavy duty plugins like PLEG or the likes. Basically I run the Yamaha plugin, multiswitch, Blue Iris, MYqGateway, addtl, temp device, housemodes, Hue, Sonos/UPnp and Weather Underground/sayTheWeather.

[quote=“BOFH, post:14, topic:192030”]Agreed. A while back I reviewed the plugins I had installed on both my Vera’s and found some I rarely used or had used maybe once. I uninstalled those and have found I can easily do without. And example being on the Ui5 Vera3 I had both the Foscam plugin and the Blue iris one. As all camera’s are handled via BI, there was no need for the Foscam and the Vistacam plugin to be installed as well.

Note I’m not running heavy duty plugins like PLEG or the likes. Basically I run the Yamaha plugin, multiswitch, Blue Iris, MYqGateway, addtl, temp device, housemodes, Hue, Sonos/UPnp and Weather Underground/sayTheWeather.[/quote]
Wow! To me, that is a huge number of plug in’s and you say ‘basically’. With your ‘few’ plug in’s do you get many problems with re-boots and the like or are you basically stable now.
Either way, you must hold your breath whenever you make any changes or add anything.

In all honesty, neither Vera 3 has ever been unstable to for me and I wasn’t aware that what I considered a modest amount of plugins could be considered a large amount by others. I get a LUUP reload perhaps every couple of days, perhaps once a week. Last time one rebooted was in January and that could have been my doing messing with the power. perhaps not having ‘exotic’ zwave devices helped. They are mostly GE/Jasco switched and dimmers with a few Intermatic ones as I got them cheap. The Ui7 one mostly has Monoprice (as in Vision unbranded) sensors, a few First Alert ZCombo’s and a few GE/Jasco units to boost the mesh.

Evere since I moved the Ui7 Vera 3 from QA to production, It’s been getting all new ZWave devices. I just received an Aeon Zwave+ door bell but will be hooked up to the VeraPlus to take advantage of the new Zwave chipset.

Granted, all my Vera’s are hooked up to midrange UPS systems that have power conditioning to provide as stable an output as possible since our local power company doesn’t always do a good enough job on that.

Now running what I run on a VeraLite would probably not be a good idea. That be said, I’m keeping a close eye on the OpenLUUP effort as the idea of having a Pi3 running plugins for both my Vera’s to access sounds like a good idea,

My vera3/ui5 is very reliable. My only issue is with the door locks beeping once or twice a day when a zwave check in fails (grrr, damages the WAF). Otherwise it does a great job with the thermostat, pipe heaters, keeping the doors locked at night and letting me know when the doors open at weird hours. I even have it reminding me about clothes in the washer. (Why do driers have buzzers but washers are silent?)

I don’t have any zwave plus devices but once I find I need one, I will get veraPlus and start migrating device by device. That will let me keep a fully capable backup and rebuild my logic for whatever the latest UI is.

On the whole, I would recommend Vera to others. Over the last 3 months (I have had a vera edge for 8 months) my experience with it has slowly improved. I put that down to a combination of increasing stability and a greater understanding of how to set it up on my part. My reservation is that as I look to integrate it more into other devices (like my alarm system) and generally evolve it into something a lot more than just a fancy lights timer I will need to invest more time into it as inevitably (true of all computer systems I guess) the more you tinker with it the more problems you create that need fixing.
I wish (having said this ad nauseum in other posts :)) the documentation was better, it would save me a lot of wasted time trying to debug problems.

My Vera works most of the time, that’s positive!

And the rest of the time it eventually works if you wait in the dark while having a pee in the middle of the night

what? No LED night lights in the bathroom? Always have a backup. :slight_smile: