Switch from smartthings

I’m new to the space and everyone said smartthings was the best so that’s what I got but I’m disappointed. With the new Vera coming out I’m thinking of switching but I’m curious about a few things.

Is it scriptable, can I write my own apps? One thing I liked about smartthings was that you could write apps easily, it wasn’t powerful enough for me but I want that ability as I feel gui setups just don’t offer enough control. Does Vera have this ability? What languages can I use?

Does Vera use the cloud? I hate the fact that smartthings send every command to the cloud first when it would be faster (and safer) to just issue it locally. If I shut off my Internet would Vera still work?

I know it supports zwave but will it support my zigbee, hue, harmony, and echo too?

Thanks. Anything I’m missing. What makes Vera better than the alternatives?

You can run Vera fully locally if you want to with no connection to the MIOS servers. You will lose some functionality such as backups to those server and alerts as well as the ability to remotely access your Vera via the MIOS servers. But yeah, your lights, your doors and your scenes will still work if you lose your internet.

The current crop of Vera models is Z-Wave only. However the new VeraPlus to be released in February will support Zigbee and Bluetooth as well. You can currently access the Hue hub via a plugin without the need for a Zigbee radio on all Vera models. There are 2 different plugins to have Vera interface with Echo. However due to the way Echo works, you will need internet access for that to work. There’s a Harmony plugin as well.

You can define your own scripts and if you are a decent programmer, you can write your own plugins. Like a number of others have already done. Vera’s main programming language is LUA.

Thank you. So it’s easy to write custom scripts, is there an interface to do it (online ide) or is it possible to ssh in and edit scripts directly? I’m assuming devices are accessible through variables or methods, how does it work responding to events such as “do this when light turns on”; are there listening handlers?

I’m fine with using the Internet for things that required it I just don’t want to rely on a server to run my actions like smartthings. Knowing that if Vera goes out of business the system would still work is nice to know.

Many of use use PLEG for automation, you won’t be disappointed.


I spent alot of time writing Siemens code in my day job so I am greatful of Pleg, saves a bit of hassle of writing code for fairly advanced functions.

My main selling point on the Vera was the lack of requirement to use the cloud, and also all the 3rd party apps.

Another selling point was the ability to use an RFXtrx unit attached to the USB port of Vera and use things like X10, LightwaveRF and other RF items on Vera.

I’ve now got a system only 2/3rds Zwave and really happy.

How well do the schedules work? I’m having a horrible time with Smartthings. I’ve had my 6am event fire twice at 9:40PM. How does that even happen? If I switch I want to know that my scheduled events actually fire when I want them to, is Vira dependable with scheduling?

I don’t think I’ve ever had more than a 30 seconds delay with any schedule or command and even that was rare.

They are very reliable.
Certainly they don’t fire at the wrong time.

There is a possibility (rare) where you could be in the middle of a restart (most likely because of something you are doing) where a schedule world fail to fire due to Vera being off).

To combat this I’ve added second backup commands , ie temperature set point drops to 17 deg at 22:00 and also at 22:30.
That way if I’m online to Vera messing about at the first time point she’ll still act on the second.

I’m sure Richard @RichardTSchaefer (PLEG developer) will correct me if I am wrong but if PLEG misses an activity I think it will fire it off at the first opportunity.

Pleg will yes

Vera should exceed your expectations. And if you’re ordering the new Vera Plus, it is the way to go. Yes Vera will work autonomously without internet and it isn’t reliant on this to execute your actions.

Conditional Scene Execution Examples can be found here.

There is a 3rd party IDE for Lua from zerobrane studios see http://studio.zerobrane.com. This removes the test and dev off of Vera and allow rapid changes to be done and monitoring of results.

PLEG as been mentioned earlier provides a logic engine that is an enhancement to Vera.

Rules Engine and ALTUI

OpenHab project integration increases scope of use and capabilities to integrate with other platforms.

For how things work you can refer to Vera training videos