Vera Smartthings Hybrid Cludge

Recently I tried installing 16+ Ecosmart Zigbee bulbs on my VeraPlus. They worked great for a few days and then I started to lose control of them one by one. Eventually, I had to reset and re-pair them all. This happened again and left me looking for other solutions. I am mostly very happy with Vera and have my alarm system and camera systems fully integrated to it. So I did not want to leave Vera I also really appreciate the great customer support and user-group.

It seemed I could not use a master-slave relationship with Vera and Smartthings so I decided in desperation to run my Zigbee lights on Smartthings and most everything else on Vera. This left me with 2 separate systems and that was not exactly ideal but at least I had a working set of Zigbee lights.

After a considerable learning curve, I found out that Smarttings has a powerful tool called WebCore and that Webcore is the place to build scenes. Webcore also will provide a URL for any scene that is built. So I found an easy way to integrate the 2 systems was to build Webcore scene URLs and add them into Vera as Luup inet/wget calls.

Doing this I am now able to control my lights with Vera automation scenes, use Alarm and Camera motion detection triggers to turn on scenes and use my GoControl button switches to turn lights and scenes on and off. As a side benefit, I can now also control all my lights with Google home using the Smartthings scenes.

I now have over 40 Zigbee lights of various types and brands running flawlessly under joint Vera-Smarttinggs stewardship. I find that there is very little delay between the two systems despite the Webcore scenes having to run in the cloud.

Thought I would share this as others seem to struggle with unsupported Zigbee lighting and I after searching the board I could not find a better way of getting around the problem. The cost of the Smarttings hub is also insignificant when compared to the cost savings of using Zigbee over Zwave smart lights.

phillips hue wors great for me

philips hue suits me very well too

Philips Hue is a good choice but it depends on your needs. Phillips does not seem to make a Par20 bulb, for example, which I need for many fixtures. Phillips is also still quite expensive. eg I have a lot of GU10s and Phillips is 2 to 3 times the cost of something like the Ikea GU10.

Please correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t Philips also need a controller? If so, for me, it comes down to which is the most flexible lighting controller. I found that Smartthings supported a very wide range of bulbs while Vera supported very few which is why I ended up with Smartthings for lighting.
There are a lot of different requirements when it comes to lighting and Philips ticks many of the boxes but I did not want to get locked into one manufacturer.

I have not tried Philips but so far I like Sengled and Ikea bulbs the best.