I’m really impressed with Vera and Z-Wave, I just ordered a Vera 3 lite. The videos are slick and the web site is good and I see industry people “jumping on”. But I’m also a little concerned at the level of hardware I see, and the Vera wiki.
I was doing lots of research before hand, looking at all sorts of sensors, usage, etc. The Vera website seems to really lag in its updates, the most recent hardware additions and seem to be from 2009, maybe some 2010. Many links are dead, old, point to no-where. The hardware support list is really pretty sparse when you think about how long some of the links and posts have been up there (2008 looks like). Only 2 door sensors and only a few cameras are listed.
In addition, Z-wave door/window sensors appear to only be a few on the market at all, motion sensors only a few.
So I’m not dishing on Vera or Z-wave, I’m really looking forward to working with it. But is the support and the features and the hardware really there? What kind of Vera support do you ultimately end up getting? What kind of hardware ends up being available?
Pretty positive? Is it a struggle?
Looking forward to the fun, just also a bit concerned.
You seem to have a good grasp on the situation.
I really hope Zwave continues to gain in popularity. This stuff is all still pretty new and it doesn’t always work like its supposed to, or you think it should. Even the more restrictive, and simpler, systems like the Schlage products have their troubles.
Having used the Schlage system I can tell you that Vera is far more powerful and configurable. And I would have to say just as compatible with Zwave devices. In some cases more compatible. There are always exceptions, sometimes glaring ones, to compatibility of devices.
The only real problem with Vera 3, in any iteration, is that it ships with a beta UI. While its a lot of fun to tinker with, you wouldn’t want to turn grandma loose with it and expect her to use it effectively. I rather enjoy the hacking around with it, but I also enjoy building my own Linux boxes for various purposes.(something else I wouldn’t expect grandma to enjoy)hehe
All that said, I am positive about Vera’s future and the future of HA systems. The mesh networking of HA devices is an awesome concept and Zwave has made the best go of it yet.
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Carl, I hope you like your new Vera.
The lack of z-wave compatible door/window and motion sensors isn’t really that big of a deal for Vera as there are plugins for most of the popular home security systems. Unlike the dimmers and light switches security sensors are easily attainable in the home security market. Because there are so many more security systems than home automation systems I would expect it is hard for z-wave sensors to compete on costs (less economy of scale).
Personally I use a DSC 1832 with Vera with roughly 20 door/window sensors and a half dozen PIR motion sensors. Most of my sensors are wireless. The door/window sensors are very small (tiny even) and operate with a small CR2032 battery. I use a DSC just because my house came with the sensors when I bought it. I’m quite happy with it and it is probably the most economical option but again I know nothing about other options. I also use some X10 PIR and door/window sensors with Vera, although setting that up is a little more involved.
It is basically the same with IP Cameras. There are already lots of options in that market and I expect most of them work fine with Vera.
Vera intergration with alarms systems (I also have the DSC with both 2DS and IT100) provides in many ways a more reliable and secure option to purely Z-wave. I do not live in the US or EU and we have even less options and Z-wave here is expensive in comparrison. Alarm wireless sensor also should last longer as they are not normally mesh networked.