Veralite + wireless security - self monitored+ z-wave

I have been doing a lot of reading and wanted to find out the different options for wireless security. Some of the information between the different websites are confusing.

I have z-wave light switches in my house which are all controlled by a small GE remote which I hope to be able to control with my iphone remotely using veralite and/or security system. I essentially wanted to just not get a veralite if the security system would just be able to control my z-wave switches and just add some sensors but it doesn’t seem like that is an option without spending a monthly fee. (Correct me if I am wrong)

I looked at DSC but to my understanding there is no wireless option. The next option would be a Lynx 5100 but that requires a 30+ monthly service fee but I did read there was another option but it wasn’t explained very well. The simon XT requires a monthly fee otherwise its crippled.

What are my options?

Thanks again and I appreciate the help in advance.

Before I offer any comment, can you expand on why you need an wireless alarm system?

Wireless vs wired alarm and your understanding on what this means?

Wired to me means running wires behind the drywall, hiding under flooring etc. Wireless to me means everything is just screw in to the wall, no wires shown and is connected to all the other devices with no wires.

I do not think you’ll find anything currently listed that would meet your requirements and interface with Vera. As far as I know they are no self-contained wireless alarm (such as the DSC Alexor etc.) that integrates with Vera.

What I say now about the DSC alarm system would apply the same to a lot of other alarms which interface with Vera.

The panel is powered and as in previous case here, keep a keypad (which is hardwired but provides a wireless interface) with the box. The keypad could even be mounted to the tin in which the alarm panel is mounted. You would only use this for programming.
Then you can utilise wireless devices; however, the wireless DSC motion detector have a delay before they report (I do not know about other systems) other wireless sensor (door/windows) are immediate reporting.

One aspect that will need wiring is the alarm to the network or Vera; however, as above you can work around this. There are several alarms to Vera interfaces; such as the EVL3, IT100 for DSC. This can also be contained in the panel but depended on what you get that connection must be made. The above was being done by one member in a rented flat, fitted the panel, keypad, interface and Vera in one location and then used wireless sensors and a keyfob to control the alarm as well as Vera.

In effect, you would be isolating everything expect sensor to one location and providing a self-contained wireless alarm interface with Vera. No monthly fees unless you want professional monitoring and in this case, you can check out what is offered at but even without that is report via sms and emails. Anyway, it is food for thought.

Thanks for the response. I guess maybe I partly understand. Maybe I would hardwire my alarm panel to the wall in my master closet where my home director box (cat 5, coax and phone lines) come in and then have a wireless keypad and wireless sensors. I will have to do some google searching to figure out how. Does something like that exist that will also work with z-wave and self monitor with or without the vera lite?


You sort of close. The keypad is also hard wired but contains a wireless transceiver module to communicate with the sensors.

Yes, the DSC power series used In conjunction with the EVL3 would enable self monitor with or without a Vera. However, if used with a Vera, the EVL3 being plugin onto your lan would integrate with your Vera to trigger ZWave devices.

Have a look at the link below that links out to another thread and ignore location but look at concept. The 2DS is now superseded and the new module on the EVL3 see for capabilities.

There are a number of alarm panels that can integrate with Vera. Here is the list:

I have a vista 20p integrated with Vera through an AD2USB device (USB plugs into Vera and the other end of the device gets wired to the alarm panel). Basically the alarm panel treats the device as a keypad and that is how Vera and the panel communicate. Integration with Vera allows several things-

1-You can arm and disarm your panel through vera and other devices that can control Vera such as iPhone or Droid interfaces.
2-You can see the status of your alarm panel and sensors on your vera interface
3-You can incorporate the sensors into scenes like you would a z-wave sensor. For example, if your alarm panel has a door sensor at the front door, you could use that sensor to trigger scenes regardless of whether the alarm is armed or not.
4-You can integrate arming and disarming sensors into scenes. For example, I’ve set up a scene that turns off all might lights and arms the alarm with one button.
5-The alarm can trigger a vera scene. For example, if the alarm is triggered, all the lights in my house will go on.

As far as I’ve seen, you’ll probably need to get a component based (you generally buy the parts separately) system as opposed to a “package” security system. The major component based systems have wireless add on capability in to be able to add wireless sensors. Both DSC and Ademco have this. I purchased the wireless add on receiver for my Ademco Vista 20p panel in order to be able to use wireless sensors for the same reason you are looking at wireless, no desire to try and fish wires all over the place.

The positive is that it takes you around a minute to add a new wireless sensor once you’ve done it a couple of times. The downside is that the sensors cost a lot more (around $35 vs $5 for a window sensor).

If you go with Ademco, make sure you get the 6160v keypad to program it. I made the mistake of getting a 6150v keypad and unless you are a pro at setting up alarm systems, it is a nightmare because the screen only shows one character at a time making it very difficult to know if you’ve programmed something correctly.

Hope this info helps.


There has been some new interface for DSC System to include 4 wireless keypads.
Also see,13077.msg97347.html#msg97347 for this info and another option


Would this be able to communicate with Vera via the DCS Plugin ?

Yes, it interfaces with the power series panel version 4.6 or newer.

  • Garrett

This looks like it can be standalone as an Alarm … Just add keypads and sensors.

Do I need a Power Series Panel and Interface just to talk to Vera ?

Hello Richard.

No, it will not function as a standalone alarm but is a wireless transceiver module and requires a power series v4.6 to work.

The Vera interfaces with the main panel via an EVL3, 2DS etc and this would then effectively provide two way relay between wireless devices and the main panel.

I am almost thinking I don’t even need a security system. Now I am thinking of just buying a foscam and set up a scene on motion that I can turn on and off remotely or setup by scheduler. Is that possible and be able to control it from my iPhone. I am also assuming I can get a z-wave siren to go off when it’s triggered.

I live in a Townhouse in a fairly safe area but do have valuables.

My question is how well does Vera notify you of triggered events? What’s my downfall of doing this?

Disclaimer: I am not an advocate for using z-wave as an alarm type system. I believe in fit for purpose/fit for use but given your scenario it is a potential option.

Yes, you can do this and control devices from your iPhone. There are several apps to assist such as HomeWave and Automator.

Vera notification work well but there maybe limitations on the number of event sent through the native Vera notifications; however, the are apps available that rectify this and work extremely well.

The downside could be power removed equals no security. So to be effective you will needs some form of UPS to be running key equipment. Note: either way your router should be if your using alternative communicator or your Vera to do this which also should then be on an UPS.

Screamer - no immediate control. There maybe laws on how long they can be on for etc. they were a number of post at the start of last year on using z-wave as a security system and most resulted in some limitations being identified. The key one was no keypad to just switch the siren off and having to find phone, open an app connect locally before it could be switched off. If you search the forum you should find some previous comments and may address how to best manage this type of situation.

Review the forum for advice on cameras and there is also new mega pixel range of camera just release this recently which may be of interest.

Try google search for:
Site: z-wave alarm as a starting point.

After a lot of reading I more or less figured out what I want to do, maybe I can get some insight.

I would just like my Vera to notify me of events like open door, motion on my camera when I set it to a specific “scene.” So when I leave the house I would set it to away and all my lights would turn off and doors lock and notify me if anything was open ie window or garage door. Then if one of those open when the scene set to away I would be notified what was opened and I could have foscams to see what was going on. Then if there is a motion trigger a z-wave siren could go off?

I’m in your boat. People on here just don’t encourage z-wave as security, but they don’t tell you how to integrate it well, and I mean well, there are not stickies for major questions that many people ask every day, and most answers say “do a search it has been answered before”; don’t answer a question if that is your answer bc it’s not an answer! So far from all my research Z-Wave stuff is the only way to get my z-wave door lock to turn off the security features, turn on lights, etc. I just don’t get it. Why would someone want to unlock a door, then hit the security code, pay money for people to call the police for false alarms at $75 a pop with no video confirmation. You and I need a security system that works good with vera/z-wave and there just doesn’t seem to be one. I still think I’m going to an all z-wave system.

I just want to Set “away” and all doors lock, cameras are armed for motion, I’m notified of a problem, see a video, call the police and give them the video link on youtube after I save and load it that minute from my cell, etc, etc. Hit unlock on my cell and everything is up and running and I just walk in the door. I don’t want just a security system and a automation system, I want an automatic home. Looks like we will have to put up with failures of Zwave to get this and not get an alarm system. Put a few $119 tablets on the walls next to the doors when you walk in without a phone, nd to put on the coffee table and around the house. I don’t know much yet, but I do know it sucks when people give everyone the same answers; it’s because they just don’t know or haven’t figured it out yet and they feel like they need to say something to say something.

FYI this is a great tablet I got for the kids and it is flawless (just download go launcher app)-

add a few of these and it will look like the coolest alarm pad ever, just need a power outlet nearby.

Not to get off topic, but I do have to respond to your statement that “Do a search” is not the answer and should not be posted. I am one of these people who post this. Many new comers on this forum simply do not search the forum. If the people who come on this forum took the time to do some research, about 90% of the questions they ask can be found and they have their answers. I have seen over the course of the years that many are just lazy and ask the questions and expect the answer right away.

Dedicated security systems are a great addition to Vera for automation. The sensors are far more reliable and if there is a plugin to interface with the alarm system, integration between both open a lot of possibilities. I installed my DSC system for the main reason that I wanted to get reliable door, window, and motion capabilities to work in hand with Vera and I do not regret spending the little extra money up front to do it. I also do not have my system being monitored right now and I can easily have it added for less than 10 bucks a month with eyez-on who makes the interface card for the security system. So yes, a dedicated security system would be the first choice to install if security is what you are looking for. Z-wave is great for everything else to have control in your home.

  • Garrett


I don't know much yet, but I do know it sucks when people give everyone the same answers; it's because they just don't know or haven't figured it out yet and [b]they feel like they need to say something to say something[/b].

I take offence to your post and comments and as there are only two people that have tried to assist you so far and I am one of them. I am just curious what exact advise you are seeking because there wasn’t one question in your post and you felt like you need to say something to say something

So what is your question and if I can answer I will try otherwise I will let it slip by to the Keeper? By the way, we are not all in the same place or have the same equipment and thus, your answer may come fragmented.

I'm getting excited about going to generic z-wave vs Iris which I was going to buy. I need a global perspective of someone who has built their system and can tell me what not to do. I'm cross eyed after hours of reading posts. THANKS in advance for your time and help!!!

I do not want to get a dedicated security system!

You declared you do not want a dedicated security system, but you reviewed the advice and took the a look at other options discussed and then made a choice stick with a non dedicated security system.

Take it or leave it because it your choice but your comments won’t get people trying to help you if you alienate them.
Alternative is to seek an implementation consultants that do this for a living and you pay their price.

There are multiple reasons why I am not an advocate of Z-wave as a sudo security system and the main reasons is it just does not stand up in reliability, battery life, range, cost, longevity and has not been subjected to the same requirement as Security System have subjected too. Some people of the forum are extremely happy with a full z-wave system and maybe they will chime in an offer more specific advice on their setup.

Once you integrate the systems together, it is seamless and you can utilize the Alarm Sensors the same way as you can dedicate z-wave sensor. You can have your Vera change the status of your alarm system when you enter the correct pin into your z-wave lock most of the things you listed are readily achievable.


I’m not sure if it’s most answers, and oftentimes such answer may contain a link to one of the relevant topics (or the exact post) and/or a short hint that actually answers the question (again). Which I believe is often enough and/or appreciated to get folks going. As @garrettwp said, there appears to be a lot of repetition because users didn’t actually search (which takes time, some find it troublesome using the search feature on this forum, etc.).

I don't know much yet, but I do know it sucks when people give everyone the same answers; it's because they just don't know or haven't figured it out yet and they feel like they need to say something to say something.
??? Wow. I feel a lot has been figured out on this forum, and folks are very kind to share what they have figured out, resulting in many quality posts. I would take it to heart when a bunch of active (Vera!) forum members all post considerations that state a preference for a dedicated alarm system in conjunction with Vera, rather than doing everything with Vera/Z-Wave.

I believe that (to name a few) @guessed, @strangely, @garrettwp, @Brientim and myself all have some hybrid configuration; so that’s the answer anyone of us would give to this (and have given in the past on other threads). Clearly, you should decide for yourself. And have. It really depends on your goals, scale, your environment etc., whether an all Z-Wave system will do what you want. Others who have done this may post their experiences.

I HATE the people who say go search. Sometimes the search results don’t answer your specific question. I personally browse a lot of threads/posts before I post myself but not everything is specific to your needs.

Any forum is a forum for help not for telling people to go find the answer themselves. Hundreds of people find answers themselves and sometimes you don’t’ find exactly what you are looking for and that’s when you post.

So lets focus on the question unless you want me to go search for it ?