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Author Topic: Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)  (Read 8516 times)

Offline Tonnystark

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Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)
« on: January 03, 2019, 02:48:21 pm »
I purchased a Veralite about 2 years ago and use it to mostly to run light dimmers (Linear Brand). They've always worked.. kinda, but it's pretty frustrating that 5% it just doesn't respond. A few other gripes I have with it is the difficulty of setting up/pairing new devices and the latency can be up even 10 seconds sometimes.

I also have a Philips Hue system and Echo setup and in comparison it works flawlessly. I understand that Wifi has disadvantages of range and likely takes more energy but I am about fed up with the Vera, and probably Z-wave in general.

Anyone else share similar thoughts?
Thank You
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« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 12:56:34 am by Tonnystark »

Offline Ionut S

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Re: Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2019, 09:53:36 am »
Hello Tony, I've emailed you in regards to your feedback. Please reply to the email with the requested information so we could try and assist you with this.

Thank you! Happy new year & happy holidays!
Slow and steady till' you're ready.
- Customer Care -

Offline Catman

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Re: Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2019, 11:15:27 am »
I'd be kind of interested in seeing the feedback request.
I find Vera (though to be fair it's my only experience of Z-wave) certainly extremely frustrating mixed with flashes of brilliance.  I had X10 and Indigo before I  moved to the new house. In the old place it *never* failed. Here it just wouldn't work (something about the mains wiring) so I switched.
Z-Wave has a far greater range of devices but I seriously consider moving away from Vera on a pretty regular basis. It's just that I have no idea if anything is any better.
I spend my professional life managing 24/7 software systems so when I see (just last night) system failing to correctly execute commands due to something as basic as low disc space *without communicating that to the user* I have to wonder. Similarly how a device can be working fine one minute and literally then be 'set to off'. Further how a company that is positioning itself as a major player can have its app store offline throwing 403 errors.

Sure these things happen, but they are (at least in my experience) pretty easy to prevent (well not sure about the sudden change of the device but the other two I would be embarrassed should they happen to me)

I'm not making this post to have a pop. One of the other things I've learnt in the business is that things are normally decided for a pretty good reason :)

So happy to provide some hopefully balanced feedback, or not :D

Cheers
C

Offline wilme2

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Re: Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2019, 05:15:44 pm »
I purchased a Veralite about 2 years ago and use it to mostly to run light dimmers (Linear Brand). They've always worked.. kinda, but it's pretty frustrating that 5% it just doesn't respond. A few other gripes I have with it is the difficulty of setting up/pairing new devices and the latency can be up even 10 seconds sometimes.

I also have a Philips Hue system and Echo setup and in comparison it works flawlessly. I understand that Wifi has disadvantages of range and likely takes more energy but I am about fed up with the Vera, and probably Z-wave in general.

Anyone else share similar thoughts?

I don't hear good things about Linear, but have no direct experience with them.  I started 5 years ago with a VeraLite and Intermatic plugs - and the Intermatic were complete crap.  Things improved when I went to GE/Jasco and Leviton.  I actually prefer the GE/Jasco Z-Wave Plus devices to anything else I have tried.

I just re-paired a whole set of devices, and they all paired easily on the first try via network-wide inclusion - granted that was on UI7 + VeraSecure (so sigma 500 Z-wave Plus chip compared to the sigma 300 standard ZWave in the VeraLite).

And I have every light switch in my house automated via PLEG + occupancy and door sensors.  Even a 1 second of latency is therefore painful.  Occasionally I will get 2 seconds or so and curse Vera, but it is rare.  I do strategically place the sensors to catch a person a step before they enter a room, but that is just good design if I say so myself...
« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 05:20:17 pm by wilme2 »
Long Live UI5!  (OK finally made the switch to UI7 in January 2018, and am pretty happy....)

Offline kigmatzomat

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Re: Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2019, 10:05:12 pm »
Zwave is fine, it's the controller that is the issue. I had lag on my veraplus, switched to HomeSeer and response times became instant.

I did recently have the system get laggy, but I had moved the controller upstairs and forgot to run a network optimization. Had it run the update and poof,back to good days. Same thing could happen if you move a large/dense piece of furniture that blocks a key device.

When your network gets slow, check the docs for doing a zwave heal. For specific slow devices, refresh neighbor nodes to be safe.

Offline Catman

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Re: Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2019, 04:38:22 am »
Zwave is fine, it's the controller that is the issue. I had lag on my veraplus, switched to HomeSeer and response times became instant.

I did recently have the system get laggy, but I had moved the controller upstairs and forgot to run a network optimization. Had it run the update and poof,back to good days. Same thing could happen if you move a large/dense piece of furniture that blocks a key device.

When your network gets slow, check the docs for doing a zwave heal. For specific slow devices, refresh neighbor nodes to be safe.

I *believe* UI7 is meant to do a heal every night. I could be wrong though.

C

Offline cokeman

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Re: Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2019, 06:38:42 am »
I purchased a Veralite about 2 years ago and use it to mostly to run light dimmers (Linear Brand). They've always worked.. kinda, but it's pretty frustrating that 5% it just doesn't respond. A few other gripes I have with it is the difficulty of setting up/pairing new devices and the latency can be up even 10 seconds sometimes.

I also have a Philips Hue system and Echo setup and in comparison it works flawlessly. I understand that Wifi has disadvantages of range and likely takes more energy but I am about fed up with the Vera, and probably Z-wave in general.

Anyone else share similar thoughts?

I started on the vera 3, and now vera plus.

the last few month, my vera shows "Error in lua scritps or scenes" every 8 hours to 2 weeks, problem is that every script stops when this happens, and a reload of the engine normaly fixes the problem (no change to ANY script, just an reload)

a bit sad as my home alarm is running i scripts...

and battery life under vera, also NEEDS to be fixed. also having an Z-wave.me running with some of the same components, under z-wave.me running for 1 year, battery down to 60%, under vera, i'm on my second battery. and yes, in the some room, and side be side. motion detectors, and smoke detectors with sirenes have been testet.

so, yes... unless a new firmware with LOTS of fixes within the next 6 weeks, i'm off to a different controller

Support, have not been able to help :-(
Vera 3 in the summerhouse, Vera Plus at home
@Denmark

Offline Mike Yeager

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Re: Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2019, 09:51:00 am »
Moved almost everything to Homeassistant on a Raspberry Pi. Very simply has too many issues for me...

Offline Newzwaver

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Re: Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2019, 11:40:06 am »
Hi All,

I have a number of controllers and to be honest find Vera the easiest one to work with, yes many problems and concerns.  What platform doesn't?  Vera in my opinion is the best for the DIY. 

Would a love to see my system not go down or have issues?  Absolutely..... 

Remember we are not paying for support, once the system is purchased support comes with it, purchase a computer some cost $$$$$.

I will be with Vera and would love more integration between hubs, that is the perfect fix use the best of each hub.

Good luck

Offline JackTheMan18

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Re: Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2019, 09:48:01 pm »
There are pluses and minuses associated with each and every hub. (Although some have more pluses than minuses).
I personally have tried (and still have in a closet):
smartthings
hubitat
home assistant
homeseer
vera plus
zipabox

I'm still looking for that all round "best" solution. I'm looking forward to what the new owners of Vera will come up with. I suspect that by the end of March 2019, they will have come out with new hardware and new software.

Offline blacey

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Re: Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2019, 08:47:10 am »
For what it is worth, here are my two cents...

There are 3 fundamental aspects to home automation - 1) protocol 2) devices and 3) controllers.

1) Protocol (network fabric) - The front runners are Z-Wave and Zigbee with BLE 5.1 (Mesh) holding a lot of promise but lacks broad adoption because it is early in it's lifecycle.  WiFi is not an HA protocol although some would like to make it that; WiFi just isn't designed for efficient low-power device operation.  I personally think it is a huge mistake to populate your WiFi network with WiFi/IP devices from China because they have access to your main network and run behind your firewall (the ideal trojan horse scenario).  For example, there have been countless security exploits with WiFi cameras.  Said another way, using a completely separate purpose-built and secure HA network fabric like Z-Wave greatly reduces the surface area for an exploit of your home WiFi system that hosts your most sensitive information and infrastructure.

2) Devices (sensors and actuators) - Depending upon your needs/use cases, you may find devices for Z-Wave, Zigbee, BLE and WiFi that suit your purpose.  From my own personal experience, I have yet to find a device for an alternate protocol that wasn't available on Z-Wave.  With Goggle's pushing Thread and Samsung's SmartThings, the Zigbee gap has closed but there are still more interoperability issues on Zigbee than the longer-standing Z-wave ecosystem because the Zigbee standards are looser.

3) Controllers (orchestration/automation) - Most HA protocols/standards include simple automation through mechanisms like Z-Wave's direct device-associations so you can do things like turn a light on when a sensor is tripped, etc.  However, a robust and capable HA system requires broader and more sophisticated orchestration that is not possible without a controller that serves as the brain for you HA.  The ideal controller will be extensible through plugins to encourage developers and enable users to solve their specific problems easily.  Furthermore, the controller should be able to integrate with multiple protocols and devices to address the broadest set of end user needs and maintain cadence with current trends such as voice-control (Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana).  And of course, ideally the HA controller platform is well-supported and has a large developer community.

Perspective (the grass isn't always greener) - Right now, Z-Wave is broadly adopted, supported, secure and more standardized than Zigbee with a myriad of devices being available to suit most HA use cases.  I personally standardized on Z-Wave for my network fabric years ago (circa Vera 3) but devices that "speak other protocols" are components of my total solution (I am one of the original MySensors developers) however, I choose to use a single HA controller for automation orchestration.  It is important to not confuse an HA Controller (i.e. Vera, Habitat, SmartThings, OpenHab, etc.) with the HA Protocol/network fabric (Z-Wave, Zigbee, etc).

I've been a long time Vera user and I've taken a cursory look at every new thing that comes along but I still run my HA systems (my primary home, a vacation home and my 85-year old mother's home) on Vera Plus' right now.  The Vera is still a front-runner with it's Lua/luup extensibility and broad developer/community support that allows end users to bridge the Vera to other modalities such as Homekit for Siri support (which I do).

As my HA demands have increased, I have never found a use case that I couldn't solve with the Vera and community extensions.  Yes, I have certainly experienced Vera's mysterious and frustrating failing under load but that is a solvable problem and often can be mitigated by examining the logs, identifying the root cause/pattern and adjusting the configuration to avoid the failure scenario (I'm in the midst of trying to figure one out).  The Vera Customer Support Team is very quick to help users when they take the time to ask and have spent countless hours with me to fix a number of issues with my systems.

Furthermore, if you visit the forums for other HA controllers, you will find that it isn't a bed of roses either and that they suffer from their own set of problems - SmartThings cloud-responsiveness, Hubitat's maturity (e.g. lack of udp support), Homeseer's pricing model, OpenHab's complexity, etc.  At this point there still isn't a perfect controller but remarkably, even though the Vera development cadence has waned due to lack of resources, the fundamental architectural/design choices have withstood the test of time and for now, Vera remains my controller of choice until some TBD player really upsets the HA market by doing something uniquely different and better than what currently exists - that may never happen.
Three Vera-3 (Home, Seasonal 1 & 2) - Firmware: 1.5.622,   Zwave: 3.20 L:1
One Vera-Edge (Dependent) - Firmware: 1.7.1707, Zwave: 4.5 L:1

Offline Catman

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Re: Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2019, 08:51:33 am »
Thanks for taking the time to write that. Very interesting read.

C

Offline rafale77

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Re: Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2019, 11:13:44 am »
My Short answer is: Though, I have been tempted, at the end no.

1. Zwave: There is no alternative as blacey mentionned because: Zigbee and bluetooth (and wifi as well) are both on 2.4GHz which is already super crowded. Higher RF frequency means higher potential bandwidth but also shorter range/power ratio. For these two reasons, they will always be inferior to Z-wave in the long run. Even though the Zigbee protocol was designed to compensate for the range/power disadvantage, the 2.4GHz RF crowding and interference issue remains (microwave, phone, wifi, etc...). Zwave also offers the broadest range of interoperable devices even though indeed a number of interesting Zigbee exclusive devices exist, I have so far been able to integrate them into the vera even though none of mine are officially supported.

2. Vera: I am a bit too committed to it and have already built my entire automation in Lua on openLuup and turned the vera into a device bridge. If I was to start from scratch, I may look at something different. Hubitat and homeassistant and to a lesser degree Homeseer but for now I have done enough work on the vera to make it reasonably stable bridge as stability is indeed it's Achilles' heel...

openLuup (79 devices, 141 scenes, 19 apps) master to VeraPlus (142 zwave nodes, 8 Zigbee nodes, 221 devices,  20 scenes , 2 apps) +  Hubitat (15 Zigbee nodes) + Home-Assistant (API Integrations). Bridged to Siri and Alexa. Homewave. VeraPlus ExtRooted and mios server independent.

Offline Catman

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Re: Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2019, 11:21:14 am »
. Vera: I am a bit too committed to it and have already built my entire automation in Lua on openLuup and turned the vera into a device bridge. If I was to start from scratch, I may look at something different. Hubitat and homeassistant and to a lesser degree Homeseer but for now I have done enough work on the vera to make it reasonably stable bridge as stability is indeed it's Achilles' heel...

Technical question, if I may: With openLuup, could you not (comparatively simply) migrate to something like Razbian given that (as I understand it) your Vera is now just a 'dumb' radio transmitter?

Just curious as I'm still right at the bottom of the learning 'curve' :)

C

Offline rafale77

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Re: Anyone else giving up on Z-wave? (or Vera)
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2019, 11:43:07 am »
. Vera: I am a bit too committed to it and have already built my entire automation in Lua on openLuup and turned the vera into a device bridge. If I was to start from scratch, I may look at something different. Hubitat and homeassistant and to a lesser degree Homeseer but for now I have done enough work on the vera to make it reasonably stable bridge as stability is indeed it's Achilles' heel...

Technical question, if I may: With openLuup, could you not (comparatively simply) migrate to something like Razbian given that (as I understand it) your Vera is now just a 'dumb' radio transmitter?

Just curious as I'm still right at the bottom of the learning 'curve' :)

C

openLuup just runs on Lua and it is the beauty of it, much like Java, it is a language and quite platform neutral. It can be built and run on razbian or almost any other OS (macOS, linux, windows) as long as you have the library. If by razbian, you mean the zwave.me radio razberry, there is indeed a plugin for Z-way and I could replace the vera with a Z-way/Razberry but the community support there is weaker than on Vera and the Russian ownership has been quite slow to usefully respond to some inquiries. If you mean to replace openLuup with a Razbian/Z-way controller, I could do this too but all my Lua code would need to be rewritten and I would need a plugin on Z-way to make it connect to the vera which does not exist and I would see no advantage in doing it since I prefer openLuup as a controller given the depth of commitment and understanding I accumulated for it. All credits to AKbooer for creating an outstanding platform mimicking the vera from scratch.

I have even gone as far as attempting to run the mios luup engine on a different platform to see if I could run it on more powerful hardware but it is a binary built on MIPS 32bit. I stopped short of testing it on a virtual machine/emulator. mios used to provide a version of UI4 built on windows but not anymore...
« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 11:48:28 am by rafale77 »
openLuup (79 devices, 141 scenes, 19 apps) master to VeraPlus (142 zwave nodes, 8 Zigbee nodes, 221 devices,  20 scenes , 2 apps) +  Hubitat (15 Zigbee nodes) + Home-Assistant (API Integrations). Bridged to Siri and Alexa. Homewave. VeraPlus ExtRooted and mios server independent.