Control Your Home with Vera from Mi Casa Verde

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Use Vera, a Z-Wave-based product, to automate your home, and let the computer turn the lights on and off for you.
Issues

I found the Vera quite easy to set up and use overall. However, I did run into several issues.

The Web interface is incomplete. Some sections do not have an explanatory video or any other documentation. I'm sure documentation is coming, but that doesn't help me right now.

Besides missing bits, the Web interface is also glitchy. It relies on AJAX-style automatic form submission when you add devices, scenes, events and so on. This works fine most of the time, but I ran into problems a couple times where configuration changes I made were not applied, and I had to enter them a second or even third time before they “took”. The explanatory videos also stopped during playback several times while the interface performed housekeeping on something or other.

Also, on at least two occasions during my testing, the Vera stopped working altogether. During these incidents, the Web interface still was responsive, and it acted like things were working, but none of the lights would turn on or off when told to. I still could turn them on and off via the buttons on the individual modules or by using my Z-Wave remote. A reboot of the Vera solved the issue. I do appreciate the improvements the firmware upgrades have provided, but I hope stability and reliability are at the top of the list for the Vera developers, especially as I continue to add more modules.

Finally, I ran into issues with the Vera doing crazy things on me. I tried at one point to set up an event that would turn on my bedside lamp whenever the ceiling light was turned on. After setting it up, the Vera started doing strange things like dimming and then brightening the lights in the room, shutting the lights off at random times, turning the lights on at equally random times and so on. After the Vera decided to turn on the lights in the room at 5:00am, I had had enough, and I removed the glitchy event.

Conclusion

Thankfully, none of my other timers and events have been as troublesome as the bedroom one.

In fact, the Vera has been very reliable about most of my scenes. I have one that momentarily dims the lights in the family room when it is time for the kids to get ready for bed. I'm still working on the part where the kids actually start getting ready for bed at that point, but the scene itself works flawlessly. All of my other scenes, events and timers also have worked well.

Above all, the thing that Vera does do well is hide a lot of the complexity of setting up and operating a home-control system, even if it didn't quite pass the non-geek user test this time around.

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Comments

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Findvera.com loses network

Robert H's picture

I got my vera working with a lamp module and thermostat and was able to log into findvera.com and turn the a/c on and off and the lamp. It worked great! The next time I logged in via my home network it said it couldn't find vera on the home network and I'm dead in the water. Waiting for tech support. Which by the way doesn't have a phone number. Very frustrated.

VERA is a terrible product

Anonymous's picture

This is a terrible product. It was not working properly, so I contacted their technical support. Their support service had to make changes to the firmware that fixed some of the problems. The system was still incredibly unreliable and the technical support said that there is nothing they can do about it. DO NOT BUY THIS ITEM, IT IS A WAST OF MONEY

How does findvera.com

Anonymous's picture

How does findvera.com connects to the vera device ? The vera device is connected to the home network and it gets an internal ip address from the router.

Thanks

Charlie's picture

Thanks for the review. I've played with HomeSeer, but it didn't scratch the itch. This thing looks pretty cool.

In the article, there is a bash script example. Does anyone know if this thing has perl or python on it (or could)? If so, I assume one could write scripts in those languages that could be triggered with events? I checked the MCV forum, but I didn't see a lot on scripting languages... Any advice would be appreciated!

Realy interessant

Linux-X's picture

I didn`t know that this exist until know, will try it home soon
Thanks for this excellent review

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