Z-Wave Home Automation with Vera

A Vera product is the "controller" a.k.a the "brain" of your Z-Wave home automation network. The Vera listens to and controls all of its devices.

I got into home automation using the Mi Casa Verde Vera 2 Home Controller after being highly recommended by a friend. Ever since I set it up for my house, I’ve had nothing but praise for this amazing product (Vera) and this amazing technology (Z-Wave).  It’s truly awesome!

What is Z-Wave Home Automation?

Here is the official answer:

Zwave (or Z wave or Z-Wave) is a protocol for communication among devices used for home automation. It uses RF for signaling and control. Zwave was developed by Zensys, Inc. a start-up company based in Denmark.

Basically, any device that says it’s Z-Wave compatible will work with your Z-Wave home automation system. But how do you start a Z-Wave home automation system?  You get a Vera…

What is Vera?

Vera is a line of products made by Vera Control, Ltd (formerly Mi Casa Verde).   A Vera product is the “controller” a.k.a the “brain” of your Z-Wave network.  All Z-Wave devices need to be added to the Vera, and the Vera listens to and controls all of its devices.  There Vera is where you do all the programming of scenes with triggers and actions with its easy-to-use web interface.

The Vera product line consists of:

[amazonjs asin=”B0047PMP7U” locale=”US” title=”Mi Casa Verde Vera 2 Home Controller”]
– The Vera2 is discontinued, but it’s what I’m using and they continue to support it.

[amazonjs asin=”B0074WIVJ4″ locale=”US” title=”Mi Casa Verde Vera3 Flexible, Powerful and affordable Home Controller”]
Faster CPU and more RAM than Vera 2

[amazonjs asin=”B007005364″ locale=”US” title=”Mi Casa Verde VeraLite Home Controller, White and Green”]
– New leaf design, very affordable!

Why Vera is the Best (IMHO)

I highly recommend Vera for any new home automation setup.  Here are some of my reasons:

  • No monthly fee… Save money! (free cloud features included)
  • Continued firmware updates and UI updates (even for old products)
  • Excellent technical support (even a few years after purchase)
  • Extensible with lots of plugins (many plugins don’t even deal with Z-Wave technology, but interact with devices on your network/wifi or servers in the cloud)
  • Lots of Z-Wave compatible devices (or network connected devices that have a Vera plugin)
  • Total control to set it up the way you want (you can even write your own plugins)

So, what can you do with Z-Wave?

Ready to turn your house into an automated smart home of the future?  Check out my TOP 10 LIST of tutorials that will show you how to integrate and automate just about anything in your home!

  1. How to Control IR & AV Devices with Z-Wave
  2. How my Xbox One Turns my Lights On and Off
  3. Home Automation Using Tasker and Z-Wave
  4. Ok Google, Turn Off All Down-Stairs Lights”
  5. How to Control XBMC/Kodi from Tasker
  6. XBMC/Kodi & Z-Wave Integration Guide [Video Demo]
  7. #DEAL: Mi Casa Verde VeraLite Z-Wave Home Controller for $99
  8. Z-Wave Christmas Tree Strobes with the Music
  9. DIY Home Security System using Z-Wave and Tasker
  10. DIY Home Security Automation with Z-Wave Deadbolt Lock

If you have not already done so, I encourage you to take the plunge into the world of home automation.  I guarantee, you will not regret it!

Here are Some Great Z-Wave Compatible Devices

Lighting Control

[amazonjs asin=”B0013V1SRY” locale=”US” title=”GE Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control Duplex Receptacle”]

[amazonjs asin=”B0013V6S0Q” locale=”US” title=”GE Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control Lamp Module with Dimmer Control”]

[amazonjs asin=”B0013V8K3O” locale=”US” title=”GE Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control Outdoor Module”]

Sensors: Doors, Windows, Motion

[amazonjs asin=”B00HPIYJWU” locale=”US” title=”Ecolink Z-Wave Door/Window Sensor”]

[amazonjs asin=”B005LX1NYI” locale=”US” title=”2gig GDR1 Universal Garage Door Receiver”]

[amazonjs asin=”B00OJM63C4″ locale=”US” title=”Ecolink Z-Wave PIR Motion Detector, Pet Immune – 2 Pack”]

Cameras

[amazonjs asin=”B00CO9W21U” locale=”US” title=”MiCasaVerde VistaCam PT Pan/Tilt IP Camera”]

Thermostats

[amazonjs asin=”B009GDHYPQ” locale=”US” title=”Nest Learning Thermostat”]

[amazonjs asin=”B005EJ7YO2″ locale=”US” title=”Honeywell Z-Wave Enabled Programmable Thermostat”]

Energy Monitoring

[amazonjs asin=”B007UZH7B8″ locale=”US” title=”Aeon Labs Z-wave Smart Energy Switch”]

Security Siren

[amazonjs asin=”B006KH48VY” locale=”US” title=”Fortrezz Z-wave Siren Strobe Alarm w/ Red Lense”]

[amazonjs asin=”B004F1B24I” locale=”US” title=”Kwikset 910 Z-Wave SmartCode Electronic Deadbolt featuring SmartKey in Satin Nickel”]

If I missed some awesome Z-Wave devices that you recommend, let me know in the comments or tweet me @natekinkead.

12 thoughts on “Z-Wave Home Automation with Vera

  1. Hey, love you’re helping decipher the brave new world of home automation. Had a question: can Vera be used to control and monitor a home security system? Thanks!

      1. Hey Nathan, I just came across your blog. Very nicely done.

        RE home security integration, I have the Vera Lite and I have integrated my DSC Power Series 1864. Doing so allows me to use each door/window/motion sensor as a trigger within Vera. It can also control alarm functions. For example I have an away scene which, among other things, arms the alarm.

        When paired with my 6 outdoor and two indoor cameras (connected to my home server using BlueIris and then to Vera via the BlueIris plugin), I’m very pleased with my security system.

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