Vera, Zwave and Wemo

As anticipated the addition of a few more Zwave devices firmed up the zwave network and improved reliability. The Zwave switches reach well beyond the range of the Wemo switches (as the zwave network expands with each device adding to the range of the network, while Wemo relies on the Wifi signal).

I’m exploring the automation and programming aspects of the Vera, which at present only acts as a centralized timer turning lights on and off in a quasi-random fashion.

The advanced progamming appears a little counter intuitive, and I’m still grappling with more advanced programming;

- return home and disarm alarm system with remote, system turns on foyer lights and unlocks front door.
- arm alarm system to “stay”, system locks door, turns off downstairs lights.
- arm alarm system to “away”, system locks door, turns off interior lights, turns down thermostat.

You get the idea.

4 comments

  1. Madeye says:

    ‘You get the idea’ … Indeed I do – this has limitless possibilities (for time being spent, as well ;-)

    We’re interested to see how this evolves … keep posting!

  2. Sigivald says:

    ZWave is also in the 900mhz band, and thus has longer range than 2.4ghz WiFi, given equivalent power.

    I look forward to seeing what you do, if only to give me ideas or information for my SmartThings setup.

  3. Mugwug says:

    Madeye: Honestly, have you looked at the list of Zwave devices available out there? Door locks and thermostats, register covers, relays, multimedia stuffs… the list is almost endless. A fella could empty his bank account playing with this.

    Sigivald: True, the only benefit of the Wifi switches over their Zwave bretheren is that they allow control outside the Zwave controller (Vera) through both their own on board scheduling, an Android App and internet (or “If This Then That”) service.

    The more I play with the Zwave devices the more impressed I am, and at this point any additional switches I order (and there are a few on the way) are Zwave.

    The Zwave network now easily covers my detatched garage and the “Evolve” Zwave switches even have a tactile “up is on, down is off” feel where the Wemo switches are a “push near the bottom of the switch on and off” sort of arrangement (the last being a tiny detail, but one that our daughter finds more comfortable as all the other light switches in our house are rocker style.)

    For now I am just slowing bringing most of the household lighting over to Zwave/Wemo control. I’ll be experimenting with the three way switches next for some common area lighting control (as I explained before I would really like the interior lights turned on during a fire alarm.)

    I don’t think I’ll be getting into anything crazy until I explore the home theatre options for our rec room project.

  4. Mugwug says:

    Sigivald: On reflection… crazy is poorly defined….. This project has cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $750 so far (although it’s been incremental and I hadn’t considered the total cost up until now). We’re about $250 deep in light switches, another $100 in appliance switches, $200 for the Vera controller and another $200 for the Zwave door lock (which I am already a big fan of, if only for the detail that can be given to the user codes in programming). I just ordered some three way switches and am enviously eyeing the thermostat options available (thermostats running between $100 and $250).

    Although this all came about following a discussion with the ADT salesman when he tried to sell me on their “Pulse” system. At $150 down and $65 a month over three years ($2490) – that cost ONLY including the front door lock, controller brain, CCTV adapter and a light switch.

    At just under $1000 now, I have CCTV integration with Vera (two camera feeds), have the front door lock, 5 light switches (about to increase to 8), 2 appliance modules, and full alarm system integration with the EVL-3 module.

    I don’t think I’ll hit the ADT threshold of $3K in three years, but at least I’ll have more to show for my money.

    More importantly to me, I have full control over the programming (a feature I am sure I would be denied with “Pulse”)

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