Migrating from Control4

Hello

Fed up with Control4 for various reasons (not to do with the platform itself or Zigbee reliability ) but the way an end users devices were continually EOL’d (when they had no say in it…case in point only recently with Composer 3.0), the inability to do firmware updates myself, and the inability to make simple changes to the platform within my own house myself (upgrade a TV etc) - I have been slowly migrating away from Control4.

Alexa has helped big time here. Ist with music Control (I predominantly use Sonos/Spotify), and next with Harmony Remote (I now don’t use Control4 for A/V control) and finaly with my Nest TSat.

I now want to move my lighting and relay control. I have a Ness Security M1 Alarm Panel. And I have a garage and set of blinds controlled via a Card Access Zigbee controller and direct wiring to the relays on the HC800 controller. I have one light circuit with a C4 zigbee dimmer and 3-4 GPO’s. One of these controllers a water pump. A Also have a LiLin NVR and 9 IP 1080p cameras. That’s pretty much it.

My 11 questions are these

1/ Will Z-wave be as reliable as Zigbee?
2/ Is Vera all DIY? I am pretty Ok with that I learnt alot of C4 roll out and programming working with a C4 certified dealer.
3/ Do I have to rip out all the Zigbee dimmers and GPO’s?
4/ What would you suggest I use for the relays? Or will the Card Access ones still work ? discoverable by Vera?
5/ Is Vera Firmware upgradeable by the end user?
6/ Does Vera gear get EOL’d?
7/ Is there a market on ebay for it if it doesn’t work out? (There isn’t for c4 gear)
8/ How easy is it to set up a “remote in” using the Vera app and what do you see? Are all IP cameras for example visible within the app? (mixture of Lilin and HikVision)
9/ Can I integrate the NESS alarm panel?
10/ Where is the list of all compatible pieces of hardware?
11/ Can you set up Prowl notifications?

Thanks!

  1. based on my experience no one can truly give accurate comments on zigbeee and z wave reliability, its totally dependent on your network they are 2 different standards Zigbee uses the IEEE’s 802.15.4 which is same as 2.4ghz (so same framework as your wifi, 2.4 Cordless Phone, etc.) Z Wave’s 800-900MHz so for my setup, I have Phillips hue which runs ZigbeeLL on channel 20 with 2 huge external antennas connected and I have never had issues, while most of My IOT stuff runs Z-Wave flawlessly. so its totally dependent on your situation (Oh there is also z-wave plus which is Z-wave that has been going to the gym for a while, so its a bit beefy, security and range wise. https://dgit.com/zigbee-vs-z-wave-58857/

  2. Vera is not all DIY, but it opens a host of flexible internal and external applications and the endless customization ability. If you don’t like Vera Interface u can use Altui Openluup bind it to Openhab or Bind it to home assistant.

  3. Good question - if u already have made the investment in ZigBee, I would say stick with it, Vera is still working on its ZigBee implementation so u might want to shop around first, that’s my honest opinion. (So yeah vera favors z-wave at the moment) [thats one of the reasons I just went with Phillips Hue- and bound it to vera]

  4. Probably not (would be good to test once Zigbee stack gets finished) but Card access is ZigBee t so I think I answered in question 1, remember Zigbee will be ZigBee and Z-wave is Zwave, so if u can find Zwave relays (I don’t have any but I know they di exist) u would have to use them

  5. 5/ Is Vera Firmware upgradeable by the end user? Yes for a very long time Vera used to force updates, but they have fixed that because we, the community, yelled a lot. everything is right here on the form. It’s definitely not as problematic as it once was

  6. No, but at some point, the ability to support it becomes way too costly, just like a cell phone, at some point, you will just need to upgrade, I’ve had a Veralite and now I’ve moved to vera plus and I have been doing this since 2011.

  7. Great Question. so remember Vera is just the controller to interface with Z-wave devices. so devices are not specific to vera, as long as its Z-wave it should work. So you have a great deal of Z-wave devices on eBay new and used (I’m assuming contol4 was very closed and limited and they told you the infamous “its not compatible” phrasing a lot). So an example, You get your vera and need to replace some dimmers and you see someone on u can buy from ebay, homedepot, amazon, bestbuy, anywhere that sells Z-wave devices and pair it to the Vera.

  8. as easy as 123, I personally Use BlueIris4 for Ip Camera and its incorporated into Vera Via Plugin (I have nest cameras, cheap cameras from China, POE cameras, None of them can access the internet by themselves they connect only to the BlueIris server)

  9. Elk/ness M1 app

  10. Pretty much most Z-wave devices are compatible / the Z-wave Stack is pretty robust and all devices simply use a standardized command class to communicate, mandated by Z-Wave Alliance.
    http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/ZWave_Command_Classes
    so light switch use On/Of (COMMAND_CLASS_SWITCH_BINARY) command class so any light switch u purchase will communicate with this class, brand name does not matter
    but here u go
    https://getvera.com/compatibility/

  11. Yes via 2 apps (Push Notification and VeraAlerts) that I’m aware of