I’ve been waiting since Ezlo acquired Vera for a rewrite of the firmware to make it more reliable and efficient but the newest firmware under Ezlo sadly didn’t help. I’ve been a big fan of Vera and have set it up as the primary security system in two homes but a month ago decided to trial a raspberry pi and run Home Assistant with an Aeotec zwave stick.
A bit of a learning curve but nothing too taxing, at least nothing more complicated than when I had to learn luup code to customise the Vera automations. It sounds simple but one of the main ways I can tell the difference in speed is one of my most used automations of when my garden gate is open, take a snapshot and send it to me. With Vera, the person could have come and gone and the snapshot showed an empty image, 6 or 7 seconds behind. With the HA running on the pi it’s about a second delay. The total setup cost under £100 including the aeotec stick, the pi and SD card.
I transitioned each zwave device one at a time so I didn’t lose track of what needed to be moved and ran my most critical automations on the Vera until I had confidence in the HA setup. A month on and I haven’t looked back, even my Fibaro Button works reliably, first time, every time (I push it to arm the system with a minute delay by the front door before leaving). No amount of excluding and including made it work properly with Vera. The other noticeable difference other than the pure speed advantage is my Yale lock always disarms the system now on a valid PIN code. This was a random hit and miss game on the Vera and I could never get to the bottom of why half the time I had to open the app to disarm it, it was just flaky.
Rather than using VeraAlerts plugin for notifications to email, I now use a Telegram group chat thread where all the CCTV grabs and sensor notifications end up which is rather neat.
Anyway I thought I’d share my personal experience with this change. It’s something I never really wanted to do, but for the money I’m so pleased I did. This is not a dig at Vera or Ezlo and I’ve absolutely loved using Vera for the last 4 years. Thanks to all the plugin developers for making the experience greatly enhanced over the stock features. I’ll continue to follow Ezlo and hopefully they’ll release new hardware which is 10x faster like the Raspberry Pi over the Vera Edge and make an efficient zwave firmware which doesn’t randomly fail.