Mi Casa Verde VeraLite Home Controller, White and Green

3 comments for “Mi Casa Verde VeraLite Home Controller, White and Green

  1. user2967
    January 8, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    97 of 104 people found the following review helpful

    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Well worth the trouble if you have the patience and tech knowhow, November 10, 2012

    By ReaderX

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    This review is from: Mi Casa Verde VeraLite Home Controller, White and Green (Electronics)

    I relied heavily on the reviews of others in making my decision to buy into Z-Wave home automation technology so I felt the need to contribute.

    I now have my Z-Wave installation working reliably and consistently and I am very happy with the investment in money and time to get it working. I have many years as a professional in the electronics and information technology fields though and I like to tinker.

    I have…
    a MiCasaVerde VeraLite,
    a MiCasaVerde SmartSwitch,
    a KwikSet lock,
    a Fortrezz water/temperature sensor,
    a 2GIG CT100 thermostat and
    two Foscam IP cameras
    all working properly and consistently and all bought through Amazon.com. All at a total cost of that of a single iPad. I am a huge fan and frequent customer of Amazon.com and less of a fan of iPads.

    I have written a script and automated it to send an email to me of the status of my devices every couple hours. It tells me the lock is locked (or unlocked), the appliance connected to the SmartSwitch is turned off (or on). It also sends me the current temperatures of my thermostat upstairs and that of my leak/temperature sensor downstairs. If the water leak sensor detects water downstairs or it goes below 45 degrees it sends me an immediate text message notification. If my lock is unlocked or someone enters an invalid code or its battery goes low the KwikSet lock sends me an immediate text message notification.

    With all this I feel very assured that I know what is going on in home while I’m away and can control the environment. MiCasaVerde provides a nice, free, secure internet site for controlling and monitoring my VeraLite controller and Z-Wave devices remotely. Not bad.

    Battery life is a frequent question on devices. My thermostat battery level is at 95 % after a month of use (no C wire connected). The KwikSet lock has been in service 3 months and the battery is at 60%. Using the motor to frequently lock and unlock will run the battery down quickly I expect so I use the key and manual lever withever possible. The Fortrezz leak/temperature sensor has been in service a month and the battery is still at 99%. So battery life isn’t a problem for me.

    The only criticism I have is that devices do not work over the distance that is advertised. It is commonly said that a distance of 25 meters or about 80 feet can be achieved with Z-Wave. This may be true if you’re setting a network up in a basketball court but most of us have walls in our homes.

    Initially I set the system up in an older home with plaster walls. I had trouble getting reliable operation 15-20 feet away with a wall or two between devices. It was unacceptable at this location and would have gotten 2 STARS. But I was able to pick everything up and move it to its final destination in a newer home 150 miles away that has sheetrock walls. All the devices found each other and the VeraLite connected to the internet toot suite (pardon my french) real quick at the new location. 4 STARS at the new location.

    The range was better in the newer home and things settled down to work very well in this location. Still the range between any 2 devices wasn’t half of what was advertised. But by centrally locating the VeraLite I was able to span a distance of about 50 feet with only one plugged in device acting as a repeater. The MiCasaVerde SmartSwitch does a good job of repeating the Z-Wave signal and even repeating the secure protocol used to talk with the KwikSet lock. So I am now satisfied with effective communications range of my installation knowing that adding more repeating devices will extend it even more and I can cover the entire home.

    In summary, I had a little frustration with the communications range initially but with a little perseverance, EQUIPMENT RELOCATION TO A NEWER HOUSE and my technical background I prevailed and am happy with my installation and the peace of mind it brought.

    Good luck. Let me know if I can answer any questions.

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  2. user2764
    January 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    132 of 137 people found the following review helpful

    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Does Some Things Well, Others Not So Much, March 30, 2012

    By KVH

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    I’ve had a z-wave system set up in my home for about 2 years. Nothing fancy, a few lights and a couple of small appliances. I was using software (the old Homeport software for Mac) on my Mac Mini to run the whole thing, and I could access it remotely using LogMeIn, but this was somewhat less than ideal and I knew my new wife would never jump through those hoops. So when the Vera Lite came out under $200 I decided to check it out. Setup was fairly easy although it took a couple of router resets and Vera resets to get everything recognized on the network. I had to delete all the modules from the primary controller I had been using so I could add them to the Vera as the primary. If you’ve done this before it’s not too bad, and the UI5 interface with the Vera is easy to get used to.

    I was hopeful that adding a couple of cameras would be easy, but it’s not. If you go to the micasaverde.com website forums you’ll see lots of discussions for workarounds for various cameras. The wiki lists cameras that are basically plug and play for Vera and others than can be made to work. Recently a popular Foscam camera that worked with Vera became inoperable after a Vera software update. It appears a workaround has been achieved to correct the problem, but the steps necessary are probably more than most want to hassle with for a system that is supposed to simplify your life. This is the problem I have with micasaverde all the way around – the software development seems to be trial and error with the customers as the guinea pigs. This is fine for small niche products, but if you’re entering the big leagues it’s time to tighten up your development operations.

    I’d also like to integrate this with an alarm system in my home, but again the number of compatible alarm systems is very limited and the workarounds are cumbersome. I can’t imagine jumping through all the hoops to get it set up only to have something go wrong while I’m out of town, and my wife having to deal with it with two kids and her job. I think she would demand I trash the whole system when I got home and ADT would be there the next day installing their system (along with their monthly monitoring fee, which I don’t want to pay). As it is, I decided to keep the alarm system and the z-wave system separate. This requires double sensors on some doors, but so be it.

    So overall this works well for controlling z-wave modules, and the iPhone apps (Vera and Square Connect) work very well – no issues at all. I’m less than happy with the compatible camera selection and disappointed in the alarm system integration options. I haven’t tried any locks yet, but that’s the next step – probably within the next couple of months. It’s simplified the light and appliance module control, so four stars. If a wide variety of cameras could be easily integrated I’d give it five.

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  3. user2544
    January 8, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    63 of 68 people found the following review helpful

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Absolutely Flawless Z-Wave Performance With VeraLite, August 28, 2012

    By A. Goodman (Long Island, New York) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    This review is from: Mi Casa Verde VeraLite Home Controller, White and Green (Electronics)

    This little gem is everything you need to get started in the exciting world of home automation. If you already have a wireless router, you won’t need a Vera 3 unless you want a second (separate) wireless home network connection. If you already have a wireless router, a VeraLite is all you’ll need because it runs off of your current wireless network. It is very small, compact and even has a nice design which makes it easy to store with your current networking gear like a cable modem and wireless router. The VeraLite makes it easy to add z-waves devices into your network with a good range (it reaches any area in my home) or you can disconnect the unit from the AC power supply and while running it off of batteries you can bring the Vera to the device and add it to your z-wave network that way. So far I have a Trane thermostat, Yale Real Living Deadbolt, two z-wave fan switches, a z-wave outlet, z-wave light switch and Foscam camera/motion sensor running off of my network. All work flawlessly under the VeraLite. The real fun will be integrating all the devices into scenes once I have them all set up, making my home truly automated instead of just controlling each device individually. If you’re looking to get started in home automation and you already have a wireless router in your home, the VeraLite is everything you’ll need to get started.

    The best and most striking advantage of MiCasaVerde over Nexia is the price: MiCasaVerde and VeraLite has zero monitoring fees — Nexia will have you paying a monthly use fee. Using Vera you can also use ANY z-wave compatible device. Nexia on the other hand has an extremely limited selection of z-wave devices that you can use. It’s a no brainer to go with MiCasaVerde and VeraLite

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