Best z-wave controllers [The Techy Home]

iotindustry

(Bobby) #1

SmartThings second best to VeraLite, according to thetechyhome.


#2

Wow, is that a weird list!

I would note that if you’re looking at just the zwave controller capabilities of the devices listed, SmartThings is the only one that cannot easily function as, or add, a secondary Z wave controller. It also doesn’t expose most of the Z wave capabilities of the devices connected to it, such as Association. And it has no network mapping utilities. For those three reasons, when looked at just as a zwave controller, I personally would rank it considerably below both vera and Homeseer.

The article also doesn’t mention cloud versus local issues at all, which again is surprising when considering the list is just Z wave controllers.

And then there’s the famous comment from SmartThings support that you shouldn’t run a zwave repair utility if you have more than 30 devices. :scream:

There are a lot of things to like about SmartThings, but if evaluated just as a Z wave controller I don’t see how it came in second. But then I don’t see how the vera lite came in first, either. Who in 2017 would give first place to a controller that doesn’t have zwave plus?

This article looks like it was just written to get affiliate cash from Amazon links. I would look for more expert reviews if you’re trying to compare controllers.


(Fasy Y.) #3

JDRoberts,

I’m the owner of this website and I would like you to improve this article ? Can you please send me your email ?


#4

The article came from very specific angle, zwave controller, not functionality, not supported devices, not user experience. So in this case I’m not surprise that Vera lite can be #1 :smiley_cat:

I have not try Vera lite but tried Vera plus, I don’t think it’s anywhere near smartthings :wink:


(Fasy Y.) #5

Can you elaborate on how Smartthings is way better than Vera plus ?


#6

It’s not even in your top 7 hub.

On the serious note, Vera doesn’t even support Google home and Echo support is just enabled recently. Support for 3rd party device is lack of…

You can’t write yr own device handler, you cant have a bunch of cheap Xiaomi sensors or unbranded device…


#7

Xiaomi Devices are zigbee, not zwave. That’s not relevant to this particular article.

As far as the article goes, it’s specific to Z wave controllers. All zwave devices are certified to the third-party standard. That includes the controllers. Any certified zwave controller should be able to control any certified Z wave device at least as far as on/off/dim. :sunglasses:

And I’m not sure where you got the idea that you can’t write your own device type handlers for Vera. You can write them as “plug-ins,” that’s how people first added integration with 433 MHz devices, for example. And just as in this community, people can and do share their custom code. Which is how people use the lightwave RF devices with vera:

http://www.vesternet.com/resources/application-notes/apnt-47#.Wb_fRdFlChA

Every system has pluses and minuses. If you look at just the Z wave implementations, the vera controllers have a much richer feature set. For example, if you have range issues, you could just add a second vera controller and it will work just fine as a secondary to the first one. You can’t do that with SmartThings, each location can have only one hub.

Vera also exposes all of the Z wave parameters of certified devices and let you easily set associations in central scenes. With SmartThings, you have to use custom code for that.

SmartThings’ advantages vis-à-vis vera are In non zwave areas. First, as you noted, it has much better support for zigbee devices, including the ability to upload your own device type handlers. Second, the company itself has added a lot of cloud to cloud integrations, something which suits the SmartThings architecture but doesn’t match up with Vera’s. That’s why you get integrations like Google Home and IFTTT.

But note that what’s a plus for one person might be a minus for another. Vera runs locally after initial set up, which is what gets in the way of cloud to cloud integrations. Vera doesn’t really have a cloud. Smartthings pushes most messages through the cloud, which makes cloud to cloud integrations pretty easy to add, but then if the Internet goes out most of the automations stop working.

So different things work for different people which is one reason writing a “best” list is always tricky to begin with. But if you do restrict your list just to Z wave controllers, then zwave controller functionality is what you should be judging the candidates on. And I don’t think anyone can find a Z wave advantage for the SmartThings side relative to any candidate except the VeraLite, and that’s just because the VeraLite is EOL technology and using a last generation Z wave chip instead of the current Z wave plus.

So no question you’re right that there are definitely advantages for many people in a SmartThings set up, they just aren’t advantages that have to do with this particular article. :sunglasses:


#8

I appreciate your desire to improve the article, but you’ll need to ask somebody else.


(Fasy Y.) #9

Thanks for the reply. Indeed as JDRoberts stated, the aim of the article is to compare these controllers in relation to Z-Wave technology and what you can do with it within this same technology. So yes Smartthings could easily overthrow VeraLite when taking in consideration other criteria.