I am currently a long time user of Vera (I have a VeraLite hub, which is an older one) and currently switching over to Smartthings (v2 hub). I am speculating that the Smartthings hub has much less zwave range than the Vera, but I was wondering what thoughts everyone has on that. I’m really thinking that Smartthings might not work for me based on the range issues I’m having. Explanation:
I have zwave devices in a detached garage (maybe 30 ft from the house), and several switches down in the edge of the yard in a chicken coop, perhaps 70ft line of sight to the house. And Zwave devices (about 25 or so) all throughout the house. These have all worked flawlessly with the vera. No issues whatsoever in even pairing the devices that are down in the yard. I’m not sure whether the switches in the chicken coop are pairing with the hub itself or are communicating through a repeater switch. But the hub is on that side of the house, so its likely they communicate with the hub (or at least the first one i paired probably is, and the others might be communicating through that one).
So heres my issue, i decommissioned my Vera, and added all the zwave switches in the house to my v2 ST hub, effectively building a whole-house mesh network. So then i started on the outdoor switches - the garage and the chicken coop. The Chicken coop switches absolutely will not pair, after many attempts. The garage switches did pair after 4-5 attempts, but the connection is much less reliable that I had with Vera. Vera worked 99.5% of the time. I open the garage through vera, it opens. Vera automatically closes it at night, every night. I cant even recall a night where it didnt close it successfully. But with ST, I’m lucky to have it close it 1 out of 5 attempts. It seems that the range is just too close to the edge.
I tried a zwave network repair last night to try to get it to find the strongest neighbor to communicate with, but that didnt help. I suppose I can play around with this more, but the only conclusion I can think of is that ST is just weaker signal/antenna wise.
I did find this on the ST site:
“Generally speaking, the switch should be able to connect and communicate with the Hub within 60-70 feet with a clear line of sight. Any walls between the Hub and the device can reduce that range by 25-30%. Keep this in mind when installing your in-wall switch or dimmer.”
And this on the Vera site:
The underlying Z-Wave technology used in a Vera system specifies a range of about 330-feet (100-meters) when used outdoors with no obstructions…To play it safe, we recommend you cut the range estimate to 100-feet (30-meters) for a “line of sight” installation (no walls or obstructions in between), and perhaps half that distance (50-feet) for a typical indoor home installation with signals passing through walls."