About Vera Smarter Home Control
If you’re looking to easily and affordably control your home’s security, climate control, and lighting, Vera Smarter Home Control claims they can help. By featuring a wide variety of hardware, in addition to compatibility with over 900 third-party devices, the company claims that you can set up as little or as much home automation as you need, all without monthly contracts.
But does Vera Smarter Home Control really provide the best value for your money? Let’s shine some light on the facts and see what they have to say.
Vera Smarter Home Control Details
Through the use of proven and reliable Z-Wave technology, Vera claims that their home security, climate, and lighting control systems can be accessed from anywhere in the world using any Apple or Android-based smartphone or tablet, or standard computer. In fact, the company claims that their products are the simplest, easiest, and most affordable way to control your home, and that they’re ready to go right out of the box.
Once your Vera Home Control system is wirelessly set up, the company claims you’ll be able to customize every aspect of it, including deadbolt locks, security cameras, lighting, and even monitor energy usage. While Vera Smarter Home Control products can be purchased independently, the company also offers six different home control packages depending on your needs:
- Starter – Includes 1 dimmable lamp module, 1 VeraLite controller, and 1 VistaCam SD wide angle wireless camera.
- Energy – Includes 1 dimmable lamp module, 1 Z-Wave programmable thermostat, and 1 VeraLite controller.
- Family – Includes 1 motion sensor, 2 Everspring door/window sensors, 2 plug-in dimmable lamp switches, 1 Z-Wave programmable thermostat, 1 VeraLite controller, and 1 VistaCam SD pan and tilt wireless camera.
- Security – Includes 1 motion sensor, 3 Everspring door/window sensors, 2 plug-in dimmable lamp switches, 1 Kwikset pushbutton deadbolt, 1 VeraLite smart home controller, and 2 VistaCam SD pan and tilt wireless cameras.
- Deluxe – Includes 1 Z-Wave glass-plated thermostat, 2 Everspring door/window sensors, 1 plug-in dimmable lamp switch, 1 energy monitoring dimmable lamp module, 2 multi-function (motion, light, and temperature) sensors, 1 Vera3 controller, 2 VistaCam SD pan and tilt wireless cameras, and 1 Yale touchscreen deadbolt lock.
- Small Business – Includes 1 home energy meter, 1 Z-Wave glass-plated thermostat, 3 Everspring door/window sensors, 2 energy monitoring dimmable lamp modules, 2 multi-function (motion, light, and temperature) sensors, 1 Vera3, 2 VistaCam HD wireless cameras, and 2 Yale touchscreen deadbolt locks.
Whichever package or items you choose, the company claims you can expand and add functions over time.
Vera Smarter Home Control Pricing & Refund Policy
Vera Smarter Home Control packages are priced as follows:
- Starter: $249.95
- Energy: $299.95
- Family: $499.95
- Security: $699.95
- Deluxe: $999.95
- Small Business: $1,499.95
If purchased individually, Vera products range in price from $180 to $250 for controllers, $40 to $180 for cameras, and $60 to $275 for other accessories.
The main selling point for Vera Smarter Home Control products is that there are no monthly fees or contracts—simply make your purchase and there are no additional costs thereafter. In fact, when compared to the competition, Vera claims that their systems can pay for themselves within the first year.
All Vera Smarter Home Control products come with a 12-month warranty, and claim to be supported by a “world-class” team (we’ll explore this further in the Bottom Line section).
What Do Other Consumers Have to Say About Vera Smarter Home Control?
Vera Smarter Home Control products are manufactured by Vera Control, Ltd based out of Hong Kong. As such, the company is not listed with the Better Business Bureau.
Online reviews regarding Vera products appear to be evenly mixed, with the most common complaints citing long set up times, non-recognition of third-party products, that the user interface is outdated and is not intuitive to use, extremely poor documentation, and essentially non-existent technical support.
What’s the Bottom Line About Vera Smarter Home Control?
Granted, the ability to buy and install home automation products without a monthly contract is extremely tempting, but when it really comes down to it, does the lack of a monthly fee make Vera Smarter Home Control products a good value? The short answer is “maybe,” and here’s why.
Despite the company claiming that their products are plug and play, by far the most common complaints we encountered during our research cited:
- Long set up times – We found countless customer reviews claiming that it took anywhere from 8-10 hours to more than a week to set up their Vera systems. This is because…
- The user interface is outdated – Even among users who gave Vera Smarter Home Control systems high marks, they still complained about the user interface. The most common complaint was that it appears to be very outdated and to be full of bugs and quirks. In addition, it’s not very intuitive to use, and if you’re looking to create anything more than a basic function, you’ll need to have at least some programming know-how.
- Non-recognition of third-party products – Even though Vera claims that their interface is compatible with more than 900 third-party products, many users have found them to work at only a basic level, or even not at all.
- Extremely poor documentation – Based on the reviews we read, you can expect your Vera system to come with a one-page document that tells you how to connect your devices, but not much else regarding how to control them. This leads to a lot of trial and error, and when customers attempt to contact the company, they find out that there is…
- Essentially no technical support – Many reviews claimed that Vera’s online technical documentation is either grossly incomplete, or is outdate (e.g. references older software versions). On top of this, if you contact the company for technical support, they’re likely going to just refer you to the documentation on their website.
What this comes down to is that, despite the lack of monthly fees and strong third-party support, Vera products appear to be difficult to set up and to operate, even for more technical users. As a result, in order to get the most value out of your Vera Smarter Home Control system, you’ll probably need to be highly technical—and even then, you may spend hours setting up anything more than the most basic system. As such, it doesn’t appear that Vera would make an ideal choice for beginner or novice users.