Home Automation – Zwave and Vera Plus
Decided to go into Home Automation with our new home. Selected zwave as the primary technology, primarily because it seems more established and mature.
- Open standard with encrypted communication
- Good interoperability between hubs and devices
- Proprietary standard (yup, open does not mean non-proprietary)
- Comparatively more expensive.
Important Points to Note
Zwave operates on different frequencies in different countries. There are also mains and battery-powered zwave devices. It is important to ensure that the device you get is compatible with both electrical supply and operating frequency. The main frequencies in use are
|868.4 MHz, 869.85 MHz||220 – 240 V, 50 Hz||EU, Middle East, Philipines|
|868.4 MHz||220 V, 50 Hz||China|
|920.9 MHz, 921.7 MHz, 923.1 MHz||230 V, 50 Hz||Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand|
|908.4 MHz, 916 MHz||120 V, 60 Hz||USA|
|919.8 MHz||220 V, 50 Hz||Hong Kong|
This is just a sample of the frequencies used around the world. This also means that if you are in Singapore, you should not buy your zwave devices from USA or Hong Kong. You either risk incompatibility or frying your electronics.
As for devices in the EU 868.4 MHZ frequency, it is quite different. If you search on the internet, it seems like there are various sources (including wikipedia) that list 868.4 MHz as the correct frequency for Singapore. From my research, it is also not illegal to use 868.4 MHz. Many zwave products sold in Singapore actually operate on the 868.4 MHz frequency, so if you want maximum compatibility, get devices on this frequency.
Decided to get Vera Plus as my zwave hub because it was advertised as able to work offline (true but requires internet connectivity when setting up), and there to no subscription fee to maintain. I was able to get it second hand (in 2018) as well.
Vera Plus Specifications
880 MHz MIPS SoC
NAND 128 MB Flash memory
DDR3 256 MB RAM memory