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Your Vera System can easily be expanded. Whether you started building your Vera System with a Vera Solution that came with several devices in a kit, or with a Vera Controller and individual Devices purchased separately, expanding your system is simple.
The range of new Devices you can expand your Vera System with includes cameras, sensors, locks, on-off switches, dimmers, thermostats and more. Here are some of the principal types of Devices that are commonly used to expand smart home and monitoring applications:
Inexpensive IP (Internet Protocol) cameras have revolutionized security and communications by showing live video from one location to another via the Internet. Most of them work via Wi-Fi, and some are designed for outdoor use.
It's easy for Vera to control lights that have had Z-Wave control added to them. There are many inexpensive Z-Wave switches and dimmers that you simply plug your lights into before plugging into the wall. There are also wall switches and dimmers that are powered by Z-Wave.
There are numerous locks on the market, and just about all are Vera compatible. You can set different electronic keys for different people, lock or unlock doors remotely, set up timers for locking/unlocking, etc.
There are a wide range of Z-Wave sensors available on the market that can send out information to your Vera Controller, which can then alert you or make other devices react accordingly. For example, a motion sensor can turn on a light, and a daylight sensor can tell Vera to change the thermostat or open a motorized shade.
Heating and air conditioning are two of the most expensive drains on a home's energy profile, and simple management of home climate can dramatically reduce your energy bills.
There are many more types of controllable home automation Devices on the market, and many more coming. You can use practically all of them with your Vera System. However, for some of these Devices, Vera makes it incredibly easy to set them up, using custom Vera Device Wizards.
The Vera Device Wizards
There are currently over a thousand different Devices that are compatible with your Vera System, and this universe keeps expanding. Among these, Vera has selected several dozen of the most popular and robust Devices you can use with your Vera System, and created Device Wizards to guide you through the setup and installation process.
Note that a Device Wizard is not required to add a new Device to your system, and in fact Vera UI7 includes a "generic device" option within each category (sensors, thermostats, cameras, etc.) to accommodate practically any home automation Device.
By expanding your system with a Device for which Vera offers a Device Wizard you'll be assured of the fastest, easiest installation. Each Device Wizard includes custom photos showing exactly where buttons need to be pressed, and explaining every single step of the "inclusion" process to get the Device communicating with your Vera Controller. (See Devices Tab - Part 2 for more about this process.) Of course all the Devices included in Vera Solution packages, such as the Vera Starter Solution and Vera Energy Solution, have Vera Device Wizards.
The next set of articles provide more detailed information on many of the specific Vera Device Wizards that are available in the various Device categories (Alarms, Thermostats, Energy, Dimmers and Lights, Security Cameras, etc.)