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Differences between de Homecenter 2 and Fibaro Homecenter lite.
We are often asked what Z-wave smart home controlle should i buy? Vera Edge or a more expensive Fibaro Homecenter. The answer is a bit more complicated. it depends on your needs and technical skills. Are you an end-user type or more a programmer? Both have their own benefits. When you want to use a smart metercable to start measuring powerconsumption of your house, you cannot use the Fibaro, since this is a closed applelike system and they do not support this product. In this case you need a Vera Edge or Zipato/Benext. When you want a fast and good looking interface, we would suggest a Fibaro controller. Another big difference between Fibaro controllers and others makes is the fact that Fibaro makes both the controller and the modules (sensors and actors). And this is a good combination. Setting parameters and making assoications is very easy in a Fibaro-Fibaro setup. Vera on the other hand works better with the majority of brands. Vera has no interest in whatever module you buy. In this item we will only talk about the difference between the Homecenter 2 and the Homecenter Lite.
In our Home automation controller overview we mention the differences and specifications of the controllers. With a few examples we want to make things more clear to you.
1) Fibaro Home Center Lite (HCL) : No multifunctions in the HCL.
Due to the fact that the Homecenter Lite doesnt support LUA, its not possible with their V3.x firmware to start scenes. There are no plugins availble as well. In V4 this will be possible!
2) HCL : Limited use off wallcontrollers and keyfobs.
Zwaveme's Kfobs keychain hangers and Z-wave wall controllers can be added to the Homecenter Lite. They can only be used to make associatons (direct connections with other Z-wave devices). You cannot start a scene by pushing a button on the remote. We believe in version 4 of their software this will be possible
2) HCL : Geen support for HTTP commands.
Again, due to the lack of LUA programming its not possible to create HTPP commands to control other smart devices:
1) a 'go-to-preset' command to IP-cameras for example to aim the camera when a door is opened .
2) integration of the Heatmiser NEO thermostat (Smart thermostat without Z-wave) as desribed on our project page.
This means that the Home Center Lite can only control Z-wave modules (and smart devices supported in the plugins section with V4), whereas the Homecenter 2 is able to sent API-calls to most smart devices, with or without the Fibaro plugin available.
3) HCL : No complex scenes (lua support).
To be honest: with the graphical programming blocks scene you can make a lot of scenes. Moderately complex scenes are no problem. But for example, to compare two variables is not possiblein the Homecenter Lite. You can compare a variable to a fixed number, but not with another variable (see figure below).
We often hear: "I cant program, so why should I buy a HC2?" The answer is more complex. Fact is that you can control smart devices with a HC2 that are connected to your network without Z-wave technology. Think of your flat screen TV with a network connection, or the smart thermostat. Or your IP camera. Vendors are increasingly providing a 'code manual "on how these smart devices can be controlled from other devices such as your HC2, by LUA programming code. You do not need to make this code yourself, Fibaro or other HC2 users (including ROBBshop) might have done it for you already. You only have to import the code to your system by importing a 'virtual machine'. What is the advantage? After all, you have already a smart app with ecery smart device that works perfectly. The answer is simple. When you leave home, you must turn off every device individualy in it own app (TV, thermostat, alarm). When using 'virtual machines' in the Homecenter2 you can controll all devices with the press of a button. In our demohouse in Empel you can see this in action.
As you can see in the picture above the variable TempSchuurAct can only be tested against a fixed value. it cannot be held against another variable. This is something you could only do in Fibaro Homecenter 2.