Confirmation - exclusion from previous product hub

So how important is it to exclude all devices from a z-wave or zigbee hub before you setup setup the Hubitat?

Should ALL device be excluded from existing [like smartthings ]before installing Hubitat??

Can you do them one at a time when others are still connected?

You can absolutely do things one at a time. The only possible concerns there are the fact that you'll be destroying one mesh (removing repeaters that other devices might depend on, for example) as you build the other (which in turn may then not yet have a strong enough "backbone" of repeaters for all your devices), plus the fact that you'll be running multiple networks simultaneously and are more likely to run into congestion in the protocols' corresponding bandwidths (but with only two of each that's unlikely; Hubitat lets you choose your Zigbee channel, so maybe make sure it's not the exact same as SmartThings', but also keep in mind possible 2.4 GHz Wifi interference, so maybe keep Hubitat on a channel you're likely to want to use long-term).

If you feel like starting all over all at once, however, you certainly can remove all the devices from ST, making sure they're excluded or reset and ready to re-pair to a new network like Hubitat. Up to you!

If you are using SmartThings, you could consider using the community HubConnect app to "share" devices between ST and Hubitat during your transition. That would allow you to move either the SmartApp/app or thing/device to the new hub while keeping the rest on the original if you're not able to do everything related to a particular device or app at the same time. Otherwise, you could also do things the "old fashioned" way, moving devices (and automations/apps) in a way where the hubs don't depend on each other during the transition (or at least you could temporarily deal with them not).

Regarding "excluding" devices themselves, that is an important consideration for Z-Wave in particular: Z-Wave devices must be excluded from their existing hub or totally reset (usually--I did see a story of one particular old device where a reset still didn't erase the pairing), otherwise they won't want to join to a new hub. You don't need to use SmartThings to "politely" exclude/remove it from that network--any controller, including Hubitat, will do--but that is certainly a fine way to do it if you can. This is also true for Zigbee devices, but they're generally less picky and can just be reset and paired to a new hub, though removing them from their existing hub (using that hub) is also usually easy, often requiring you to do nothing on the device itself (Z-Wave usually makes you press a button once or thrice).

Some people also recommend leaving the old hub powered down when moving. I've never had this problem, but there are apparently reports of old hubs being too aggressive with wanting to re-pair old devices, and that's an easy way to avoid this possibility.

Good luck!

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HubConnect looks interesting but I'm trying to avoid any middleware to ensure it all works natively.

I guess I'm looking for a "best practices" cliff-notes guide.

I bought Hubitat.
I have ST.
I have z-wave devices (maybe some zigbee) all connected into ST

From what I recall is that z-wave could only be part of one network [totally could not have this fact correct) and you really had to remove/exclude from an existing network.

==> Not looking for a middleware solution - just best practices.

thanks!!

That is correct: Z-Wave (and Zigbee) devices can be paired only to one hub at a time. (I'm going to ignore the intricacies of secondary Z-Wave controllers here, but I guess it's technically more accurate to say they can only be paired to one network at a time, and I wouldn't consider either Hubitat or ST to excel at being secondary controllers--likely just something they both did the minimum for to meet certification requirements.)

So, yes, the best idea is probably to politely exclude the device from SmartThings, then include it to Hubitat. But you could technically use Hubitat (or any Z-Wave controller) to do that exclusion--and you might actually want to if you still want to reference the "old" device on SmartThings to see what it was in use by (that's "cheating" a bit and a better workaround might be to substitute out a virtual device, but those aren't quite as easy to create on ST as they are on Hubitat) or simply because it's easy. But as long as you keep in mind that if you run into problems pairing a device to Hubitat, it's probably because the device thinks its still paired to something else (and an exclusion and/or reset should help), then you'll be good!

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Perfect! Having a "what-if" FAQ would be a great addition to documentation. Thanks very much!

In this type case where the sensor was paired to a different device (or a used device like from Ebay) I almost always go a step further and also exclude in Hubitat before trying to include. Probably not strictly necessary, but there are times where it just won't pair and you exclude, and it then includes just fine.

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So if someone moves into a new apartment/home that had existing z-wave/zigbee devices all setup from the old homeowners hub, would that be a problem if someone moved in with a new router/whatnot but existing internet provider , bought a Hubitat, and tried to marry/network those existing deveices?

You would either hope they excluded from their old hub, or just exclude from Hubitat like I mentioned above.

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Very good information. Thank you!