Hi all. I have devices that I only use for Halloween. Can I add them to hubitat and just leave them in an unresponsive state when I am done ( because I unplug them ) or should I remove them every season?
Ultimately I’d just like to keep my rules so I don’t have to re-create them every year and the only way I can think of making this work is to leave the devices in place even if they’re in storage.
What protocol are these devices? Some people use Wi-Fi for this because they are generally the most resilient (no mesh network so no worries about disrupting other devices, for example).
Zigbee is likely to be the next best; if it's a key repeater in your network, removing it could be a problem, but if it was fine before, it should be fine after. Zigbee devices find new routes all the time.
Z-Wave is likely to be the most problematic, less so with Z-Wave Plus than "classic" Z-Wave, but I'd consider it a risk I wouldn't take either way given how picky it can be.
For either mesh protocol, the best bet is to "politely" remove/exclude the device from your system. A tip you can use to make this easy on the hub side is to create a group in Groups and Scenes, put the temporary device in the group when it's on your hub and remove it when it's not, then use the group device in all of your automations rather than the "real" one directly (among other ways you might handle this).
That being said, not everyone has bad luck if they ignore all of this advice. (But I'd just prefer to avoid what I can in the first place.)
To be clear, I mean remove the device from Hubitat, not just the group. It can affect your mesh in the same way that removing any repeater/router node can. But if it was working fine before you added the device, it should work fine after you remove it -- assuming you didn't make any changes in the meantime. Nothing, of course, can help if you did and happen to have a device where the node you removed was its only possible route back to the hub (or maybe did someting odd like a repair on a classic Z-Wave node even if this isn't the case, which I guess another one could fix).
I have some Zwave outdoor plugs I only use for holidays. I unplug them and the rest of the mesh is aware they are dead within a few days and it has never caused me a problem. I just plugged the front door one back in this week and it fired right up and worked immediately.
I also use some Kasa plugs as well because I got them super cheap and there is absolutely no problem unplugging those.