Best Practices for temporary devices

I control all of my Christmas lights via smartthings. Some strings are controlled via outlets that are switched via a permanently installed zwave switch, but many are controlled via an outdoor zwave outlet/chord such as the GE 12720 which I typically unplug and store after I take the lights down. My question is, what is the best practice for using these “temporary” devices. I tend to remove them in ST if they aren’t going to be active, I think during one of times when I was having some issues support or this forum may have recommended removing these devices which were “offline” so this basic practice has stuck with me.

and some basic questions:

  1. If I have a device in ST that will be inactive (no power) for a long time, does this cause a problem ?
  2. Is there a feature I am not aware of like “suspend a device” so that ST doesn’t bother to poll it ?

I don’t know what the official answer is, or if there’s anything peculiar to smart things itself, but as far as the third-party standards for both Z wave and zigbee it won’t make any difference if you have a device off power for a long time. That’s actually one of the reasons that zigbee was created, so that devices could be added and removed from the network without requiring a lot of human effort or damaging the routing. :sunglasses:

I personally have an outdoor pocket socket which is only used for holidays and is just put it in a drawer the rest of the time, and we’ve never had any issues with it.

The only problem would be if any of your other devices had been using the holiday devices as a repeater. Then they might keep trying to use it, but when the messages don’t go through, they should look for a different route. So technically in terms of efficiency if you know it’s going to be off power for a long time it would be a little better to remove it from your network all together. But most people wouldn’t see any practical difference.


Hello, yes removing them when you know you will need them in the future is a pain.

Yes, technically there is no issue.

In this one aspect zigbee is “better” than zwave as no end user maintenance for zigbee network.

Since you are talking about zwave, to run zwave optimally you should run zwave repair when zwave devices are moved around.

It should not matter if some are off, but when trying to troubleshoot any zwave network problems, having a completely clean zwave repair without any errors is simpler than a zwave report with a bunch or errors some or all of which can be ignored because they are off.


This exact issue happened to me. Was using a SmartThings output, then installed a ZigBee door lock, worked fine for a coupe months, then removed the outlet and started running through batteries on the lock every 2 weeks until I realized (12 batteries later) what happened.

But what the others said…if its Z-wave I’d run a repair after its re-installed and again after its powered off for the season. ZigBee should take care of itself. I also name my devices with a “(Spare)” at the end so I remember why it might be offline.


Thanks folks. Sounds like for Z-Wave anyway, my Christmas present is the Zwave repair facility !

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good question. I need to make my network self-documenting to reduce the time and labor of maintenance, because I don’t remember if I have seasonal devices already set, or particular spare devices.

My main technique is put seasonal or intermittent use devices in a seasonal or Spare Room/Group and move the room to top of list if needed. Example “Testing” Room for new devices. and “Failed” for ST gen2 multisensors and others.

Second technique is to rename the device as needed to reflect its status, example “NuXmasPlug2-…” means the device is NotUsed and put in storage. Marginal dimmer got relabeled to “NuBacklight…FlickerDimPlug3” - I might use it for on/off elsewhere.