What are Z-Wave Associations?
An association is basically pairing two Z-Wave devices together so that they can work without any intervention from a Z-Wave Hub. For example if you wanted a Motion detector to turn on a light switch you would associate the two together. Now every time someone walks by the motion sensor the light will come one. It does this by communicating directly to light switch rather than to the Z-Wave hub. This type of setup does have pros and cons and you will have to see what works best for your situation.
1. If the main Z-Wave hub goes offline the function will still execute. Great for scene controllers that control everyday lighting.
2. The main Z-Wave controller only needs to be present at time of installation. Typically someone that is pairing a light switch to an outlet and doesn't plan to do any extras (for smaller configurations this can save money).
3. This saves time, reduces the complexity of the communication and the amount of airtime taken.
1. Variables are limited (for instance if you wanted a light to come on when motion is detected, but only when it is dark, this is not possible without advanced intervention).
2. If you don't have a Z-Wave hub, your network would most likely be small meaning range would be limited.