Association Available in all current and older Z-Wave devices built and improved upon since 300 series technology, Association determines where your Z-Wave devices communicate to, and what Z-Wave devices it can directly control. Association Groups Typically for every Z-Wave Device available now, there is at least 1 Association Group which is considered the “Lifeline” of the device. LifeLine The Lifeline is a Z-Wave Devices primary and main functions, this is the location where a Z-Wave Device will report its status updates and reports. A good example of this would be a Door and Window Sensor. Its main function is to send an OPEN or CLOSED status. By assigning Node ID 1 (Controller identifier), to Group 1 in the Door and Window Sensors Group 1 Association, the Door and Window Sensor will understand where to report the Open or Close status updates to, in this case these reports will go to Node ID 1 (the location of the controller). Every Z-Wave Device can differ in how Association is implemented, while this will differ from each individual manufacturer. The only similarity is the use of Group 1 Association which will always be the Lifeline of a Z-Wave Device. Advanced Group Associations Any Association Groups ranging from Group 2+ are considered Advanced Group Association. Advanced Group Association will allow the assignment of control such as a Z-Wave motion sensor to directly control a Z-Wave Switch or Dimmer. Node ID and communication destination. In every Z-Wave network created by a hub, each device is identified by a number valued 1 – 232. Node ID 1 is almost always the Z-Wave controller identifier in a Z-Wave network, while all other Node IDs between 2 – 232 are considered Z-Wave devices paired/connected to Node ID 1 (the controller). In Association, Node ID is used to determine where a Z-Wave device should speak to. The controller Node ID 1 itself doesn’t care about association itself as the software that controls the hub/controller directs where messages should be sent. For example turning a switch on or off in interface is determined by the software when you control a Z-Wave switch on or off. More importantly is how Association plays a role in communication for the paired/connected Z-Wave devices in the network (these devices could be Z-Wave switches, dimmers, sensors, etc). Associations role in Z-Wave Device communication. When a Z-Wave device is first paired to a controller, the controller will always assign an Association setting on that Z-Wave device to let it know where to communicate its status updates or functions. Figure 1. Z-Wave network and Association Group 1 In the above diagram, it shows that Group 1 (Lifeline) is assigned to the Hub/Controller (Node ID 1). This allows Node ID 2, 3, …, N to report to the Hub/Controller without having to receive a command. Figure 2. Node 1 association to Group 1 is removed from Node 2 Now if you remove Group 1 Association direction to Node ID 1, that Z-Wave device loses its ability to converse its status with the hub. Figure 3. Node 1 requests a status update from Node 2 But in this case, the Hub still understands that the device is a part of the network allowing the Hub to request status updates from this device (although the group association does not exist). What products use this? All Z-Wave products using Series 500 (Z-Wave Plus) and later use this method for determining communication. It was standardized during Series 300 (Z-Wave), but not was not mandatory until Series 500. Using Advanced Group Assocation Advanced Group Association benefit a lot to the system, it acts as a secondary method to creating automation without a controller but at the cost of customizability. How these associations are used is more specialized and specific to the device. Figure 4: Node ID 2 is the trigger, Hub detects this and sends an action to Node 3 Usually you can program an automation/scene using your Hub/Controller Figure 5. Node 2 Group 2 Association is assigned to Node 3 Using Advanced Group Association allows you to bypass the gateway, and allow a Z-Wave Device to directly control another Z-Wave Device. In the above diagram, Group 2 Association (Temperature Sensor to Switch control), is used to directly control Node 3 in the digram. The Hub/Controller in this case no longer needs to process the controls leading to faster control of Node ID 3. There are sometimes rare cases where the Group 1 (Lifeline) can act as a Advanced Group Association (such as MultiSensor 6). How it benefits • Bypasses the Z-Wave hub/controller • Faster automated triggers and controls • Reduces Z-Wave bandwidth use on the hub/controller • Will continue to work even after the Z-Wave Hub/Controller goes down. Which products use this • aerQ Temperature and Humidity Sensor • Door Window Sensor 7 o ZWA008 o ZWA011 o ZWA012 • Doorbell 6 and Siren 6 o ZW162 o ZW164 • Dual Nano Switch o ZW132 o ZW140 • MultiSensor 6 • MultiSensor 7 • Nano Dimmer • Nano Switch • NanoMote Quad • Recessed Door Sensor 7 • Smart Switch 7 • TriSensor • WallMote Quad • Water Sensor 7 o ZWA018 o ZWA019