FAQ: How zwave direct association changed with zwave plus

You have to be careful with this question because the functionality of zwave association changed significantly with zwave plus.

In the older Z wave generations, association was optional, and manufacturers could and did implement it pretty much any way they wanted as far as which command sets were used in which association groups. For example, Fibaro quite famously used one Association group specifically for tamper notifications. While other manufacturers who made multi-button Devices might use one Association group for each button. It got pretty confusing.

With zwave plus, they decided to regularize how association is used, while still maintaining backwards compatibility for previous generations.



Almost all zwave plus devices must now support Association group one as a “lifeline” Group which reports status to the hub. For example, Battery operated devices are now supposed to report their battery status via the lifeline group. Association group one in zwave plus is not used to trigger events on other end devices. This is almost the opposite of how it used to be, because most manufacturers used to use Association group one for the communication between two end devices and then use additional association groups for other purposes, including notifications to the hub.

If the zwave plus device is supposed to be able to trigger events on another end device without going through the hub, it will probably use Association group two for that, as that is not considered a lifeline condition.

So the answer to your question is going to be yes for any zwave plus device, because now they all support association. But they only are required to support it for the lifeline commands in Association group one. To get the direct communication to another end device, such as linear uses for their virtual three ways, you now have to look at exactly which association groups it supports, because the ability to send basic commands is now going to be in Association group 2 or higher.

But remember the backwards compatibility requirement for Z wave, which means there may be some devices on the network still using Association group one for something other than lifeline messages. :scream:

All of which means you just have to look at each individual Device to see if it supports the specific use case you have in mind.



Also, Note also that the hail command class was deprecated for the newest Z wave plus devices, and they should be using lifeline association instead. But because zwave is required to be backwards compatible, hubs should continue to support hail so the older devices will continue to work.

See Section 4.17 in the Management Commands documentation.


S2 Secure devices can only be associated to other devices at the same level of security

Also, with the introduction of the S2 security framework you can now only make associations between two devices that both support that framework if you have the higher levels of security turned on.

THE AEOTEC MINIMOTE Can only be used to make associations for older Z wave devices since it can only create associations for group one

And finally note that the Aeotec minimote, which was a popular fourth generation device for making associations, is useless for Z wave plus associations because the minimote will try to put everything into association group one, and now nothing is supposed to go into association group one except the hub itself. And it can’t put anything into Association group two or three.

CREATING ASSOCIATIONS Between Z wave plus devices

Quite a few Z wave plus devices can now set up associations on their own without requiring an additional device. Otherwise you can try using the Z wave tweaker.

[OBSOLETE] Z-Wave Tweaker

1 Like

With the new GE zwave plus switches, it’s even worse, because the company put out two different versions of the same Z wave plus model, one which was certified in 2015 and one which was certified in 2016.

The first one only supported the lifeline group.

The second one supports three association groups, which allows for direct triggering of another end device and also allows for double tap.

Same model number!

I honestly don’t know if you can tell from the box which one it is.

You can use the Z wave tweaker DTH to see exactly which association groups any specific device supports and to set them up easily. This will work with both zwave plus and older zwave devices. After you use the tweaker to view or configure a device, just change it back to its original every day DTH and any changes you made will remain In effect.

If you’ve never used a custom device type handler before, here is the FAQ for that process: