Zwave Association will work even if the hub is unplugged. It’s one of the reasons it’s such a good way to do a three-way switch. It’s just direct communication between the auxiliary and the master.
There are two ways to set up the switches.
One) allow the switch to physically control the circuit just like a regular switch would. All you’ve done is allow the ability to turn it on wirelessly.
In that set up, the switch will work just fine manually even if you remove the hub altogether, The same way a dumb switch would.
If you have it set up in a three-way with either a physical traveler wire or using zwave association, that will also continue to work even if the hub is not working or the Internet is out.
HOWEVER— if you set up a “virtual three-way“ just using a smartthings automation, which some people do, then that will only work if the automation is working, which might require the Internet or at least require the hub.
- a more recent innovation is to set up the switch so that it does not work the way a dumb switch does, that is turning off the switch does not cut the power to the fixture. These are almost always used when you have a wall switch and a smart bulb and you want the bulb to retain power even if the switch has been turned off.
It is possible to do this with Zwave direct association, but only if you have a Z wave smart bulb, which almost nobody does. Instead, people have zigbee or Wi-Fi or Bluetooth smart bulbs.
In that case, this “dummy mode“ or “smart bulb mode“ has a switch which is wired to bypass the circuit for the fixture. When you turn the switch on it sends a signal to the hub which sends a signal to the smart bulb. When you turn the switch off same idea.
This works great for smart bulbs, but it does mean that you might need the Internet and you definitely need the hub or the dummy switch just becomes a dummy and doesn’t do anything.
So… it all depends on how you said it up. If you set the switch up to work with dumb bulbs, then you’re almost always going to be in the first configuration, and it’s going to work just like a dumb switch if the Home Automation system is not working or the Internet is out.
But it is possible to set up the switches in the second configuration, and then you just have to understand what the vulnerabilities are.