Z-wave associations are a very important feature for 2 main reasons:
- Buttons can send commands directly to light bulbs, so if Homey isn’t working the lights can still be controlled.
- Dimming works way better using buttons (e.g. by long press).Gradual dimming using flows is slow, uneven and unresponsive, and/or Homey disables the flow for firing too often.
Also, currently zigbee has no good working alternative that Homey supports and works for all zigbee devices.
As of version 7.0, Homey supports more z-wave security levels. That is great for locks and such, but not so much for associations. Because associations need the same security level for both devices in order to work.
As not all devices support the same security level, and Homey picks the level, associations are basically broken now if both devices have different security levels. That is why it is important that users are able to select a lower security level for devices that do not require premium security, so they can pick the level that both devices support.
Also important to note, that at this time developers are also not able to implement a way to lower security for S2 supporting devices either.
As I really want to be able to support dimming by long press and no longer can do that anymore, and because I experienced Homey outages more than once, I think this is really, really important to get right.