Sorting out Bindings, Things, Items, Channels and Links

Hello community,
I have started to use openhab so I’m really new to both OH2, raspberry and the whole programming world. So please bear with me and my rather basic questions.
To cover the basics I am trying to sort out the difference between things, items, and so on. I did read the beginners tutorial, but it actually left me with more questions.
So please help me sort things out using the following example.
I use a Fibaro Dimmer2 to control Bathroom lights.

So Binding is the zwave Binding.
The Zwave USB Stick is considered a Thing and so is the Dimmer Module.
My bathroom lights are my items, correct?
Now what are Channels, links and Associations?
Also to me it is really confusing that I can add thins and items both through PaperUI and by adding a .things or .items file. What would be the preferred method with zwave and OH2?

My goal is to actually unlink the direct connection between the Switch connected to the Fibaro Dimmer and the Bathroom light, so that the switch can do different things, according to the rule it triggers in OH2 (eg. turn on lights at 40% at night and 100% during the day, thus I want OH2 to trigger the lights and not the switch directly) I suppose I need to play arround with channels here, right?
I am left confused. Thanks for your patience.

Did you then review the User’s Guide to see if it answers your questions? The Concepts section has an excessive discussion of Things, Channels, and Items.

No. Items are used to model your home automation. You can have Switches, Contacts, Dimmers, etc. Items are what you show on your sitemap, what you save to persistence, and what gets used in rules.

Associations are a zwave specific concept I don’t fully understand. But I think when you make an association, an action on one device gets sent to the other associated devices. This, for example, lets one zwave wall switch control multiple zwave lights.

As discussed in the User’s manual, a Thing represents a device. A Channel releases a single datum reported by that device it a single control point.

One Links a Channel to an Item. The link causes the item to receive the data generated by the device or let you control that one action supported by the device.

Use PaperUI for all zwave Things.

For Items it depends on whether you plan on using Hue or integrate with Alexa. If so you must use .items files. Otherwise either approach is really well supported and acceptable.