What is DALI?

24 10 2011

DALI stands for Digital Addressable Lighting Interface. It is an International Standard (IEC 62386) lighting control system providing a single interface for all Electronic Control Gears (light sources) and Electronic Control Devices (lighting controllers)

The DALI Standard enables dimmable ballasts, transformers, relay modules, emergency fittings and controllers from different manufacturers to be mixed and matched into a single control system. A DALI system provides designers, installers, building owners, facility managers and end-users a powerful and flexible digital lighting system with security of supply from many sources.
The DALI Standard is overseen by the AG-DALI activity group comprising engineers, manufacturers and institutions working in the field of digital lamp/luminaire control.

DALI is effectively an enhancement on DSI control with the added advantages it has interoperability, status feedback and advanced control.

IEC 62386 Digital Addressable Lighting Interface

  • Part 100 – General requirements
  • Part 101: System
  • Part 102: Control Gears
  • Part 103: Control Devices
  • Part 200 – Particular requirements for control gear
  • Part 201: Fluorescent Lamps
  • Part 202: Self-contained Emergency Lighting
  • Part 203: Discharge Lamps
  • Part 204: Low Voltage Halogen Lamps
  • Part 205: Incandescent Lamps
  • Part 206: Conversion from Digital Signal into D.C. Voltage
  • Part 207: LED modules
  • Part 208: Switching Function
  • Part 209: Colour control
  • Part 210: Sequencer
  • Part 300 – Particular requirements for Control Devices

What is a DALI Line?
A DALI Line is a network of up to 64 DALI light sources (ballasts, transformers, emergency fittings etc.), addressed from 0 to 63. DALI ballasts are controlled by commands that can be sent to individual ballasts, to groups of ballasts or broadcast to all ballasts on the line
A DALI ballast is an intelligent device that can be configured to remember its power-on level, maximum level, minimum level, system failure level, fade rate and fade time. A ballast can belong to up to 16 groups and store up to 16 preset scene levels.
A true DALI lighting system can report the level of every ballast and the status of everyballast and lamp. It can automatically test emergency fittings and report their status. True DALI systems also enable controllers from multiple vendors to be used on the DALI Line.
What are the components of a DALI Line?
A DALI Line consists of the following components:

  • One or more DALI Power Supplies to a maximum current of 250mA
  • From one to sixty-four DALI ECGs ie. ballasts, transformers, inverters, relay modules, EXIT signs etc.
  • One or more DALI ECDs ie. Line controller, group controller, sensor, switchplate etc

What is a DALI Control System?

DALI Control lighting systems can be scaled from single rooms to complete buildings and campuses.
A simple system could consist of a few light fittings and a switch connected to a DALI group controller. The switch provides on/off control and up/down dimming of the fittings. Minimal configuration is required and ballasts do not need to be individually addressed.
A grouped system consists of multiple ballasts individually addressed on a DALI Line. Addressing of the ballasts takes approximately 15 minutes for random addressing and 30 minutes for sequential addressing. Inputs on a Line Controller or a group controller can be configured to provide switching and dimming as required. The functionality of the inputs depend on the controller’s capabilities however typical examples include switches, pushbuttons, occupancy sensors and light level sensors.
Multiple DALI Lines can be linked together with DCBM DALI Line Controllers that combine DALI Lines onto an Ethernet backbone.

Advantages of DALI?

What are the advantages of DALI for you:

For lighting designers and consultants

  • Distributed intelligence for flexible and reliable control
  • Control of individual lights, groups and DALI Lines
  • Easy configuration & reconfiguration for changing circumstances
  • Simple interface with building management systems
  • Logarithmic dimming behaviour matching the human eye
  • Increased energy savings
  • Options for emergency lighting

For installers and electrical contractors

  • Simple 5-core wiring, no special control cable, no polarity, no termination and no segregation required
  • Easy base-building commissioning
  • Easy commissioning for tenancies
  • Building lighting and emergency lighting on the one system
  • No need to switch the mains voltage (handled internally by the ballasts)

For facilities managers & maintenance contractors

  • Status reporting of lamps and ballasts
  • Simple modification – no need to rewire for changing tenancies
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Increased energy savings due to dimming and control capabilities

For building occupants & tenants

  • Customized lighting preferences
  • More comfortable lighting
  • Individual control
  • Easy modification



One response

25 10 2011

Very interesting article. We are offering a DALI-KNX course at Dononetio.com!

Congratulations for the blog!

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