DALI is the Industry Standard for Lighting Control Systems

25 May 2015

There is much discussion regarding what is the standard communication protocol for lighting control in commercial buildings.

Ask any manufacturer of luminaires for commercial buildings what control technology is used at a luminaire level, and they will say DALI. The significant majority of all luminaires supplied to a commercial building are now being supplied with DALI as a standard requirement.

DALI Technology is Going In To Almost Every New and Refurbishment Commercial Building Project

So what is DALI?

DALI is an Acronym of Digital Addressable Lighting Interface. DALI is a global standard for lighting control communications, defined by the International Standard, IEC 62386. The DALI standard covers the control, configuration and monitoring of lighting devices.

A DALI enabled driver or ballast enables a luminaire to become individually addressable and controllable. Up to 64 DALI devices can be connected to a ‘DALI Line’. A DALI line is the two-wire control network connecting the DALI enabled devices together so they can be controlled, configured and monitored.

Individual DALI Lines in a building can then be connected together with a DALI-based lighting control system, forming one complete, building wide DALI lighting control system – from switch or sensor to individual luminaires.

DALI does it all

So, why is there any debate about DALI being THE lighting control standard?

Lighting Control Systems can be based completely on DALI; one system, one solution. There is no need for a separate control system installed alongside a DALI lighting control system. Installing a DALI system plus a separate control system means:

Two different system topologies, different cables, different connections
Complex and unnecessary interfacing to the DALI system, with the need to match communications and control functions across the two systems.
Keep it simple for the consulting engineer, the installer, the system integrator and the client; use a DALI solution end to end.

Including DALI Emergency

The IEC 62386 global standard also covers requirements for DALI emergency luminaires.

A DALI Line can be connected to DALI emergency luminaires and exit signs, along with DALI ‘standard’ luminaires. This means that separate monitoring infrastructure for the emergency lighting is not required when using DALI emergency luminaires.

With a DALI Emergency Monitoring System connected alongside the DALI based Lighting control system, the emergency lighting in a commercial building can be tested to the requirements of Australian Standard AS2293, British Standard BS5266 in the UK, or the appropriate emergency lighting testing standards for other countries.

Whether it’s a lighting control system for single boardroom, an intelligent building wide solution or emergency lighting monitoring applications, DALI, the International standard for Lighting Control, provides a the complete solution.