DALI Tunable White – What is it?

03 January 2017

DALI Tunable white, also known as DALI Tuneable White, allows a user to change light colour temperature – including intensity – to their preference, within the same fixture.

DALI Tunable white uses a single DALI short address to control 2 outputs on a special DALI Type 8 driver or ballast, reducing the number of both DALI short addresses and DALI drivers needed to provide this tuneable white capability, saving on cost and complexity.

DALI Tunable white helps to imitate natural light which is aligned to the time of day and has been shown to increase employee comfort, reduce stress, increase productivity and creativity and even assist with better sleep.

Why Use DALI Tunable White in Commercial Buildings?

Use of DALI Tunable white in commercial buildings is still in its infancy as lighting designers, electrical engineers and employers come to understand the effect of light on humans more deeply.

The most common usage of DALI tunable white seen to date is in relation to what is also known as human-centric lighting. That is, lighting which is focused on the health and well-being of humans rather than simply acting as a utility to illuminate a space.

One’s preference for the colour and intensity of light varies depending on the task and activity being undertaken as well as the time of day.

As employees become more accustom to controlling their environment, providing the ability for employees to adjust the colour and intensity of the lighting in their workspace could increase productivity, influence well-being and work place satisfaction.

High performing individuals in an organisation can select a shower of light to stimulate the best response from themselves and others in different scenarios such as high creative tasks and tasks where continued high-quality output is required to meet a deadline.

Alternatively, companies may choose to automate these light colour and intensity changes in common spaces and simulate the natural ebb and flow of the lighting outdoors, indoors.

Common Uses for DALI Tuneable White

The most common uses for DALI tuneable white today are 2 fold with the desired outcome to increase wellbeing, occupant comfort and connection to the workspace and outside world.

Circadian rhythm simulation, whereby the tunable white lighting system simulates the natural changes in light experienced outside, inside, throughout the day. This is meant to simulate one’s daily rhythm and provide a more natural experience to increase happiness and wellbeing.

The second is Mood and Scene Recall which provides occupants the ability to select an exact colour temperature for the task at hand at any time during the day.

Different tasks can be optimised with different intensity and colour temperature. For example creative tasks are best performed with a different colour temperature and intensity than a functional task – for optimum performance.

RAPIX is DALI Tunable White Enabled

RAPIX Lighting Control System is DALI Tunable white ready.

As RAPIX is a 100% DALI Compliant lighting control system, controlling DALI Tunable white is simpler, easier and faster with RAPIX.

RAPIX Lighting Control System can control DALI Device Type 8 devices using colour Scenes to fulfil a variety of colour control requirements.

This includes:

  • DALI Tunable white Circadian Rhythm simulations over time throughout the day
  • DALI Tunable white scene and mood recall to specific colour temperatures to stimulate motivation, productivity and creativity.
  • DALI Tunable white intensity and colour temperature adjustments.

How to Implement DALI Tunable White?

There are 2 common ways to make this work on a DALI Compliant system.

1) Install a DALI Compliant DALI Type 8 / DALI 209 driver in each fixture which has a single DALI short address with dual output capability to an integrated cool white/warm white LED array /board for colour and intensity mixing.

2) Install 2 normal DALI Compliant LED drivers/ ballasts to control 2 discreet warm white and cool white LED or fluorescent tubes. In this way, each driver/ballast consumes a DALI address each.

The latter solution will consume more DALI addresses and DALI power from the DALI line.

A native DALI Tunable white solution may increase the cost of the single driver for each fixture but will consume fewer DALI addresses and less DALI power from the DALI line.

Our RAPIX Xi Certified Systems Integrators can help with your RAPIX DALI Tunable White project design and programming.