Dali Lighting Control?
Building Lighting Control
The DALI protocol is used in building automation to control individual light fittings and the assigning of lighting groups. Assigning individual lights to operating parameters and grouping lights is performed via short addresses with each light receiving an address that can then be grouped together with their neighbour. With bidirectional communication, not only are switching and dimming possible of each light or group of lights but the status of each light can be sent back to the controlling unit for high-level adjustment and control.
DALI can maximize the flexibility of adjusting the needs of lighting control into new conditions. The lighting is generally assigned or grouped after installation allowing for versatility of configuration of the lighting layout. This is especially useful in a commercial environment when office spaces need to be reconfigured to accommodate a new floor plan.
In addition, advanced DALI controllers can be integrated into higher-level control systems and incorporated into complete building automation systems such as Control, Savant or Crestron.
Why Choose DALI?
DALI / DALI-2 is an open standard for lighting. Selection of the luminaires is easy when specifying with DALI. With DALI-2, the control devices are also certified. This eases the burden of quality checking a light fitting’s dimming capabilities and allows for a broader range of choices in fittings from multiple suppliers.
FUTURE-PROOF & FLEXIBLE
Spaces can be reconfigured using software without the need to re-wire, making DALI a flexible and sustainable solution with a low total cost of ownership. Future additions, alterations and improvements are easy compared to other lighting control technologies.
Lighting controls systems are essential for helping reduce a buildings energy consumption – using DALI can extend the lifespan of a lighting system and provide full system visibility to monitor and optimise usage.
DALI lighting control systems require substantially less wiring than traditional lighting systems, resulting in less electrical work and overall lower costs.
DALI enables the creation of multiple groups, meaning users can control a single luminaire, a whole room or an entire floor.
DALI is a universal protocol (IEC 62386), the intention was designed to allow varying manufacturers drivers to all work on the same system. It doesn’t matter whose light fitting or driver you are using, if it is DALI it will work on a DALI control system.
The cabling required to a DALI fixture requires a standard active, neutral & earth, plus two DALI control lines often referred to as a twin by electrical contractors. The twin is what communicates between the Dali controller and the respective DALI drivers/transformers.
Each Dali controller device can control up to 64 drivers/transformers in what is called a “Dali Universe”. It is advisable to only allocate 55-60 devices on each universe allowing for future flexibility if any new light fittings wanted to be added in the future.
Australian Dali Lighting Control Systems
The Philips Dynalite DDBC320-D features three DALI universes, allowing control of up to 192 DALI devices. It also features 3 x 20 A feed-through switched circuits for DALI driver mains supply.
The Clipsal CBUS 5502DAL provides 2 Dali Universes and requires an additional power supply unit to power each Dali universe.
When these units are combined with their respective range of intelligent controllers, light switches, sensors, relays and curtain modules they can maximise the functionality of home technology through ease of control and efficiency.
Author: Dave Tullington
Head of Integration