DALI Gets an Upgrade

New specifications from DiiA enable smart DALI drivers that can report data, supporting DALI in the IoT era, and can also simplify the addition of sensors and communication nodes to luminaires via an intra-luminaire DALI bus.

Addressing the market need for intelligent lighting fixtures with sensing and communication capabilities and IoT connectivity, the Digital Illumination Interface Alliance (DiiA) has finalized a set of new specifications based on the DALI lighting-control protocol.
The specifications enable smart LED drivers and luminaires that can report operational, diagnostic and inventory data. Also, the specifications simplify the addition of sensors and wireless-communication nodes (also known as network lighting controllers) to luminaires by taking care of power-supply requirements. In turn, this makes it more straightforward for luminaires to participate in the IoT.

DiiA is the global industry alliance for DALI lighting control, and the five new DiiA specifications build on DALI-2, with its strong focus on multi-vendor interoperability. DiiA has worked with other organizations, notably the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), to ensure global alignment of the specifications.

Specification details
One of the new DiiA specifications (known as Part 251) focuses on luminaire-specific data for asset management and other purposes. This would allow a manufacturer to encode data about the luminaire – such as part number, or nominal light output – in the factory. When the luminaire is installed, the data is readily available to the lighting-control network. A utility company or lighting-installation owner could use this capability to monitor and manage their lighting assets accurately and efficiently.

Two specifications (Parts 252 and 253) enable smart DALI-2 drivers that can store and report operational and diagnostic data in a standardized format. For example, the driver could monitor and report its energy usage, total operating time, and incidences of thermal shutdown, as well as many other parameters.

Two further specifications (Part 250 and AUX) focus on power-supply requirements for DALI devices in luminaires. Devices such as sensors or wireless-communication modules are powered by the DALI driver via an intra-luminaire DALI bus. Where necessary, an auxiliary power supply is also specified. As well as simplifying the addition of such DALI devices to luminaries, this opens the possibility for the luminaire to participate in the IoT and to communicate and exchange data with a remote network infrastructure.
More details about DiiA’s new specifications are available on the DiiA website.

27 Sep