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Background to DaliSmartLink

DALI DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) is the communications standard for intelligent light fittings and associated controls such as switches, proximity and light sensors. Up to 64 lights and controls may be linked in a network (communicating over mains-type cable) to make a lighting system which saves energy – by taking account of room occupancy and the availability of natural light – and which can be re-configured without re-wiring. DALI-enabled light fittings are available from all major manufacturers for all lighting technologies including LED, fluorescent and high-bay.
Lighting Control Systems Very simple DALI networks do not need a central controller: controls such as switches and light/proximity sensors talk directly to light fittings. A Lighting Controller is a computer which can talk to one or more DALI networks and which can do more sophisticated monitoring and control. Lighting Controllers are produced by manufacturers of DALI-enabled light fittings and accessories. Benefits of a Lighting Controller are:

  • Controls and lights across different DALI networks may be combined; useful if DALI networks are not large enough, or if the boundary of DALI networks doesn’t correspond to physical room boundaries. Using a Lighting Controller allows more freedom and economy in how the building is wired.
  • The behaviour of the lighting system can vary depending on time and date to save energy. For example, lights can switch off after shorter periods of inactivity outside working hours, or economical lighting patterns may be used for security patrol.
  • The bi-directional function of DALI can be used to produce alerts and reports on the condition of light fittings and automate tests of emergency ballasts.
Why DaliSmartLink? Large commercial buildings already have Building Management Systems (BMS) which control every aspect of the building – except the lighting. BMS are well-understood and can be programmed and monitored by facilities managers. Lighting Controllers usually have an interface to allow BMS to monitor them, but not control them.The DaliSmartLink range of products allows a BMS not just to interface with a lighting controller but to completely replace the lighting controller. Without learning new skills, existing BMS developers and facilities managers can create lighting systems of greater complexity than is possible with any dedicated Lighting Controller. BMS have well-developed connectivity, with web access and device drivers available for almost any conceivable device, and energy management and reporting abilities which can be leveraged in your lighting control system without re-development.