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DALI protocol: Key features

DALI key features

DALI enables the following key features:
  • Control, configuration & querying of DALI devices over a 2-wire bus
    • DALI power and data on same pair of wires
  • Individual, group & broadcast addressing to any DALI device
  • Recall of pre-programmed scenes
  • Flexible reconfiguration using software
  • Each DALI subnet has a maximum of 64+64 addresses
    • 64 control gear (e.g. LED drivers) AND 64 control devices (e.g. sensors)
  • Robust digital communication
  • Two-way data exchange and feedback

DALI commands and scenes

Commands allow control, configuration and querying of DALI devices.

Command type Examples
  • start a fade to a defined light output level
  • recall scenes
  • turn the lights off
  • change the fade time
  • change the light level stored in a scene
  • ask what the current light output level is
  • ask whether there is a lamp failure

Commands can be addressed to individual devices, to a group of devices, or broadcast to all devices. This makes communication very efficient.

Scenes allow fast and efficient recall of light levels across the system.

Each item of control gear has 16 scenes. A single GO TO SCENE command instructs all the lights, or any combination of the lights, to go to individually pre-defined levels and/or colours.

DALI for dimming

DALI is designed for dimming. A fundamental aspect of DALI is that it enables accurate, repeatable, standardized control of light-level outputs. 

Certified DALI-2 control gear follow a standardized dimming curve, which is designed to match human-eye sensitivity and brightness perception. 

The testing procedure requires measurement of light output.