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DALI-2 versus DALI version-1

DALI-2 vs DALI version-1

DALI is the industry-standard protocol (language) for bi-directional, digital communication between lighting-control devices.

The DALI protocol is specified in the multi-part international standard IEC 62386, as well as in specifications written by the DALI Alliance. .

DALI-2 is the certification program which is based on the latest version of the DALI protocol. DALI-2 certification is created and maintained by the DALI Alliance.

DALI version-1 refers to an older version of the DALI protocol, which only included control gear

Other products, notably control devices such as application controllers and input devices (e.g. sensors), as well as bus power supplies, were NOT included in DALI version-1. 


DALI-2 is focused on interoperability of products from different vendors, and the DALI-2 certification program confirms compatibility of products with the relevant specifications. DALI-2 requires rigorous testing, and verification of the test results by the DALI Alliance. 

DALI version-1 testing (available for control gear only) did not require any verification of the results.

DALI-2 and interoperability

► DALI-2 certification brings the promise of significantly improved multi-vendor interoperability compared with the current DALI (version-1) systems in the market.
► Testing procedures for DALI-2 are much more detailed and comprehensive than for DALI version-1, and will be further improved if new issues are identified.
► DiiA organizes regular Plugfests, which are events to allow member companies to test interoperability of their products with those from other manufacturers.
► Plugfests also enable validation and further improvement of test sequences.


DALI-2 certification vs. DALI version-1 registration

  DALI-2 certification DALI version-1 registration
Includes control gear (e.g. LED drivers)? Yes Yes
Includes control devices (input devices, application controllers) and other devices? Yes No
Latest test sequences, designed to ensure product interoperability, supplied by DALI Alliance to members? Yes No
Test results verified by DALI Alliance? Yes No
All products displayed on DALI Alliance website? Yes Yes
Status  Open to Regular and Associate members Closed. No further DALI version-1 control gear can be registered and listed on the website.


DALI-2 for control devices

DALI-2 certification includes control devices and other product types. 

Control devices were not included in DALI version-1, meaning it is not possible for control devices to carry the DALI version-1 logo (unless they are DALI-2 certified). Only certified products can carry the DALI-2 logo. 

Benefits of DALI-2 for control devices:

  • Application controllers and input devices defined
  • Single-masters and multi-masters allowed
  • Event priorities defined
  • Separate addressing & grouping from control gear


DALI-2 for control gear and bus power supplies

Improvement in DALI-2 Benefit
Clearer specification, including bus timing and bus power supplies Improved interoperability
Requirement for polarity insensitivity Easier installation
Bus-powered units Less wiring
Multiple logical units More cost-effective products
Extended fade time, 100 ms to 16 minutes Increased comfort and flexibility
Manufacturer-specific operating modes Improved interoperability and flexibility
Query light-source type Easier maintenance


Mixed systems of DALI and DALI-2

The following guidance applies to systems that may contain a mixture of DALI-2 and DALI version-1 products:

First, look for the DALI or DALI 2 trademarks on products:

  • Control devices before DALI-2 are proprietary, and are not allowed to use the DALI version-1 trademarks.
  • There were no tests for bus power supplies before DALI-2, so these are not allowed to use the DALI version-1 trademarks.

The table below gives some examples of different situations:

Situation Outcome
Using DALI-2 control gear in older systems
  • No problems are expected. DALI-2 is designed for backward compatibility.
Using DALI version-1 control gear with DALI-2 application controllers
  • Check that the DALI version-1 control gear has been successfully tested
  • No problems are expected, but the DALI version-1 control gear will not have the new DALI-2 features
Using bus power supplies that are not DALI-2 certified
  • There is no certainty that these will work, because there were no tests for bus power supplies before DALI-2
Using control devices that are not DALI-2 certified
  • There are no standards and no tests for control devices before DALI-2
  • Contact the control device manufacturer for compatibility