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Wireless to DALI Gateways

Wireless to DALI Gateways

The DALI Alliance has published two new specifications for Wireless to DALI Gateways that define how DALI® lighting products can be incorporated into two widely-used, non-DALI wireless ecosystems, namely Bluetooth® mesh and Zigbee®.

SPECIFICATIONS

► Part 341  Bluetooth Mesh to DALI Gateways

► Part 342  Zigbee to DALI Gateways

Download the specifications

PRESS RELEASE & BACKGROUND

Press release DALI Alliance issues specifications for Wireless to DALI Gateways (April 2021)
Blog article Wireless solutions for DALI: Extending the reach of DALI in an IoT world (March 2021)

 

 


Background – DALI & wireless

The new specifications are part of the DALI Alliance’s strategy to enable both wired and wireless connectivity for DALI, providing flexibility and creative freedom for lighting designers, OEMs, and system integrators.

The DALI Alliance has developed two distinct solutions for combining DALI with wireless networking:

  1. DALI over Wireless: Devices communicate using existing DALI commands, carried over a wireless medium
  2. Wireless to DALI Gateways: Gateways allow existing DALI wired products to be used in a non-DALI wireless ecosystem

Our Blog article has more details (see above). 


TESTING & CERTIFICATION

Tests are already in development, which will enable gateways for both ecosystems to be added to the DALI-2 certification program, providing interoperability between products from different vendors.


Technical overview

Wireless to DALI gateways:

  • Allow existing DALI wired products to be used in a non-DALI wireless ecosystem
  • Translate between DALI and a wireless protocol
  • Connect to the wireless ecosystem and to the DALI system

Gateways allow existing wireless ecosystems to control and query common DALI wired products, such as LED drivers. Devices in the wireless ecosystem communicate using their existing protocol, and can talk with the gateway.

The gateway is part of the wireless ecosystem, and also provides a wired DALI connection, which supports up to 4 control gear in the same luminaire (broadcast control).

The gateway allows the wireless ecosystem to control light output and fading of the DALI control gear (LED drivers) on the wired DALI bus. The gateway supports querying of lamp failure information.

DALI control gear (LED drivers) are able to report luminaire, energy and diagnostics data (as defined in Parts 251-253) to the wireless ecosystem via the gateway.


FAQs - Wireless to DALI Gateways

Why do we need standardized gateways?

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Standards promote interoperability, build market confidence and accelerate adoption. There are a number of examples of closed, proprietary solutions that are designed to act as gateways between DALI and other protocols, both wired and wireless. Without open, industry-defined specifications there is no guarantee that these gateways will function correctly.

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How did you decide which gateways to standardize?

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All our work on specifications and certification is guided by the priorities set by our members, as well as the availability of volunteers to carry out the necessary tasks; these include creating the specifications and test procedures, and evaluating the tests so that certification can begin. For Wireless to DALI Gateways, our members looked at various options and initially decided to work with the Zigbee Alliance and Bluetooth SIG.

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Will further gateways be standardized in future?

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We will continue to evaluate other options to develop standardized gateways between DALI and other protocols, both wireless and wired. Currently, aside from these new Zigbee and Bluetooth mesh gateway specifications, there are no other standardized gateways between DALI and other protocols.

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Instead of using a gateway, why not implement the entire network using the wireless ecosystem?

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The gateway specifications enable well-defined and consistent lighting behaviour. DALI was developed specifically for lighting and has a number of tailored lighting-control features, as well as the availability of luminaire, energy and diagnostics data. Crucially, DALI is based on a global standard. Other protocols cannot offer the same rich set of standardized, lighting-specific features. Also, gateways allow existing DALI products to be re-used. Especially for LED drivers, there are many certified products from a wide range of suppliers, providing choice and future-proofing.

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When will gateway certification start?

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Following completion of the specifications, we have already started to develop the tests that are necessary to enable certification. This process will take several months. Gateway devices will be added to the DALI-2 and D4i certification program.

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Can you describe this technology as “wireless DALI”?

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“Wireless DALI” is a different approach, where the DALI commands are transported over a wireless carrier, and a mesh network is formed by the wireless DALI devices. For gateways, the DALI side is wired – either a single luminaire containing an intra-luminaire DALI bus, or a wired bus with several luminaires – while the non-DALI side is wireless.

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Will the gateways allow interoperability between Bluetooth mesh and Zigbee?

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Gateways are specific to one ecosystem only, and there is no crossover between wireless ecosystems.

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Can I use the same DALI-2 or D4i drivers with either a Bluetooth mesh gateway or a Zigbee gateway?

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Yes, the same certified devices can be used. A wide choice is already available from multiple suppliers (see the DALI Alliance product database).

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