DALI Applications

DALI is tailor made for modern lighting solutions. Each luminaire is individually addressable; a large number of groups and scenes can be pre-selected to enable the lighting installation to be quickly adapted to suit a wide range of applications. When controlling the light sources based on daylight sensing, presence detection and personal control, user friendly installations can be realised as well as energy efficient installations.

A DALI system could be as smal as a single luminaire, but is scalable to multiple systems across a building or more, where DALI systems can be connected together using lighting hubs/routers. The following examples of applications demonstrate the scalability and flexibility that DALI provides.

Application: Luminaire

  • Complete DALI system in one luminaire
  • DALI ballast with built-in PSU
  • DALI multi-sensor for PIR presence detection, constant light and wireless receiver

Application: Single room


  • little or no configuration
  • no adressing required
  • works „out of the box“


controlled individually or together (e.g. up-lighters, down-lighters, task and background lighting)

Building-wide integration with BMS

Multiple DALI systems can be connected together by lighting hubs/routers, and gateways allow connection into building management systems. Software features can allow more sophisticated programming functionality such as scene-setting, scheduling and partition control.

  • DALI systems (subnets) of up to 64 ballasts/drivers
  • Hub/router/gateway used to integrate multiple DALI subnets
  • Central configuration possible
  • Feedback for maintenance
  • Automated emergency test, reporting and logging
  • Individual luminaire up to whole building control

DALI Control of LED Road Lighting Luminaires

The use of Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) control for LED luminaire control gear offers a variety of control options and potential for operational and energy savings. The traditional options for the control gear include 1-10V analogue dimming control, mains signalling, or switched mains. The rapidly increasing use of the DALI digital lighting protocol brings a range of attributes:

  • Interoperability
    • Control gear from different manufacturers can operate together within the same system.
  • Interchangeability
    • DALI control gear from one manufacturer can replace the DALI control gear from another manufacturer, provided the light source characteristics such as type and power are compatible
  • Avoiding power surges
    • Devices can be addressed individually, in groups or all together. This allows phased turn-on, avoiding power surges or overload from simultaneous turn-on.
  • Multiple control gear per luminaire
    • DALI can operate more than one control gear module within a single luminaire, and multiple luminaires operated from the same CMS (Central Management System). This allows high output LED luminaires for highways/motorways that use two or more LED control gear modules in the same luminaire.
  • Turn-off
    • No extra cabling, switches or relays are required to turn off lamps completely. An “OFF” command sent to the control gear causes the lamp to turn off (unlike 1-10V).
  • Feedback
    • Two-way information such as light source failure and light output level can be queried.
  • Dimming curve
    • The light output curve was selected to match the logarithmic human eye response, allowing finer control at lower levels.
    • DALI standardisation of the light output curve gives consistency across control gear, light source and luminaire types. E.g. if 50% output is requested, the luminaire light output will be 50% of its maximum (within allowable tolerances).
  • Programmable operation
    • Many features are programmable. E.g. the maximum and minimum output levels can be configured, and the fade time can be programmed and changed at any time.
  • DALI is specifically for lighting control (unlike other protocols)
    • The protocol is designed specifically for lighting control, and includes standardised commands for lighting features such as tuneable white colour control, and light source fault detection.
  • Asset tracking and identification
    • DALI facilitates the cost effective capture, storage and management of the additional information that must be managed in a sophisticated LED/controls road lighting system. Parameters such as:
      • LED Luminaire model No. and version No.
      • LED Module model No. and version No.
      • Control gear model No. and version No.
      • Owner Asset Number - Luminaire
      • Colour temperature
      • Fade time (ramp-up/ramp-down) settings

Credit: Street lighting application co-authored with Bryan King, Strategic Lighting Partners Ltd, New Zealand.