Frequently Asked Questions

General information

The term DALI stands for Digital Addressable Lighting Interface and describes the interface standard for lighting control solutions defined by the lighting industry. DALI is organised as a working party within the German ZVEI. The primary objective is to promote the use of the DALI standard throughout the world.

Members of DALI are companies, institutions or e.g. universities who want to promote and participate in the development and marketing of this unique standard. Please see the up to date listing of the members.

Producers of lighting control gear and control devices, luminaire equipment, specifiers, organisations, architects and others from all over the world can become a member.

Specifiers, architects and end users can rely on the interoperability of DALI compliant products from different manufacturers. For more information please see the DALI brochure DALI. Ingeniously simple. Simply ingenious.

The DALI protocol, as the international standard IEC 62386 is often called, is available for download from the IEC webstore (, or from national standards organisations in most countries.

DALI systems vary in their capability, scalability and architecture. Many of our members that offer control devices also provide commissioning tools. Some products can be commissioned without such tools, either by switches or other methods on the product, or possibly work “out-of-the-box” in the case of simpler systems. Contact the control device manufacturer via our members’ page to find out the options provided by a particular manufacturer.

Yes, the DALI Manual can be downloaded from the website, or contact DALI for a printed version.

DALI has developed a specific logo that indicates compliance of the product to the DALI standard. The DALI trademark logo is owned by DALI and can be used only by member companies that have signed the trademark agreement. For more information, see here

Compliance with the DALI standard allows products to operate together in a DALI system, although specific products may differ in the features provided. For example a ballast for fluorescent lamps designed for one 14W T5 lamp, compared to one designed to drive two 14W lamps – at the DALI level these may provide the same functionality. Another example is a push-button panel that could differ from similar products in the quantity or type of buttons provided. The standard describes how such a push-button panel must talk and respond on the DALI bus, but does not specify the number of buttons it needs to have.

DALI was founded by leading manufacturers of lighting control gear and control devices, to establish and promote the standard in the market. It is a non-profit organisation with the activities being paid for by the membership fees.

DALI products are widely available in the market, either from installers or distributors, or by directly contacting our members listed on the DALI website.

Control gear

Insulation requirements from the relevant standards shall be followed, for the regions into which the products are made available. For example, EN 61347-1 gives General and safety requirements for lamp control gear and is adopted by many regions. For control devices, EN 60950-1 or EN 60669-1 may be appropriate. For systems, the standard EN 50491-x is adopted by many regions. The DALI standards include information and tests on minimum insulation requirements and markings. For examples, see: IEC 62386-101:2009 section 5.4, IEC 62386-102:2009 section 12.1.3, IEC 62386-101:2014, sections 4.9 and 12.2.5). These standards describe a minimum requirement of basic insulation.

It is expected that all products intended for connection to a DALI bus shall provide a minimum of basic insulation between their DALI control terminals and mains supplies, and in addition shall comply with the relevant safety standards.

In designing the products and systems, the incoming DALI bus should be assumed to be insulated to the lowest level of insulation that might be provided by any product on the bus. This would normally be basic insulation. This means that additional insulation will normally be required in products that have accessible parts such as metal buttons, USB/RS232/RS485/Ethernet connectors, or cables, terminals or connectors stated as SELV, or similar.

In addition to the insulation requirements, for some products consideration must also be given for leakage current – the relevant standards shall be applied.

Control gear – interoperability in mixed systems

Yes, no problems are to be expected. This also means that you can safely replace DALI 1 control gear by DALI 2 control gear. When replacing, it is strongly recommended to reset the replacement control gear, whether it is DALI 1 or DALI 2 control gear that is to be used.

Indeed, but the things we removed (such as physical selection) were not used according to the DALI members

Yes. The behaviour of the control gear, and thus the system, is much more predictable. Also, the system has a much better chance of working, due to the improvements that have been made.

This is unlikely to give problems, but the new features and improved interoperability of DALI 2 control gear will be missing.

Power supplies – interoperability in mixed systems

This is not recommended as there are no compliance tests for DALI 1 power supplies and the improvements in the DALI 2 power supply specification may be required to allow use in multi-master systems.

Yes. The markings on a DALI 2 power supply allow easy calculation of the maximum current supplied (a total of 250 mA is allowed) and the available current (the total must be sufficient to supply all devices). The marking also shows whether other power supplies are allowed on the bus.

Control devices – multi-master and single master devices

  •  A single master assumes it is the only device that initiates transmissions on the DALI bus.
  • Multi-master devices assume they share the bus. Therefore, they check for bus availability, and verify their message has been successfully sent.

The system is unlikely to work as expected, with lost messages and erratic behaviour.

DALI compliant single masters identify themselves on the bus so they can be detected by diagnostic tools or by multi-masters. Single masters should not be present in a system with multi-masters.

Control devices – application controllers and input devices

Application controllers can be thought of as the brains of an installation – the decision makers. Input devices simply provide information to the system. This information is processed by application controllers, which may then decide to transmit one or more lighting commands for the control gear. Input devices can deliver various types of information, such as light level, occupancy, or direct interaction such as button presses.

Yes, if they are designed to work together. If not, they could send out conflicting commands, leading to erratic behaviour. Check with the manufacturer whether their application controller is designed to work with others.

Typically not. The application controller could be integrated into an input device, or even into control gear or a luminaire. It could also be a separate device.

Yes. This allows, for example, a simple controller to be integrated in a sensor, that can be disabled if this sensor is used in a bigger system.

Control devices – interoperability in mixed systems

Yes, but the new features and improved interoperability of DALI 2 control gear will be missing.

 This is only possible if an application controller supporting input devices is also included.