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How to comply with Australian Standards for lighting control, what you need to know about DALI-2

How to comply with Australian Standards for lighting control, what you need to know about DALI-2

14 March 2021

One interoperable standard for all lighting control systems

As of November 2020, DALI-2 became adopted as the first, and currently only Australian lighting control standard. The standard became approved with the assistance of zencontrol, who is the only Australian representation in the DALI alliance, the governing body of the DALI-2 standards. zencontrol are active in pushing and defining the DALI-2 standard globally.

What does the DALI-2 adoption mean?

With the adoption of DALI-2, Australian standard-compliant systems no longer have a proprietary lighting control wired bus or proprietary wireless protocols. The DALI-2 standard defines an open DALI-2 bus, and DALI-2 wireless protocol, where differently branded sensors and switches can communicate to a control system in both a wired and wireless manner. In addition to lighting control, the standard covers emergency lighting and circadian rhythm lighting.

With the adoption of DALI-2, Australian standard-compliant systems no longer have a proprietary lighting control wired bus or proprietary wireless protocols. The DALI-2 standard defines an open DALI-2 bus, and DALI-2 wireless protocol, where differently branded sensors and switches can communicate to a control system in both a wired and wireless manner. In addition to lighting control, the standard covers emergency lighting and circadian rhythm lighting.

Market benefits

The benefit of the Australian market’s announcement is that standards enable open interoperability, leading to future-proofing of lighting control solutions and a vaster choice of products for consumers. Interoperability is defined as “a product or system, whose interfaces are completely understood, to work with other products or systems, at present or in the future, in either implementation or access, without any restrictions”. – http://interoperability-definition.info/en/

Open standards prevent vendor lock-in, where a proprietary system can lock in all of their branded nodes, sensors, switches and controllers into a project.

Common Questions

What does the standard cover?

The product categories below are covered under the new Australian standards.

  • Lighting Drivers – AS/NZS 62386-101
  • Circadian Rhythm – AS/NZS 62386-209
  • Switches – AS/NZS 62386-301/302
  • Sensors – AS/NZS 62396-303/304
  • Wireless – AS/NZS 62386-104
  • Emergency – AS/NZS 62386-202

Where can I get the standards?

The Australian standards can be downloaded from any standards provider. For example: https://www.techstreet.com/sa/searches/30760116

Is DALI-2 backwards compatible?

Yes. DALI-2 is backwards compatible with DALI drivers.

However, due to the more diligent standards of DALI-2, it’s always best to specify a DALI-2 driver for new systems. There are thousands of DALI-2 compliant devices registered, and there are already more DALI-2 products available than standard DALI.

Where are DALI-2 compliant devices registered?

The DALI alliance maintains a database of every compliant registered DALI-2 device.

https://www.dali-alliance.org/products

How do I know if my lighting control system is Australian Standards compliant?

An Australian Standards compliant controller will work with other DALI-2 sensors and switches. DALI-2 switches and sensors are wired directly to the DALI line, or meshed wirelessly.

Being DALI-2 compliant isn’t enough, an Australian Standards compliant controller must adhere to DALI-2 3xx standards. A simple test is whether the lighting control system is compatible with third party sensors and switches. If your lighting control system only works with it’s own proprietary sensors, than it’s not Australian Standards compliant.

Australian Standards Compliant Four Point Checklist

  • Is your controller listed as a DALI-2 device on the DALI-2 alliance product database?
  • Does your controller work with DALI-2 sensors and switches?
  • Does your controller work with third party sensors and switches, not just proprietary ones?
  • Can you program and configure third party sensors and switches from your controller?

Standardisation of DALI-2 vs KNX

Previously DALI-2 was only an international standard, similar to KNX. Unlike KNX, DALI-2 has now become the only Australian standard for lighting control. Being an international standard ensures multiple global products are interoperable. DALI-2 remains an international standard, under ISO-62386. The Australian DALI-2 standard mirrors the International DALI-2 standard.

Simplification

Having a standard for lighting control means cross-branded smart lights, sensors, switches and control devices can work together in one system. System integrators no longer need different programming tools for each brand of the sensor or switch. One programming tool can program all DALI-2 products. Electricians can wire all sensors and controls on the same DALI-2 bus, or wirelessly connect them.

There is no longer a need to run proprietary bus cables for different control systems.

Getting DALI-2 assistance

If you’re an engineering consultant, electrician, system integrator or you’re interested to know more, contact us for more information on DALI-2, or to join one of our training programs. DALI-2 training is available over zoom.

Contact us at info@lumenresources.com.au to learn more.

Apply for the DALI-2 Lighting Consultant Specification

If you’re a lighting consultant, and you want to start specifying in Australian Standards lighting control specification documents with DALI-2, you can apply a copy of the DALI-2 Lighting Consultant Specification.

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