Smart lighting alliance opens up to other protocols

April 15, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Smart lighting alliance opens up to other protocols
DALI Alliance issues specifications for connecting Bluetooth or Zigbee wireless mesh protocols to its gateways

The DALI Alliance (DiiA) in the US has published specifications that define how its smart lighting products can be incorporated with Bluetooth mesh and Zigbee wireless systems.

The new specifications enable both wired and wireless connectivity for the Digital Illumination Interface (DALI), providing flexibility for lighting designers, OEMs, and system integrators to use a range of technologies. This follows agreements with both the Bluetooth Special Interest Group and Zigbee Alliance in the last year to reduce the fragmentation of the smart lighting market. 

Adding a wireless link to DALI Gateways provide the flexibility to incorporate DALI luminaires and other DALI devices into the control network, so it becomes very straightforward to add lighting capabilities alongside other wireless networks. Existing DALI devices can be used with these gateways, and there is already an extensive range of certified and interoperable DALI-2 and D4i products on the market. The gateway specifications enable well-defined and consistent lighting behaviour.

The gateway specifications in Parts 251-253 enable DALI control equipment to report luminaire, energy and diagnostics data  to the wireless ecosystem via the gateway, including lamp failure information. The wireless network has access to data such as real-time energy and power usage, and diagnostics information including failure conditions and run-time data that can enable predictive maintenance.

“Publishing the specifications for Wireless to DALI Gateways is a major milestone that signals our intention to allow DALI to operate within wireless networks when the need arises,” said Paul Drosihn, General Manager of the DALI Alliance. “The move extends choice, convenience and creative possibilities to the user base of DALI wired systems and to those implementing new wired and wireless lighting control systems.”

“The standardized gateway between DALI lighting products and Bluetooth mesh lighting control networks will further accelerate the adoption of advanced IoT-enabled intelligent lighting systems,” said Mark Powell, Bluetooth SIG chief executive officer. “Providing valuable energy efficiencies and a more comfortable and productive experience for occupants, these sensor-rich lighting systems will also enable more efficient operation of other building systems, including HVAC and security.”

“The Zigbee to DALI Gateway brings together the market-proven, cost-effective, low-power wireless Zigbee technology, with the internationally standardized and widely used wired DALI lighting protocol, to deliver optimized and expanded wireless lighting solutions to the IoT market. When it comes to lighting-control networks, many of our members are invested across categories and applications, especially in the commercial space,” said Chris LaPré, Technology Lead, Zigbee Alliance. “As they continue to lead the market and innovate in new directions afforded by the IoT, we support broadening lighting possibilities as manufacturers drive standards that matter and deliver lighting solutions that keep the world connected. ”

The two specifications published by the DALI Alliance are Part 341, covering Bluetooth Mesh to DALI Gateways, and Part 342, describing Zigbee to DALI Gateways. The specifications are available from the DALI Alliance website. The Part numbers are aligned with the global, multi-part IEC 62386 standard for DALI technology. The specifications will be transferred to IEC for incorporation into IEC 62386.

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

www.dali-alliance.org

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DALI smart lighting

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