How to Light, IoT/Smart Lighting

How to Light: When will I be able to buy certified DALI-2 sensors?

This question has been answered by Dr Scott Wade, technical and certification manager, Digital Illumination Interface Alliance (DiiA).

Although there are no DALI-2 sensors on the market right now, the first such certified products are likely to be available within a few months from several manufacturers.

One of the main differences between the original version of the DALI standard and the new version, DALI-2, is that DALI-2 includes control devices. These come in two basic types: application controllers and input devices.

Application controllers can be thought of as the ‘brains’ of a DALI system. They use information from any source, make decisions, and can send commands to control gear (such as LED drivers). Meanwhile, input devices are fairly simple devices that provide information to the system.

Examples include push buttons, sliders, occupancy sensors and light sensors. The standards that define the functional requirements for such product types are already written and published by IEC as different parts of IEC 62386. However, in some cases, the DALI-2 test specifications are not yet finalised. So manufacturers are able to design products according to the published standards, but they can’t test the products for full compliance.

One of DiiA’s central roles, as the global industry organisation for DALI, is to create test specifications that enable DiiA members to confirm that their products comply with the DALI-2 requirements. If testing is successful, the product is eligible for DALI-2 certification. DALI-2 testing is extensive and rigorous, with a focus on cross-vendor interoperability.

Several product types, including LED drivers, application controllers and DALI bus power supplies, are already part of the DALI-2 certification programme. Examples can be seen in the online DiiA product database, where all DALI-2 certified products are listed.

At present, this list does not include any DALI-2 sensors, because the test specifications are still in progress. A certain amount of time is required for DiiA experts to write the specifications and check their accuracy. However, the tests for occupancy sensors (part 303 of IEC 62386) are expected to be finished within a matter of weeks, and will be released to DiiA members to enable DALI-2 certification to begin.

Light sensors (part 304) and other product types will follow soon after, so during the course of 2019 we expect to see many sensors and other input devices joining the list of DALI-2 certified products and carrying the DALI-2 logo.

For more questions and answers on DALI, DALI-2 and DiiA, including questions asked during a Lux webinar on DALI-2, click here.

To see other lighting questions answered by experts, click here.