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DALI-2 system components

DALI-2 systems & product types

The main DALI-2 product types required for a complete lighting-control system are: 

Bus power supplies

Control gear (e.g. LED drivers)

► Control devices, which have two main types:

Application controllers
Input devices (e.g. light and occupancy sensors)

A DALI-2 product can contain more than one product type e.g. an application controller with integrated bus power supply.

An example of a DALI lighting-control system. The DALI bus carries DALI power and data on the same pair of wires. Each DALI subnet can have 64 control gear and 64 control devices. Control gear provide power to LEDs and other light sources. Control devices include application controllers (which make decisions and send commands), and input devices such as sensors, switches and push-button devices. A bus power supply is required, providing up to 250 mA and typically 16V to the DALI bus.


Control gear

Control gear, such as LED drivers, provide power to light sources and are normally directly connected to the lamp(s).

The DALI protocol supports different control-gear types, such as ballasts for fluorescent lamps, and control gear for self-contained emergency lighting.

A maximum of 64 control gear are allowed on each DALI subnet.


Application Controllers

Application controllers are the “brains” of a DALI-2 system. 

They use information, make decisions and send commands to the control gear.

Application controllers can use information from any source, including:

  • Control gear
  • Input devices
  • Other application controllers
  • External devices/buses/systems

Single-master or multi-master variants are allowed:

Single-masters Multi-masters
Only one allowed on the DALI bus More than one can be used on the same bus
Receiver is optional  
May allow polling of input devices, or checking status of control gear Supports event-driven operation of input devices
  Uses a short-address


Input Devices

Input devices are fairly simple devices that provide user-derived and environmental information to the lighting-control system.

Examples include push-buttons, sliders, occupancy sensors, and light sensors.

Input devices are multi-master. They can be polled, but are normally used in event-driven mode.


DALI-2 products

Search for certified DALI-2 products in the online Product Database. You can filter the search according to the features required.


Cabling and bus power supplies

The DALI bus carries DALI power and data on the same pair of wires, typically using standard 2-core cable (1.5 mm²).

The polarity of the wires does not have to be observed, and free wiring topology is allowed.

The maximum cabling length (the distance between the furthest-apart devices) is 300m.

Each DALI-2 system requires a bus power supply, which can be a standalone device or integrated with another device (e.g. an application controller).

Bus power supplies provide typically 16 V and up to 250 mA to provide power to devices connected to the bus.