DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) protocol?

Hey all you OptoFans,

Ever used the DALI protocol to communicate via a serial connection (RS-485) to lights from a PAC Control chart?

If so, any/all tips, gotchas, and/or sample could you could share would be most appreciated!


I don’t have any tips or anything, but are you sure DALI uses 485 for signalling?

Actually, I think it’ll be 232 for the connection to a PAC, they have a “DALI Interface RS232 PS/S” which has a pretty simple-looking 7 byte frame outbound w/3 bytes coming back. How hard could it be?

Hi Mary
I did a Dali lighting system a few years ago for a building here. We were asked to design a system to replace a c-bus system. I debated on Dsi, Dali or dynalight and settled on Dali. I ended up using a tridonic sci2 interface to get the Manchester code protocol for the fittings. It was pretty simple in the end. I used it with the g-70 optoterminals and wrote a little library to do functions like grouping, scene selection and dimming.
The only thing I found was that it was easier to address the fittings in commissioning with some configuration software then after that you could group fittings and set them for scenes etc… I’ll dig up the code and post it if you like. It was a modification of the basic serial library in qlarity.
I also found a good post to get the commands required to talk to the fittings but be damned if I can find it again…

The cool thing about Dali is most fittings support it so you can just buy one from an electrical wholesaler without too much problem. Manchester encoding is a bummer but easy to workaround. And the only other drawback is the 64 fittings per lighting loop. I think dynalight can have 255 but I couldn’t get the Comms protocol for it. Apart from that it rocks and is pretty solid. From a pac controller it would be a no brainer with a serial interface

Excellent! Thanks. Yes any/all samples or clues you can dig up would be most appreciated. You rock, Nick!!

thanks mary :rock: (doh!! no rock emoticon…)

so i started looking at my program and thought hmmm… this is way too messy… so i dug up some references i used to get it working. heres a link to a pdf that has all the commands that i used with the sci2 interface
check the 3 pages from page 66.

however the serial interface itself had a certain protocol that you need to use so check this link

basically i just used a control byte of 0x83 (16bit DALI and monitor enabled) and i used the commands in the pdf from above. i think data high is for eDALI (extended version), data mid is for the value you are sending (ie dimming level, scene select, group number, fitting number etc…) and data low is the command itself (00, 01, 02 etc… as per the motorola document).

i hope thats not too hard to put together. there are other commands like issuing addresses to fittings that i just didn’t get into, easier to use the software that tridonic have.

but i know it works and works well. im sure with a groov, s1 and a sci2 you’ll be lighting the skies from your web browser (or dimming them… :yum: )