With the introduction of Zigbee, Bluetooth LE and a wide range of automated lighting controls, it’s all too easy to get distracted by new technology and overlook the tried and tested options which have a proven track record of delivering results. Here, Kevin Norman, senior product marketing manager at Newey & Eyre explains 10 very good reasons why, aside from the well-reported energy efficiency arguments, DALI is still a viable option.

With the initial 2020 phase of the Government’s ambitious carbon reduction targets fast approaching, it has become more important than ever for businesses and organisations to do their part by improving the energy efficiency of their buildings – in turn, reducing their operational costs. As such, it is crucial for facilities managers to reassess building energy usage and hone in on where the biggest drain on resources is. And with lighting taking up 20% of the electricity generated in the UK, and non-domestic lighting alone accounting for around 24 million tonnes of CO2 each year1, it’s clear that the lighting sector is an area that could really make a difference However, while the substantial savings to be had by switching to LEDs continue to steal the limelight, the reality is that lighting control is just as important, providing the opportunity to really maximise reduction of energy coming from lighting.

Although often overlooked for some of the newest and more talked about entrants to the lighting control market, DALI is an incredibly advantageous solution – with the latest products easier to install and configure than ever before, while also being simple to use.

A DALI network consists of a controller and one or more lighting devices, such as electrical ballasts and dimmers, that all have DALI interfaces. The controller can be used to programme the system, with specific modes for the discovery of ballasts, programming of luminaires and room timing options. With the latest generation of DALI solutions being readily available, it is the perfect option when intelligent lighting control is required. Here are our top reasons why facilities managers should opt for DALI to reduce energy consumption in their buildings:

1. Retrofit and Newbuild Unlike some systems on the market, DALI is suitable for both new build and retrofit. The protocol is able to incorporate dual purpose lighting, meaning that general and emergency lighting can be programmed into one system. This enables older buildings to meet current safety standards.

2. Easy to Install For very simple systems, configuration is not required for each individual device. All that is required is a two-wire cable that can be used to connect together all the DALI devices in the systems. You can also use a daisy- chain and spurs.

3. Works with LED DALI works exceptionally well with LED. A single driver can control multiple LED strips and spotlights. LED drivers can also be connected, meaning you only need one common control signal to dim lighting groups and set scenes.

4. Wired Systems Are Still Important As more and more wireless devices are being used within homes and within offices, address space on RF bands are filling up fast. In the fast approaching age of the Internet of Things this competing space will become a huge hindrance to the end-user. Despite the energy saving, building managers and homeowners can’t afford to risk unreliable lighting systems, particularly not in the early stages of this ‘revolution’.

5. Interoperability There’s a race going on when it comes to automated lighting control, with lots of manufacturers trying to fight for the standardisation of LED controls. DALI however suits every application, because it has been designed to co-exist with all of the latest RF technologies. Not only that, it also works seamlessly with Building Management Systems, sitting or operating comfortably underneath it.

6. It’s Future Proofed The introduction of DALI 2 means that new features can be added. It introduces control devices and sets basics for future incorporation of input devices. But, it’s not just ready for the future; it’s also backwards compatible, ensuring that previous systems will not be affected.

7. It’s Globally Recognised It’s recognised as the international standard for professional digital lighting controls in 120 countries, and that is unlikely to change any time soon.

8. Simplified Planning Lighting groups do not have to be assigned at the planning stage, as they can be set up later with the aid of a controller. This means that control lines can be separated from planning of the power supplies.

9. Flexible For Later Changes Because a DALI system isn’t hard-wired to the power it can be easily changed.

10. It’s Proven Technology The benefit of not being the new kid on the block is that it has been tried and tested for well over two decades. But, it isn’t standing still either, it is being constantly worked on to keep up with the ever-growing functionality that is required. Ultimately, DALI has the potential to make significant energy savings for facilities managers.

The combination of daylight harvesting, presence detection, corridor modes and room timing options can deliver savings of up to 80% on energy consumption just from lighting. On top of this, as a tried and tested technology, it provides a reliable technology that is sure to stand the rest of time. So, for those facilities managers who aren’t already doing so, surely it’s time to delve into DALI?

Visit neweysnews.co.uk to get the latest news and product information from Newey & Eyre. Alternatively, please call 0800 783 6909 or call into any local branch.

Find out more about Newey & Eyre by viewing their company profile, here.

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