Lighting Controls

DALI

What does DALI stand for?  Digital Addressable Lighting Interface

Sounds complicated – what is it?  A protocol that provides flexibility in control of fluorescent lighting.

With a DALI based lighting system, dimming can be deployed throughout a property to achieve energy savings of 30%-60% and give substantial flexibility, occupier control and servicing benefits.

How it works

The term ‘digital network’ sounds complicated but most of the basic hardware is standard issue – ballasts, lamps, controls, cabling etc.  The real difference is that the luminaire ballasts are networked to a PC which enables bi-way communication.   The PC can instruct each ballast what to do, and the ballast can feedback information regarding performance.

DALI centred digital lighting networks are based on digital fluorescent electronic ballasts operating linear T5 and T8 lamps and CFL’s.   Digital ballasts and DALI interfaces are being designed for HID, incandescent and low-voltage halogen systems.

Digital ballasts “soft start” fluorescent lamps extending tube life; cut the lamps out at end of life; systematically dim; and can start the lamps at any point in the dimming range.

The ballasts are connected to form a large lighting loop that can contain multiple luminaires.

Digital protocol allows simplified control wiring that provides greater flexibility than traditional 0-10V analog systems. Each ballast in the loop is given an ‘address’ by the PC so it can be individually controlled or grouped in multiple configurations. The loop is then connected to any type of DALI-compatible control device’s.

Control options include local wall-mounted controls that enable manual push-button switching to select programmed dimming scenes; a computer for centralized lighting control; local PCs for individual occupant control; and occupancy sensors (PIR’s, Microwave sensors etc), photocells and other controls.

From a central PC, the Facilities Manager can address each ballast in a building or gang them in groups, then program each ballast or group to dim from 100% to 1% either on a scheduled basis or in direct response to prevailing conditions, such as natural daylight.     

The lighting components feedback, providing information that can be used to identify lamp and ballast failure and generate useful energy consumption data.  The nett benefits to the user are energy saving and flexibility in control of light levels.

Our thanks go to Craig DiLouie of the Lighting Controls Association for sending us the article from which the above information was derived.

T5 Adaptors

High frequency fluorescent lighting ballasts give circuit power savings of some 10%. By combining HF ballast with new high efficiency tubes, suitable luminaires can maintain existing lighting levels at up to 45% reduction in energy use and cost. But most users do not have suitable luminaires. The lighting world has a massive investment in conventional electromagnetically ballasted luminaires, which are also of the wrong size to accept new T5 and T8 high efficiency tubes.  The expense and disruption of ditching that existing investment and installing a whole new generation of luminaires is the greatest single barrier to achieving the cost and environmental advantages now possible.

Save It Easy® has been designed to remove that barrier and enable existing fittings to use latest technology. Its retrofit components electronically convert existing luminaires to HF operation and enable those converted fittings to accept the new high efficiency tubes. 

Proven in use, with comprehensive two year warranty and backed by substantial service and support, Save It Easy® transforms existing lighting installations to high efficiency operation at a fraction of the expense of luminaire replacement – saving cost, energy and the environment.  So how does it work?

The adaptors simply plug in.  retrofit Save It Easy conversion units simply plug into existing switch start and quickstart luminaires, transforming them electronically from conventional fittings to high frequency ballast fittings of correct type and size to accept high efficiency T5 and T8 lamps.  This enables you to get a light output equal or greater than your old tubes at dramatically lower energy consumption – in fact with the reduced ballast losses and lower tube wattage savings of 35-45% are common.

Super simple to install (that’s why I like them!) – you just slide the ballast converter and end-cap adaptor onto the ends of a T5 lamp and change the luminaire starter to the replacement provided – take out the old tube fit the new one and “Bob’s your uncle”!