KNX DaliControl e64
Individual lighting is one of the most important tasks in modern buildings. The combination of KNX installation technology and the DALI lighting standard creates perfect conditions which can be used in our DaliControl e64.
In addition to the convenient switching and dimming functions, the DaliControl e64 can also be used to control the emergency lighting and display the operating hours and service life of the lamps. Furthermore, many other applications and functions can be realised with the DaliControl e64.
Our latest development for the DaliControl e64 is the implementation of the new Dali standard DT-8.
The cross-functional DALI-Bus (DALI = Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) is a system used to control electronic ballasts (ECGs) in lighting technology. The specifications of the DALI communications interface are set in the international norm EN62386. Just like the KNX protocol, the DALI protocol is standardised. The DALI Association DiiA based in the United States is the organisation that defines and maintains DALI standards.
Individual lights and groups
Traditionally, a DALI Master controls one DALI segment. A DALI segment consists of up to 64 DALI lights which can be switched and dimmed in up to 16 groups.
In installation systems where DALI lights are controlled via the KNX installation, the DALI-KNX interface constitutes the DALI Master. Like the KNX bus, the DALI bus is also a two-wire bus, which makes the DALI installation very easy.
The wiring consists of a 5–core cable (typically 5×1,5 m² NYM), which connects all 64 lamps in parallel. 3 cores, L, N and PE, are used for the energy supply and the remaining 2 cores are used for the DALI bus.
A major advantage of DALI technology as opposed to KNX lighting control is the reporting and acknowledgement of lamp or ECG errors by the DALI system. This information is of vital importance for operational safety and lighting management.
DALI device types define the specific features and attributes of different lights. The following are some of the most common DALI device types:
DT-0 This device type is for fluorescent lights
DT-1 is the specification for safety lighting
DT-4 is the device type for low voltage halogen lamps
DT-6 describes the control of LED lights
DT-8 is the specification for different colour control processes
For color control in DALI systems the following definitions for color description are important:
RGBWAF colour channels
With this type of colour control, the colour perception is based on the additive mixing of the basic colours red, green and blue. In theory, the overlapping of these colours results in the colour perception “white“. In practical terms, however, it is very difficult to create a pure white tone. For this reason an additional channel for white colour can be added (RGBW). According to DALI standard EN 62386-209, up to 6 channels (RGBWAF) can be used for colour perception in this model. In practice, three independent channels for driving the lights in red, green and blue and a channel for the color white are used. In connection with the KNX, many different colours can be easily achieved through different mixing ratios.
HSV colour control
An alternative to the RGBW colour space is colour definition based on hue (H), saturation (S) and brightness values (V). This type of colour definition is often preferred for the artistic aspects of colour perception and is technically possible with only 3 objects. The colour tone is set as a value between 0° and 360°, therefore reaching all colours in the colour circle. The values for saturation and intensity (dark phase) are entered between 0 and 100%.
Over thousands of years the human organism has become accustomed to a repetitive daily cycle: At night it is dark and thus the time for our organism to relax and regenerate through sleep so that we have new energy for the following day. In the morning when the sun rises and the light has a warm tone, we get up and get ready for the day. When the sun is at its zenith around midday, the colour temperature cools down. Once the sun starts moving back towards the horizon in the afternoon, the colour temperature starts to rise again. Research has shown that the human organism functions best if it is exposed to the natural colour temperature of the specific time of day. With rapidly developing LED technology it is now possible to replicate the cyclical change of light colour temperature in the rooms in which we live and work. The very small LED format makes it possible to integrate two different LED types, cool white and warm white, into one casing, thereby giving the impression that a lamp emits two colour temperatures. In connection with a DALI ECG those two colour temperatures are mixed dynamically. This means that almost any colour temperature can be set within a defined range between e.g. 2500 and 4500 Kelvin, simply by transmitting one information, the desired colour temperature, to the DALI ECG.
x/y Colour Space
Another way of describing a colour is by defining a 3-dimensional colour space. In this colour space the following formula applies: x+y+z=1. A simple conversion shows that x+y =1-z. So if x and y are known, z can be easily calculated. A vector can point anywhere in the colour space and thereby define the colour. By having to define only the coordinates x and y, only two pieces of information are required to describe a colour. The light control processes via colour temperature (Tunable White), RGBW and the coordinates x/y have all been defined by the DIIA in the new data point type 8. In practical terms, the DALI DT-8 reduces the number of required light control channels to a minimum thereby also reducing costs. Easy installation, low costs per light channel and the numerous and complex options to create customised light settings based on colour, brightness and intensity are amongst the most important reasons in favour of using DALI in lighting technology.
With the new firmware version 3, data types are now also available on the KNX side of the DaliControl e64, which enable colour light control of device types 8 (DT8) in accordance with the DALI standard. Especially for the following colour models, corresponding objects are available on the KNX page:
Tunable White – colour temperature control with the new KNX object type DPT 7.600
Simply set the brightness in [%] and the desired colour temperature in [K]. In addition, the colour temperature range can be set using the standard 4Bit relative dimming (DPT 3.7) or absolute setting (DPT 5.1).
HSV – Colours of the colour circle
Determine your colour on the colour wheel and colour becomes reality. An angle between 0 and 360° (DPT5.3 angle) stands for a colour. The DaliControl e64 does not need more information about a colour. With the saturation and dimming value the colour circle can be shifted. In addition, the colour temperature range can be set using the standard 4Bit relative dimming (DPT 3.7) or absolute value setting (DPT 5.1).
RGBW – the right colour with just one command
The new DPT 251.600, a 6 byte data object contains all colour information. In addition, the colour temperature range can be set via the standard 4 bit relative dimming (DPT 3.7) or via value setting (DPT 5.1).
XY – the analytical colour model
Space coordinates define a colour in space. The coordinates are specified by means of the 2 byte data format DPT 7.1 in the value range from 0 to 65535.
DALI configuration for every requirement
In the KNX world, the project planning master is always the ETS. The application of the DaliControl e64 was created with the most modern development tools. Device Control App (DCA) is the method that replaces plug-ins with ETS version 5 (or higher). Comfortable interfaces make DALI configuration easier.
However, if you prefer to configure DALI on the move with your smartphone or tablet, you can now use the improved web interface. The user login now uses Digest authentication to log in. KNX groups and DALI ECGs are displayed intuitively in a clear matrix. The assignment of the ECGs to the KNX groups is done with simple clicks. Without ETS and without web access, the ECG links can also be created directly on the device using buttons.
Time-dependent colour control
It is not unusual for colour gradients to change as a function of time. Such time schedules can be defined directly in DaliControl e64. For example, the colour temperature can be adapted to the natural daily routine.
Lighting mood at the touch of a button
A cosy evening mood in the living room, accentuated light at art objects or simply pleasant light at the dining table, scenes in KNX create the right lighting mood individually and flexibly. In the new Version 3, KNX and DALI scenes merge. In the past, scenes created in DaliControl e64 could only be called up via the Dali scene number. Independent scene values can now call up the DALI scenes.
Effects – recurring processes
Effects are special scenes defined by pauses between events and, for example, a specific dimming behaviour of luminaires. An effect can also be configured as a recurring sequence (endless loop). This exclusive sequence control can also be easily implemented with DaliControl.
Broadcast – central operation
Every KNX integrator knows central commands. In the DALI protocol, the broadcast command is a command that switches centrally and independently of group assignments. In our DaliControl devices, DALI broadcast commands for switching on and off, value setting, colour values (RGB or HSV) and colour temperature can now also be sent via KNX objects. Broadcast does not require DALI assignment. RGB and Tunable White groups can easily be switched centrally via broadcast together with other DALI luminaires.
Data backup – once configured and backed up
A special feature for the system integrator is data backup. The KNX configuration is always part of the ETS. This means that the ETS is the configuration backup. The new DCA programming now extends the KNX data backup to the DALI configuration. The data backup of the DALI configuration from previous versions can also be transferred to version 3 of DaliControl e64.
IPAS DaliControl – environmentally conscious and sustainable
Building automation is the basis for the resource-saving use of energy. Optimised heating control, daylight control and demand-oriented ventilation are common requirements for automation in order to operate buildings efficiently and economically. With our DaliControl gateways we complete the goal of resource-saving energy use: Each individual DALI ballast (ECG) requires energy for operation. This also includes fault monitoring. However, errors are not evaluated when the ballast is switched off. This is why we provide an object in all our DaliControl gateways that switches off the ECG voltage of a Dali group connected via a switching actuator when the DALI group is switched off.
Operating modes – the right light for every situation
The DaliControl e64 enables different functions of a group depending on so-called operating modes. Lighting groups that are assigned to night operation, for example, are switched with lower dimming values in this mode. A timer program can activate night operation. Similarly, events can be defined which switch groups in panic or continuous operation in a specific setting.
Detect errors – increase operational reliability
A special feature of DALI technology is the system-related detection of lamp and ECG faults. In our DaliControl devices we use these features to provide additional information about the status of the lighting system. In addition to the type of fault, we provide objects via the failure rate at group and ECG level as well as the operating hours of individual luminaires. This information can then be easily processed in our CBSE DALI lighting management system.
Lighting management in conjunction with the IPAS visualization system ComBridge Studio Evolution
A special application results from the IP interface in DaliControl e64 in connection with ComBridge Studio Evolution. If you need all the information that the DaliControl e64 can provide, you will quickly get over 500 objects per DaliControl e64. Often several DaliControl e64 gateways are needed in one project. If all this information is to be transmitted via the KNX bus, the increased bus traffic can impair communication.
The ComBridge Studio Evolution Dali Management Tool has been specially developed to read the numerous management information over IP directly from the DaliControls e64 and store it in the internal database. This means that the increased demands placed on lighting management can be easily represented without affecting the stability of the installation bus system. Our template concept also allows extremely time-saving configuration. The following comparison illustrates the advantages: 3 to 4 KNX objects per ECG result in 256 objects per gateway (without switching functions). With 30 DaliControl e64, for example, there are around 7500 data points, taking into account that not all information is required. If all this information is to be displayed in the visualization system and it is assumed that around 2 minutes are required per data point for the configuration, around 250 hours are only required for the visualization of the states. If you also need 2 minutes to configure an IP address, this effort is reduced to a single hour if you use the ComBridge Studio Evolution Dali Management Tool. Here, only the IP address of the DaliControl e64 is configured and all information is prepared and available in the CBSE visualization system.
Another function of the DALI Management Tool is the evaluation of test results for battery-powered safety lighting. The DaliControl e64 carries out lamp, battery and function tests according to specifications. The CBSE Dali Management Tool stores these results in its own database so that they can be retrieved as a report at any time. The system solution consisting of DALI systems with DaliControl e64 and CBS DALI Management Tool thus represents a complete solution for battery-powered emergency lighting systems.
The top-hat rail device with 4 subunits is connected to the KNX bus via the KNX bus plug connection. In addition, the device requires a 230 V AC supply voltage. The DALI bus, which is connected to up to 64 DALI luminaires in the DALI segment, is connected to two screw terminals. In addition, the DaliControl e64 can be connected to the Ethernet via a CAT 5 connection. This means that the DaliControl e64 web server can be accessed via a network.
||ETS APC (knxprod)||0.4||V1.3.3|
|ETS APC (etsapp)||0.4||V18.104.22.168|
|Software (Ver.1)||ETS APC (vd5)||1.3||V1.3.3|
* all figures in MB
* Please note: DaliControl e64 is only compatible with ETS 5. ETS programs from older versions cannot be used. In case of a firmware update the following steps have to be observed:
1: Firmware update to version 3
2: Installation of the Device Control App (DCA)
3: Importing the new DaliControl e64 ETS application into the ETS