With its DaliControl gc16-2 IPAS offers a device solution for applications in which numerous DALI lights need to be cost-effectively switched in groups. The DaliControl gc16-2 can control 2 DALI segments. 64 DALI lights can be connected to each segment. The DALI lights connected to a segment can be assigned to 16 different groups. This means the DaliControl gc 16-2 incorporates two independent DALI masters that are controlled via KNX bus coupling in one device.
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.
The DIN rail mounted device is only 4 horizontal pitches (HP) wide and is connected to the KNX bus via a KNX bus connector. The device also requires a 230 V power supply voltage. An independant DALI bus for each segment with up to 64 DALI lights is connected via two screw terminals.
The IPASDaliControl gc16 is a device used to control ECGs with a DALI interface (in accordance with EN 62386) via the KNX installation bus. The device transforms switch and dim commands from the connected KNX system into DALI telegrams and status information from the DALI bus into KNX telegrams.
The DaliControl gc16 is a so-called category 1 device (according to EN 62386-103). This means the device must only be used in DALI segments with connected ECGs and not with other DALI control devices within the segment (no multi-master operation). The required power supply for the up to 64 connected ECGs comes directly from the DaliControl gc16. An additional DALI power supply is not required and not permitted.
The device comes in a 4TE wide DIN Rail casing so it can be directly integrated into the mains distribution box.
In addition to the pure gateway function, the DaliControl gc16 also offers numerous ad-additional functions:
– Addressing of up to 16 DALI groups
– Flexible DALI commissioning concept in the ETS5
Coloured light control with the help of device type 8 ECGs
Coloured light control depending on ECG sub-type:
Colour temperature (DT-8 Sub-Type Tc)
XY colour (DT-8 Sub-Type XY)
RGB (DT-8 Sub-Type RGBWAF)
HSV (DT-8 Sub-Type RGBWAF)
RGBW (DT-8 Sub-Type RGBWAF)
The DT-8 sub-type PrimaryN is not supported.
– Support of time scheduling programmes to control groups according to values
– Different operating modes such as permanent mode, night-time mode or stair-
– Integrated operating hours counter for each group with an alarm for when the
maximum life-span has been reached
– Individual fault recognition with objects for each light/ECG
– Complex fault analysis at group/device level with number of faults and fault rate calculation
– Fault threshold monitoring with individually configurable threshold values
– Scene module for extensive scene programming
– “Quick exchange function” for easy replacement of individual faulty ECGs
– Manual control of group and broadcast telegrams via control buttons on the device (see application program description for operating instructions)
– Signalling of a fault status via LEDs on the device (see application program description)
DALI devices for individual battery emergency lights of device type DT-1 can be read by DaliControl gc16 and switched and controlled via DALI telegrams. However, DALI commands to start and export test results are not supported. We recommend using the DaliControl e64 for DT-1 devices.
The special surface for the configuration of DALI segmentes is designed as DCA (Device Control App) for the ETS5. Please remember to install the corresponding ETS-App in addition to the product database knxprod. The etsapp is available for download on the IPAS website or from Konnex.