XTBA has for some time made a DALI test and programming tool, called the XTBA DALI Watch. We have also now published our exclusive XTBA DALI Quick Start Guide, which will allow you to get your fixtures up and running quickly without the normal mystery and doubt!
DALI (Digitally Addressable Lighting Interface) is the international standard of connecting lighting fixtures (ballasts) on a two wire interface network. It is beginning to be used extensively in the field of ‘architectural’ lighting for its ease of installation and control. Compared to DMX512, DALI is a very slow protocol. However offices and shopping centres have little need to run high speed chases or ten cuts a second light changes so for these installations DALI is an ideal solution. Increasingly in ‘architectural’ lighting what were once termed as ‘theatrical lighting’ DMX512 fixtures are also being used, LED lights, moving lights etc. Up to now the two could not be mixed but now they can.
The DALI protocol offers numerous advantages over the older DSI protocol or analogue cabling. However DALI controllers tend to be limited as to control features and as a result more installations have become DMX/DALI hybrids. This offers the control of the DMX lighting desk and the flexibility of DALI. To aid the interfacing of thes protocols XTBA introduced our DMX to DALI interface card which has been installed in numerous venues around the world.
However what DALI does not offer is speed. If DMX is at walking pace DALI moves with the speed of an 'arthritic ant carrying heavy shopping'. If you are not in a hurry to do fast fades DALI offers reliable data communications. It is simple to cable, almost any two wires will do. It would probably work down damp string but don't try that at home! It can be split without the need for a data splitter, fixtures do not need to be wired in series and ballasts are relatively cheap. So to install a large lighting system using DALI ballasts is going to be a good deal simpler and cheaper than using analogue ballasts or DMX (if anybody makes one) ballasts. There are of course some "gotchas" with DALI which we have recognised and built work-arounds into our DALI products to help the installer avoid these nasty pitfalls. If you are unfamiliar with DALI, please read our DALI address programming systems information page
XTBA has now redesigned and updated our range of DMX to DALI and DALI to DMX products. In addition to the popular DMX to DALI PCB card, XTBA now offers a range of three DMX to DALI converters and a DALI to DMX converter, all housed in DIN rail cases for easy installation.
The range now includes: