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Analog and Digital Lighting Control Systems - DALI VS 0-10V


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Sep 27, 2022
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Smart lighting systems are changing the way lights behave. Today, luminaires are smart, intelligent and controllable, allowing lights to shine at the intensity and color the user prefers. People prefer to set the lighting to suit their emotional state and improve the ambience around them. As a result, smart lighting control systems are now widely used in indoor and outdoor lighting setups in residential, commercial, and industrial spaces. These IoT lighting control systems allow for wireless control of light fixtures via Bluetooth devices, providing ease of use and convenience. They can also maximize energy savings, meet building codes, and comply with green building and energy saving initiatives.

1. Types of lighting control systems
The two main types of lighting control systems are analog lighting control (such as 0-10V) and digital lighting control (such as DALI), which further have their own characteristics according to their application and function.
①DALI system
DALI-based digital control systems are among the most popular. Abbreviated as Digital Addressable Lighting Interface, it is an open standard digital lighting control protocol that is interoperable with luminaires from different manufacturers (according to the IEC 60929 and IEC 62386 international standards). It consists of a controller, a power supply and one or more slave devices with DALI interface to control light intensity, CCT and color. DALI systems can handle single fixtures or multiple fixtures via multicast and broadband messages. It can be arranged in a bus or star topology, or a combination of both, reducing multiple wiring needs and expenses. This is also a two-way system, enabling the controller to monitor and control each device for troubleshooting.

Advantages of the DALI system:
①Open IEC standard for all users ②Digital addressable ③Easy debugging, higher control flexibility ④Polarity-independent two-wire control ⑤Continuous improvement and expansion
DALI system usually accommodates 64 luminaires for control in one DALI production line, and allows users to set 16 groups and 16 scenes. However, it is also possible to control more luminaires with the system with the help of additional bridges.

②0-10V system
0-10V lighting control is the most common method of all analog dimming systems. The controller in this system is connected to each light fixture through individual wires, where the DC voltage signal varies between 0 volts and 10 volts. Each voltage value corresponds to a specific light or brightness level, meaning, 0 volts corresponds to off, 1 volt corresponds to dim light, and 10 volts corresponds to bright light. 0-10V is much simpler than other lighting systems and can be best used to control individual lights.
Unlike digital systems, 0-10V dimming is not addressable. It dims or brightens all fixtures in the chain simultaneously and at the same level. 0-10V can be used in facilities that need to perform one operation on all devices and reduce operational complexity.

Advantages of 0-10V system:
(1) Simple dimming workflow (2) Cost-effective dimming method (3) Easy to troubleshoot (4) Seamless installation (5) It changes the intensity or CCT of the luminaire because the voltage signal only allows a single range of lighting level. It is commonly used in commercial and industrial lighting with luminaires featuring LED drivers designed for 0-10V DC dimming input.

2. Application scenarios
2.1 DALI dimming application
The original role of DALI is actually to provide an interface for lighting, a digital interface for dimming. This interface can be connected to the sensor through expansion, so that DALI can directly become a USB interface in lighting. This lighting system realized through DALI It can be applied to the following scenarios:
① A lamp is directly connected to the sensor through DALI, forming the most convenient sensor-only system.
② It can be extended and linked to other communication networks through the DALI interface, thereby linking other systems.
③ Directly connected to the DALI bus, through the independent addressing characteristics of DALI, group control can be performed, or DALI can be directly regarded as its subsystem application.

2.2 0-10V dimming application
The advantage of using 0-10v system dimming lies in its simple application, good system compatibility, high dimming precision and good dimming effect, generally by inputting 0-10v analog signal (according to 0-10v voltage range) To control the average current passing through the LED, the dimming is generally achieved by controlling the PWM pulse modulation. In the 0-10V dimming system, the power supply design needs a control chip, so that it can be connected to the 0-10V dimmer At the same time, the output current of the power supply is controlled through the voltage change of the system, so as to achieve the brightness and switch of the lighting system.

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