DALI cabling solution for old installations

By Energy Hamd - December 11, 2021

DALI cabling solution for old installations
DALI cabling solution for old installations

 DALI cabling solution for old installations

Modification of the wiring to allow control of a dimmable luminaire equipped with a DALI driver.

    Your installation is old, obviously your current lights or bulbs are not dimmable, your switch only allows you to turn on or off (on / off).

    There is a good chance that your wiring is similar to this one:

Standard ON / OFF wiring:

    Today you want to replace your non-dimmable lights or bulbs with DALI dimmable lights and don't want or have the option of passing cables back to your switch. Here are two quick and easy solutions to achieve this.

The first solution, the use of the PUSH function of your drivers 

    Here is the PushDIM wiring to implement. On the diagram above we see that the phase (L, red wire) goes down to the switch before going to your light (L ', black wire)

  • We will therefore transfer to the phase arriving at the switch (red wire) to go directly to the driver (terminal L).
  • the blue wire (neutral), no change, will go to the driver (terminal N).
  • The driver side is bridged between the N and DA2 terminals (green wire)
  • Now all that remains is to recover the black wire (phase return) and bring it back to the driver towards the DA1 terminal of the driver.
  • We will still change the switch to install a button that will facilitate the control of the lights.


Wiring using the PUSH function of the DALI drivers:

Advantage of PUSH DIM wiring:

    It is economical, only the purchase of a push button to replace your switch will be necessary, it requires very little modification to your wiring. it allows to control one or more luminaires.

Disadvantage of PUSH DIM wiring:

    The adjustment of the brightness level of the luminaire (s) is not very precise. You never know before pressing the button if you are going to increase the light or decrease it. If you have several luminaires to order they may not be synchronized, some may be at 100% while others will only be at 20 or 50%. Worse, some luminaires may decrease in power when others increase when pressing the button. Be reassured all the same there is a way to synchronize them (refer to the instructions of the manufacturer), in spite of everything we note that the luminaires end up desynchronizing, a new synchronization operation is then necessary. This system will therefore only be used for small installations (1 to 10 luminaires maximum).

Second solution, wiring with DALI dimmer:

    For this, we will use a DALI rotary dimmer. These drives normally generate the DALI bus power supply when they are connected to the 230V network.

    In our case, we will not be able to connect it to 230V because otherwise we will have to go down 2 wires to the variator and we will assume that we cannot or do not want to do it because it will generate too much work.

    Since the dimmer will not generate the power supply for the DALI bus, it will be necessary to add a DALI power supply in the ceiling or in a luminaire if space permits.

    The wires going down to the switch (L and L 'on the 1st diagram) will be used for the DALI command (in green on the following diagram) and will be connected to the DALI power supply and to the DA terminals of your driver (there is no there is no polarity).

2-wire DALI wiring using a DALI dimmer and a separate DALI power supply:

Advantage of wiring with DALI dimmer

    The controls are simple and intuitive, one press on the button the light comes on, a second press the light goes off. We turn to the left the light decreases, and to the right to increase it.

    The dimming is precise, most dimmers are notched so we can increase or decrease the lighting power finely.

    As the DALI bus is digital, each driver receives exactly the same setpoint, 25 to 50 luminaires (depending on the dimmer manufacturer) can be controlled with a single dimmer, without risk of desynchronization.

Disadvantage of wiring with the DALI dimmer

    It requires the purchase of a DALI power supply and a DALI dimmer, which may seem expensive if you only have one luminaire to order, but essential if you have a large number of luminaires.



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