Skip to content Skip to navigation menu

Comparisons between 0-10V and DALI

Recently, we published an article on dimming protocols. As for dimming systems, there are different lighting control systems that work well with LED lighting. Among the most commonly used systems in professional LED lighting are DALI, 0-10V, and DMX. Phase-cut dimming is also used but is less suited for professional LED lighting. (Click here to view more information) These dimming protocols can be divided into two categories: analog protocol and digital protocol. It has been many years since we transitioned from an analog to a digital world. DALI is responsible for the transition from analog lighting to digital lighting. The purpose of this article is to provide a comparison between 0-10V and DALI. As a result of the history factor, different regions use different protocols. Lighting controls are installed in commercial buildings according to common sense rather than in accordance with building codes. The leader in lighting control at that time in North America was General Electric (GE), and the leader in Europe was Philips. GE successfully established a TLC system based on its rock-solid RR7 relay at that time. It was not long before everyone was offering relay panel-based systems. The dimming industry ranges from small startups such as LC&D and PCI to established firms such as Lutron. In Europe, Philips and several other manufacturers formed Activity Group DALI to develop a standard communication protocol for lighting controls. DALI is an "Open" protocol. As an open protocol, any manufacturer can create devices that communicate using DALI. For example, a DALI driver from one manufacturer will work with control stations, sensors, etc. from any other manufacturer using DALI. 1. The DALI protocol is useful if luminaires need to respond to more than one input device (such as a wall switch and a daylight sensor). 2. DALI requires a lighting control cable, but the cable can be run between many fittings. In fact, one DALI network can accommodate up to 64 DALI ballasts. 3. DALI allows lighting controls to operate as stand-alone systems or be integrated into larger building management systems. 0-10V is easy-to-understand system and commissioning does not require specialized knowledge. However, to get different control groups each group needs separate wiring. 0-10V does not support bidirectional communication, so if sensors are required, additional systems may be necessary. 1. Each device needs its own wiring, which makes installation quite tricky if the lighting control system is large and complex. 2. A 0–10V system can accommodate around 10 luminaires per controller. 3. The signal goes only one way, from the dimmer to the LED driver or fluorescent ballast. Because there is no signal coming back from the lights, there's no data on which to measure their performance, as with digital systems.