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KNX vs DALI

DALI is a well known commercial Lighting control protocol that can be used with or independent to KNX. DALI allows the addressing of individual ballasts in lines of 64 devices for measures of light level control & reporting. For many years DALI has been a good solution for commercial projects but studies have questioned the cost benefit of using DALI and this is where KNX comes in.


Advantages of DALI

  • Simple topology with no radial circuit requirements
  • Requires less distribution board space
  • Allows smooth dimming curves

Disadvantages of DALI

  • Estimates vary between 50-100% increase in cost of DALI over traditional phase dimming
  • DALI is not as simple to commission, test and fault find
  • DALI products are not tested for conformity
  • DALI is ‘send and forgot’ meaning there is no fail safe for a lost ‘telegram’ (command)

KNX offers the same functionality as DALI systems but without the need to individually address each Light fixture meaning a huge cost saving in absence of specialist ballasts per fitting. Instead KNX focuses on the inputs (Switches, Sensors, Thermostats) and controls the corresponding outputs as banks of fittings. For example each row in a Classroom setting could be a separate dimming circuit controlled by a multi channel light sensor.

To conclude, KNX will save the end user money whilst offering a greater level of control and a more secure setup however the option to integrate DALI within a KNX system still presents itself should the requirement be present.


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