Ektor Gen 111 Products And Dali Building Wide Lighting Controls


Each DALI line is limited to a maximum of 64 devices- luminaires switches PIRs, and it is common that more than one DALI line will be required on each floor. Commonly, floors are broken into a number of different sections containing up to 64 DALI devices. Each section is then wired back to one or multiple DALI Gateways located on the same floor.

As a DALI device is galvanically isolated, each DALI device can be supplied from a different electrical supply circuit or even a different phase. This means that wiring a DALI line does not have to take into account the layout of the lighting LV distribution system.

Typically the DALI control system will have an interface located on each floor to reduce the required wiring. A interface will have two separate communication zones, one dedicated to the DALI protocol to talk to all DALI devices on the connected line(s), and the second to use the manufacturer chosen protocol(s) to connect the DALI and Building wide communications and systems protocols together


The DALI Protocol is designed for a small collection of DALI devices, up to 64, on a single line. The DALI devices on the line can be controlled as a group or individually. Only a DALI controller connected to the same line can control the associated DALI devices.


Because DALI is limited to 64 devices per line, a lighting control system is required to link more than one DALI line together. Depending on the design of the control system, unlimited numbers of DALI lines can be connected together allowing for easy control of building lighting.

TCP/IP or Ethernet is Ektor's preferred choice for connecting multiple DALI lines together, as it is fast, efficient and can even use a shared communication backbone. Preference is given to Ethernet, as the combination of DALI & Ethernet can provide almost every option or control available on other system. 

Also these other systems (eg KNX –LON—Can-- BACnet) tend to require both DALI and Ethernet to perform the same tasks. Using Ethernet & DALI properly removes the need to wedge a third protocol in between two perfectly suitable and capable systems, and thus reduces complexity and overall system costs.


Traditionally the emergency control standards used to monitor emergency devices has been locked away behind propriety standards. The introduction of DALI as an international lighting control interface has led to the creation of the DALI emergency control definition.

DALI emergency is defined within the extended commands of DALI with the DALI emergency device defined as TYPE 1 within the DALI protocol. Ballast are defined as TYPE 0 while halogen converters are defined as TYPE 3. This standard allows the use of emergency lighting devices on the same DALI line as other DALI devices such as ballasts, transformers, led lighting and other lighting types.

The DALI emergency standard allows for emergency devices to run 2 key emergency tests as well as feeding back many other pieces of important information.


A duration test will test the battery periodically (either initiated from the attached control system or through a calendar inside the emergency device itself). This test can give feedback on the device's current battery status, lamp status and if the device discharged for the required time before the battery was exhausted.


A function test gives quick feedback on the current status of the device, battery and lamp. This test can be initiated via the attached control system or through the emergency calendar inside the emergency device


The requirement for DALI emergency control is almost the same as those of normal DALI devices, and the minimum requirements can be summarised to the following items:

  • DALI power supply
  • DALI emergency device
  • Control system that can communicate with DALI emergency devices.


DALI emergency is an open standard defined under EN62386. This standard ensures that all DALI compatible emergency control systems work in synchronization and that the technology is available to multiple device manufacturers. This in turn delivers more choice to the end user and guarantees price driven competition.

Another benefit to using DALI emergency is that when used in conjunction with standard DALI devices it reduces wiring. Moreover, the amalgamation of two independent control systems (emergency and normal) into a single control system decreases installation and maintenance costs, and the ability to monitor emergency lighting and normal lighting in one step can lead to a safer lighting solution.

In summary DALI emergency offers the following benefits:

  • Open source highly supported technology
  • Choice of supplier
  • Reduced wiring
  • Reduced number of control systems
  • Reduced training and maintenance costs
  • Safer lighting solution

The open standard also allows for new technology to be integrated easily rather than waiting for existing manufactures to adopt the technology.

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