UL helps advance LED lighting innovations

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Digital Addressable Lighting Interface, MEP and HVAC, Underwriters Laboratories

Global safety science company UL has announced that its lighting laboratory in Carugate, Italy has received accreditation from the Digital Illumination Interface Alliance (DiiA) to be a Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) protocol test house.

As an international standard for a two-way communication system that brings digital technology to lighting, DALI defines the commands that LED drivers and ballasts need to recognize in order to communicate via controllers and computers equipped with appropriate software or building management systems.

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With the DiiA accreditation, UL now has the ability to test control gears and devices, such as push-buttons and occupancy and light sensors, against the DALI standard.

DALI, as a recognized industry-standardized protocol, is specified in the international standard IEC 62386, as well as by new specifications written by DiiA, including DALI-2. DALI-2 is the second generation protocol based on the 2014 restructuring of the IEC 62386 standard that included the addition of application controllers and input devices. 

With the DALI-1 registration requirements ending December 31, 2019, new specifications in DALI-2, including bus timing and bus power, the interoperability between multiple vendors is improved.

Other new DALI-2 specifications include polarity insensitivity that enables easier installation with less wiring needed for bus-powered units, an extended fade time – from 100 ms to 16 minutes – that increases flexibility for the end user and a query of the light-source type that enables easier maintenance.

UL DiiA-accredited tests are now accepted as part of the DALI-2 certification process that are required prior to DiiA certification, which helps ensure multiple vendor interoperability and ultimately increase user acceptance.

In addition to the new DALI-2 testing specifications, UL’s lighting laboratory in Carugate together with their UL colleagues from Basingstoke, England, which is a certified testing partner for Zigbee, Thread and Bluetooth technologies, is now offering interoperability testing of wireless connectivity.

Ahead of upcoming, anticipated DALI wireless specifications, the testing focuses on an application gateway solution to Zigbee and the use of Thread and Bluetooth as an underlying wireless carrier to establish a DALI-2 end-to-end communication.

Roberto Inclinati, global senior business development manager of UL’s Lighting division said: “UL is excited to be a key part of the growth and safe adoption of new LED innovations that help fuel the lighting industry globally.

"This new DiiA accreditation equips us better to support companies bringing new LED technologies to market and meet regulatory requirements that help fast-track their project fulfillment.”

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