• Free shipment from € 121,- excl. vat € 149,- incl. vat

  • More than 10000 products

  • Up to 5 years warranty

  • Sustainable LED solutions

DALI vs DALI 2: What is the distinction in features and installation?

DALI is a professional and digital light management system, which can efficiently set up and control LED lighting in your business premises (included in standard: IEC 62386), since the DALI system enables ballasts, controllers, (relay) switches and sensors to communicate with fixtures and other compatible devices. It does not matter whether you want to effectively illuminate an entire room or you want to apply efficient zone lighting. You can easily arrange this by creating and managing various light groups in your lighting system. Nowadays, you come across both DALI and DALI 2 when buying LED lighting. What is the difference between the two? We are happy to explain it to you in this blog.

Hallway equipped with DALIHallway equipped with DALI

What are the differences between DALI and DALI 2?

DALI and DALI 2 differ in two areas. These include certification and functionalities. The change in certification can be explained as follows: DALI 2 is certified by the DiiA (Digital Illumination Interface Alliance), rather than by the manufacturers themselves, which results in a higher quality and a significantly improved interoperability (between suppliers).

To clarify: DALI 2 is preceded by an extensive process of required testing, using Probit Lab 2 test equipment, which determine whether a product is awarded the DALI 2 logo. Therefore, the protocol is very precisely adhered to, ensuring that no compatibility issues can arise between components regardless of the manufacturer. The testing procedure for DALI products is comparatively less time-consuming before a DALI logo is awarded.

DALI lighting products are equipped with this logo.
DALI 2 LogoDALI 2 Logo
DALI 2 lighting products obtain this logo via the DiiA.

DALI Accessories

LED drivers, sensors, transformers and more.


Recessed, suspended and surface mounted options.

DALI LED Downlights

Available in a circular or squared design.

DALI LED Battens

Available in 600mm, 1200mm and 1500mm.

The difference in functionalities between DALI and DALI 2 is a bit broader. Below, we will explain this to you in more detail:

1. Increased capacity within a DALI line!

A DALI system offers possibilities for a very extensive (and brand-independent with DALI 2) lighting plan, with only one restriction: there is a maximum number of components that can be connected per subnet (DALI line). This involves individually addressed components, which can be assigned to one or more lighting groups. DALI allows for 64 addresses, which can be fixtures and accessories (sensors, DALI LED drivers, ballasts and such). With DALI 2, this number increases to 128 addresses, of which 64 are fixtures/DALI controls (control gear) and 64 are DALI 2 controls (control devices). This second group integrates the control devices into the light management system. This includes two types of devices:

  • Controllers (option: built-in bus power supply), which use information, make decisions and send commands to the control devices.
  • Input devices, such as control panels, light switches and DALI 2 sensors.
Installation of DALIInstallation of DALI
Installation DALI; two seperate lines.
Installation of DALI 2Installation of DALI 2
Installation DALI 2; one line for all components.


Interesting to know!

DALI is backwards compatible, which means that DALI 2 fixtures and accessories can be incorporated into a DALI system without any problems. Vice versa the same applies, however, the DALI devices in the DALI 2 system are limited to the DALI functions.

2. Expanded number of grouping possibilities

Within the DALI system, you have the option of assigning fixtures, accessories, controllers and input devices to groups. Each address can be assigned to several groups in order to provide the right light in a room and/or zone at any time of the day. In addition to these groups, you can also use scenes. These are defined lighting solutions that, for instance, are applied with a single click on a control panel. The table below shows the difference between DALI and DALI 2.

Scenes 16 16
Fixture and accessory groups 16 16
Control device groups 16 32
Input device groups N/A 32

3.  Simplified wiring

Within DALI 2, all fixtures and control devices are connected to the same DALI line, providing a simple and reliable structure in communication. With DALI, separate wiring for control devices is used. Regarding the reaching distance of a DALI cable, the following applies:

  • A 0.8mm2 cable can be used up to a maximum of 100 metres.
  • A 1.5mm2 cable can be used up to a maximum of 300 metres.

You can use a simple 2-core cable, or you can combine the cabling with the 230V power supply (5-core cable). You are free to apply branch lines in the cabling, as long as no loop is created. Keep in mind that, per DALI line, a maximum of 250mA (milli ampere current) is allowed.

DALI lighting plan existing of multiple DALI linesDALI lighting plan existing of multiple DALI lines
An example of a DALI lighting plan existing of multiple DALI lines.

4. Increased insight in the installed lighting

The certified DALI 2 controllers are referred to as the brain of the system, since they extract information from connected ballasts, input devices and other controllers to assure the lighting operates properly. This includes locating devices, recognizing the type of devices that are connected and remembering the last active lighting scenario. Moreover, it included new commands such as an extended fade time (0.1 seconds to 16 minutes). In addition, DALI 2 is bi-directional, which means that addresses / components can also transmit information to ensure a correct facility of light. Furthermore, the DALI 2 system is less prone to malfunctions and misinterpretations because of its precise specifications regarding electrical tolerances and its specific system description.

Do you need help implementing a perfectly fitting DALI lighting solution for your premises?

Our lighting experts will gladly help you to set up and implement a lighting plan that fit flawlessly in your business. All you have to do is create a business account, after which you are assigned your own personal contact and after which you can profit from many services. You can also opt for a tailor made quotation, which can be easily requested by clicking on the orange button below.

DALI Lighting Solution OfficeDALI Lighting Solution Office