Lighting Protocol DALI in a PLC Arduino

Introduction to a lighting control system
August 20, 2020 by
Lighting Protocol DALI in a PLC Arduino
Boot & Work Corp. S.L., Marti Guillem Cura


In a modern lighting system, it is essential to have a system that can control and monitor all the lights at the same time, being able to regulate an exclusive area without being detrimental to others. Thanks to the DALI communication system, it will be possible to achieve these goals without having to worry about any type of connected lights or equipment.

The Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) is a communication protocol designed to control light and regulate lighting systems. It is based on an electronic system that allows you to talk bi-directionally with the connected devices, sending or receiving information. It will be very useful for controlling large lighting systems and regulating their use together with light, motion, or timer sensors, allowing an automated control necessary for large buildings and companies interested in industrial automation.

The DALI protocol allows a total of 64 devices to be controlled, interconnected by a DALI Bus.


Why use the DALI communication system in your industrial controller? The main advantages over its competitors would be easy planning and installation together with maximum flexibility when making modifications.

Slave devices can be added later and, moreover, they do not need to be assigned to an initial configuration at the time of installation, as everything will be controlled digitally. As no special wiring or accessories are required, it makes the DALI protocol quick and easy to implement.

Thanks to the possibility of regulating the lights automatically, it will be possible to meet time requirements according to energy peaks, sunshine hours, or energy rates.

The DALI protocol  allows the professional control of various environments and configurations such as:

  • Turning lights On and Off
  • System Automation
  • Regulation of lights intensities
  • Control of the system area


In order to work with a DALI protocol, you will only need the following:

  • Any of our M-Duino DALI PLC
  • DALI wire
  • DALI drivers
  • Input devises such sensors (optional)

How does it work?

The DALI control protocol consists of a main controller that will act as a master, a DALI bus and the slave devices to be controlled, along with their respective power supplies. In addition, input devices, such as sensors, may be added to allow deeper control of the system.

A PLC device controlled by an Arduino Mega will be used to manage all the drivers. On our web you can find the necessary devices to carry out a correct installation:

                                    ETHERNET range Industrial PLC 

Odoo text and image block

As mentioned above, its communication is based on a master, which will act as a controller, and a series of slave devices, corresponding to the lights. This communication will be possible thanks to Manchester coding.

The DALI protocol will send messages to the different slaves by their individual addresses sending the information via a DALI bus or a DALI control line. If the message is for them, the slaves will instantly execute the orders received. The messages can be sent individually or simultaneously to multiple devices using the transmission option and also allow to change the settings of the installations without having to make any wiring changes.

The DALI bus will consist of 5 cables corresponding to the ground, neutral, positive and two DALI cables. All devices are connected to the bus in parallel, without having to worry about having to make groups, since these will be controlled digitally. In this way, an easy implementation or error control is presented.

Odoo CMS - a big picture

As for the software, a high level is not necessary for its use. With a set of simple commands, it will be possible to achieve total control over the lighting system. For more information on the software level, you can visit the following post where more detailed information is provided:

                                                                                                        How to work with DALI Arduino Library and industrial PLC

For more information on how to implement our products,

do no hesitate to contact our technical service.

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Lighting Protocol DALI in a PLC Arduino
Boot & Work Corp. S.L., Marti Guillem Cura August 20, 2020
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