What is the difference between DALI Compliant and DALI Compatible products?
DALI is a lighting control protocol that is governed/defined by the international standard IEC 62386 series
Different control gear types (eg Fluorescent Ballasts, LED Drivers, Emergency Luminaires, Relays, Input units etc) have specific standards dealing with particular requirements for that DALI Type.
There is an official DALI tester that will test all DALI types to ensure they meet every requirement of the relevant standard(s).
A product which is DALI Compliant should be marked with this logo showing that it has been tested to ensure it conforms with all relevant parts of the IEC 62386 series of standards that are applicable to its DALI Type.
It should work seamlessly with all other DALI Compliant products and responding to all commands and requests for status etc.
A product which is DALI Compatible should not have the DALI Logo on it. It may not comply with a few or many of its DALI Type requirements.
It might do the basic command functions, turn on turn off etc, but may not report faults or running hours etc correctly or at all.
With all this uncertainty comes risk, in particular risk mitigation and interoperability is one of the core reasons for using DALI compliant products.
There are many reasons that DALI Compatible products are in the market, including:
- A new DALI Type standard is still being formalised and manufacturers want to start selling the product they have developed to meet the new (but as yet unreleased standard). They may not meet all the requirements of the finished standard once it is released.
- The company developing the product may not want to go through the expense of having their DALI products tested by independent test authorities using the official DALI tester – and if it’s not going to be tested why bother doing everything the standard requires?
- The company may not want to go to the expense and time to develop a product that does everything that the relevant DALI standard requires as they don’t believe that some/most of the DALI features are important or needed – but your installation might.
One Good Reason Not To Use DALI Compatible Products
You won’t know what it will or won’t do until you’ve installed and used it in every possible scenario.
This could result in a minor irritation or a complete removal of the Compatible part to be replaced
with Compliant products.