Layering DALI Lighting Controls in Australian Office Buildings

Layering DALI Lighting Controls AustraliaThe process of Layering DALI lighting Controls  in Australian Office Buildings helps both facility owners and tenants decrease energy consumption and increase Indoor Environmental Quality.

These layering methods used are also relevant to hospitals, courtrooms, police stations, hotels, bars and clubs and even retirement villages.

In our earlier article, Six Smart DALI Lighting Control Strategies for Smart Buildings, we discussed the foundation methods of all lighting control systems.

With the introduction of more advanced strategies, or Layering DALI Lighting Controls Systems strategies, these systems can:

  1. Help property owners demand higher rents and add Captial Value by providing compliance to NCC (BCA), NABERS and Green Star

  2. Ensure automated energy savings are achieved by accessing further automation opportunities of the building facility where human interaction is not needed.

  3. Increase energy savings from lighting and interconnected systems.

  4. Enhance the functionality and comfort of Australian Office Buildings to the occupants.

6 Advanced Strategies for Layering DALI lighting Controls Systems

However, maximising energy savings without consideration of the occupants is a path which often leads to these DALI lighting controls systems being disabled by facility managers or defeated by the occupants to make their work space livable.

Care in how these are implemented is advised.

layering DALI lighting controlsDALI Lighting Control Strategy 1: Load Shed

In the event of a black-out or brown out – or during high cost tariff periods –  the ability to control the DALI lighting control system into a low energy consumption state to reduce stress on generators, ensure base egress lighting requirements are maintained.

Typically, a simple interface message activates a LOAD SHED scene in the DALI lighting control system to turn some lights off, dim other lights to lower levels and maintain lighting in essential areas, whilst limiting lighting in non essential areas.

Different load shed states can be activated depending on the type of event. That is, whether its in response to an electricity incident or due to an energy savings tariff strategy.

Security walk Thru strategyDALI Lighting Control Strategy 2: Security Walk Thru

A special DALI Lighting Control scene focused on saving energy without inhibiting building security.

During an after hours event, whilst security personnel are undertaking their floor walk-thru rounds, a special button is provided which enables the DALI lighting control system to illuminate the space at a level to allow a security inspection and safe  pedestrian activity.

Typically this Security Walk Thru scene:

  1. Does not activate all lighting in the space
  2. Provides lighting for  short period of time prior to reverting back to the space’s standby lighting level
  3. Does not activate any connected HVAC systems that may be interfaced with lighting


In this way the minimum amount of energy, and therefore cost, is expended whilst security is maximised.


DALI Lighting Control Strategy 3: Cleaners function

Cleaners FunctionA cleaners function is a special DALI Lighting Control scene focused on saving energy without inhibiting the cleaners from performing their jobs.

After hours when the cleaners arrive to undertake their duties a special button is provided which when pressed provides a lighting level for a pre-determined amount of time.

The lighting level will typically be less than the normal operating lighting level, providing energy savings and will automatically switch back to its previous state after short pre-determined time – whether that be off or to a security lighting level.

Importantly the lighting level should be sufficient to enable correct performance of cleaning duties and should remain on for a typical time so the cleaners don’t have to rush through and miss cleaning areas.

A more advanced method is to provide a cleaners button and link it with the occupancy or motion detectors, if installed. During the time when the cleaners button is active the motion sensors will provide lighting, to a pre-determined cleaning level for a predetermined time.


The personality of the DALI Lighting Control Systems is thus changed only when the cleaners function is activated.


Corridor Hold offDALI Lighting Control Strategy 4: Corridor hold off

This is a DALI Lighting Control Strategy focused on saving energy whilst balancing occupant comfort, especially after hours in office spaces.

The DALI lighting control system is configured in such a way to ensure that if occupants are working after hours, that not only does the lighting in their area remain on, the egress pathways -corridors – and sometimes amenities also remain on.

In this way the lighting is only provided where light is needed and egress pathways remain lit so the occupants can safely exit, whether that be during an emergency event or in the course of finishing work for the day.

When their work area is turned off as they no longer occupy that space the associated corridors can also be switched off or dimmed. Of course the corridor hold off can be linked to multiple areas, so if 1 occupant leaves it will remain on, even if there are others that use that same corridor.



DALI Lighting Control Strategy 5: Alarm and panic scenarios

Often the simplest of scenarios to provide lighting for, Alarm and panic scenarios, can be manually or automatically activated depending on the application.

In essence this DALI Lighting Control Strategy ensures the right amount of light is provided to ensure safe egress in the case of a life threatening incident such as a fire or attack.

These events can be triggered manually, for example, by pressing a large red emergency button. They can also be activated automatically by other systems, such as FIP (Fire Indication Panels) which are interconnected to the DALI Lighting Control System.

Upon receipt of the correct message, in the case a Fire event, the system can be programmed to turn on all lights to a brighter level or only lights in the affected Fire zone, including egress paths. Many options and configurable scenarios are possible depending on local regulations and building owner and tenants requirements.

With some simple smarts the security of these Alarm and panic scenarios can be enhanced too. For example, once an Alarm or Panic event is active all motion sensors and connected wall switches can be deactivated so people in the space cannot – accidentally or deliberately – turn lights off and occupancy sensor’s normal operation will be temporarily interrupted.

Once the system is returned to normal operation these control panels and sensors return to normal operation.


After-hours-extension-DALI-lighting-control-strategyDALI Lighting Control Strategy 6: After Hours extension

After hours extension is an energy saving technique focused on providing occupants the ability to light their area – with associated amenities and egress – without keeping a whole building lit.

Typically, a simple After Hours lighting button is provided which will provide lighting after the normal building shut down sequence has occurred.

In this way, energy savings is maximised as an entire building or tenancy is not lit. Only the area and associated egress paths and amenities remain illuminated, whilst the remainder of the lighting is off or in its standby state.

This DALI Lighting Control Strategy provides flexibility in the timing. That is, for how long will After Hours lighting be provided. Typical by pressing the After Hours Lighting button the occupant is provided between 1 to 2 hours additional lighting.

At the end of the lighting extension a warning is given, such as dimming the lights ot flashing the lights. This provides the occupant time to press for more lighting.

However if the button is not pressed then the floor will run its shut down sequence and move into its normal after hours mode to ensure energy savings.

Just a Sample of DALI Lighting Control Strategies

These 6 strategies represent a sample of some of the commonly used methods used with DALI lighting control systems to save energy and implement more intelligent Australian office buildings.

If you would like help in designing a DALI system, need help understanding which DALI systems best suits your application or need someone to help commission a DALI control system, contact us.

Now its Your Turn

Did we miss one of your favourite lighting control strategies for saving energy? Tell us about it in the comments below.