DALI Rules

DALI Logo Trademark 470x155 - DALI RulesOK – so the job you’ve just been given has DALI lighting in it – what do you need to know?

There are a great many long and complex articles that can be read to gain information about the ‘DALI rules’ that need to be followed with a DALI system   . . . or alternatively you can have a quick look at our summary below!

  • No more than 64 DALI devices EVER on a single DALI line. Doesn’t matter what product, which manufacturer – not EVER more than 64 per line. Consider 64 to be your magic number! Best practice would suggest to allow around 50-55 devices per line – to ensure you have some wriggle room.
  • DALI needs 2-core. This can be a standard 1.5mm twin TPS. There is no requirement to run DALI cabling separate to the mains cable.
  • You can run star wiring, daisy, whatever – but NO loop!
  • The choice of cable will determine maximum length of cable per line. 1.5mm (maximum size for DALI) will allow you to run 300m. Using a thicker cable will not allow more than 300m. This is total length, including any stars, daisy chains, etc.
  • Commissioning can only be done once the physical ballast is installed, with wiring connected, and 230V circuit connected. To commission the DALI system properly the ballast receives an address, and the light is turned on/off, identifying the ballast.

Before calling on the controls provider to commission the DALI lights, we would suggest working through the Pre-Commissioning checklist below. Before starting the checklist, do ensure there is no power to any device.


  1. Do ALL lamps turn ON 100% when power is applied to the circuit (without DALI powered up)? If not, check the basics: terminations, MCBs, etc.
  2. With power on lighting circuit, test DALI line cables to ensure they are voltage free. If there is voltage DO NOT connect the DALI power supply until you’ve found fault(s) and re-tested.
  3. When DALI power is turned on, measure voltage on DALI line – there should be no more than a 2V difference between the DALI power supply and the furthermost end of line. If there is, check connects and length of cable. If this cannot be resolved there will be programming issues.
  4. No more than 64 devices are connected on the DALI line. If there are more the system cannot be programmed. Talk to us for a possible solution.

Need further assistance?

This is our area of expertise – New Zealand wide. We are always available at the end of the phone to answer any questions or to assist with the design of a DALI project. We have a wide range of possible solutions to offer for any DALI project. We pride ourselves on being ‘Electrical Contractor friendly’.  We are here to help!