In recent year, the control of Home Lighting System has developed from standalone type to more complicated networking controls. Many building management system and even the security system have incorporate the control of lighting into their system as a total solution to their customers. However, there are still no single universal protocol for the building or lighting control system.
The lighting industry has developed a new standard for communication with electronic ballast. Electronic ballast is a common lighting device that is used in practically every building, factory or residential house. This standard called IEC 929 is an interface standard for communication between a controller and the electronic ballast.
The standard for the control is called DALI, an acronym for Digital Addressable Lighting Interface. DALI is meant for home or industry use which has 2 wire communication connection between the master-slave and slave-slave. It is developed to reduce the cost of implementation.
Among the features that can be applied are dimming features and control for different grouping/section of the building.
The electronic ballasts can have up to 16 groups and each group can have up to 16 different lighting parameters for the lighting scenes. Each controller can controlled up to 64 electronic ballasts.
There are many ways to implement the DALI depending on the cost and requirements of a home or building. Most of the time, a microcontroller is used at both the slave and the master controller units as this is one of the most cost effective ways to implement the system.
Freescale Semiconductor has developed a prototype and solution based on DALI using its MC68HC908KX8 device. This is a good reference project for students and beginners to inter-networking of devices. The full application design can be downloaded from its website.
When implementing this project, take into consideration the wires used. Learn and find out more about the effect of cross talk and methods that are used to overcome it. You will enjoy doing this project if this is your first time of doing networking of devices.