HomeBuildingsDALI Alliance intros new Bluetooth gateway spec for in-building mesh networks

DALI Alliance intros new Bluetooth gateway spec for in-building mesh networks

The DALI Alliance, the trade group representing the DALI smart-lighting interface, has released a new gateway specification to allow intelligent lighting fixtures to talk to Bluetooth mesh networks, and to share analytics across building management systems.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the trade association that oversees Bluetooth technology, has been working for at least 12 months with the DALI Alliance, also known as the Digital Illumination Interface Alliance (DiiA), to promote their technologies as complementary IoT standards for commercial indoor lighting systems.

Smart lighting systems combine connected luminaires with lighting-control systems. Bluetooth mesh is an option to connect the hardware and software in a smart lighting system, and the Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) protocol works as an interconnect mechanism to enable two-way control of it. Mesh-based architecture eliminates single points of failure, the argument goes.

The newly released Bluetooth Mesh to DALI Gateway Specification simplifies the certification and qualification of devices using the two standards, including connected devices in building control systems for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), security systems, room occupancy analytics, and indoor navigation and asset tracking. The new spec provides cross-vendor interoperability between lighting components, wireless control systems, and intelligent luminaires, a statement from the pair said.

The DALI Alliance has been driving the adoption of DALI-2 as the latest version of the DALI protocol, including with a programme of certified devices, under the D4i brand. The Bluetooth SIG will specify a standardised Bluetooth mesh interface for DALI lighting devices. The pair will also “make it easier for vendors to complete” Bluetooth and DALI-2 certification to ensure interoperability.

Lighting products from Bluetooth member companies have contributed to a major jump in shipments of Bluetooth-based lighting solutions, also as a platform for wider smart-building functions; the Bluetooth SIG is forecasting a 130 percent compound annual growth (CAGR) by 2026. It cites large-scale implementations in warehouses, retail, horticulture and commercial offices.

Szymon Slupik, president and chief technology officer at Silvair, commented: “DALI and Bluetooth mesh are a great match because this allows us to focus on amplifying the luminaire data. A great value is now possible because of this gateway as DALI offers a wealth of valuable standardized luminaire data, including real-time energy and power use monitoring and predictive maintenance.” 

Mark Powell, chief executive at the Bluetooth SIG, said: “This technology breakthrough for the lighting sector will further accelerate the development of even-more advanced IoT-enabled intelligent lighting systems. This collaboration with DALI, the leading IoT standard for luminaires, and Bluetooth, the leading IoT standard for wireless lighting control, demonstrates technology standards organizations working together to fuel growth in emerging markets.”

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