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Eyes On...


Eyes On…


A1 Lighting chats to Helvar’s UK Sales Manager, Peter Rowledge, and newly appointed DALI Chairman and Helvar’s Business Development Director, Peter van der Kolk.


Tell us a little about the formation of the DALI standard… Peter van der Kolk: DALI has been a working digital protocol since the nineties, and was originally conceived for controlling fluorescent lamps. The DALI standard is officially managed by the IEC (International Electro-technical Commission), set out in the technical standard IEC62386. At the time, a great number of proprietary systems were in existence, which became problematic as the lack of interoperability was restrictive. The desire for a truly open standard was the real catalyst behind the development of DALI. A number of manufacturers, including Helvar, began working towards a solution that would accommodate the full spectrum of components, allowing specifiers to be free in their choice of sources and encouraging lower system and life-cycle costs.


How has DALI developed since? Peter Rowledge: As the original founding members of DALI were all largely headquartered in Europe, the protocol has historically been confined to projects in this region. With the rapidly changing landscape of the Global lighting industry, DALI now has a truly global reach. PvdK: Yes, after years of modest growth you can now see a direct correlation between the increasing use of LED light sources and the growing size of the DALI organisation. To illustrate this, DALI has over 70 worldwide members and in the last year the DALI share represented over 50% of all dimmable fluorescent control gear in Europe*. The DALI standard has significantly grown from its first days and is already supporting many devices including ballasts, emergency converters, LED control gear, switching gear and colour control. More exciting work is in progress for extending the control devices such as button switches, motion and light sensors.


How has Helvar adapted to fit with market conditions? PR: We have always flown the flag for DALI over the years, and have continually developed compatible products. We’ve also been pushing the DALI message through our marketing communications and, although at times it has been a lonely furrow to plough, recently we’ve seen doors opening that were closed to us. PvdK: Exactly, this has been replicated at our organisational level. At a recent DALI members assembly we established two dedicated working groups for technical and marketing activities. As LED continues to grow we see the need for DALI solutions increase. This year will be an important one for DALI and, through initiatives like the DALI Awards, we will be aiming to increase the presence and application of DALI as people begin to understand its relationship to LED. To support good practice and interoperability, DALI has recently introduced a DALI test system. Only manufacturers that successfully pass the DALI test system may carry the DALI logo on their products.


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