DALI Programming and DALI speed Information

DALI Programming and DALI speed

DALI Address Programming:

Before installing DALI ballasts they need to have their address programmed. Unlike DMX512 there are no address switches so the ballast needs to be powered up and connected to a suitable programmer. Fortunately you are in possession of such a programmer (lucky you) as it comes as part of the software with XTBA DALI converters. See programming mode 999.


Ballasts that have not been programmed are normally supplied in Global mode e.g. they will only respond to a Global command. If you install the ballasts without programming you will end up with a giant single channel installation and you will have to take them out one at a time, program them and then put them back.

DALI Speed:

DALI is a fine protocol for what it was originally designed for. What it was not designed for was fast fades and chasing. Once you have programmed the ballasts connected the converter you are ready to start dimming. Do not be surprised if fast fade times e.g. less the 10 seconds result in a fade that is little ‘steppy’. This is not a problem with the XTBA converter but a function of data rate.

DALI is 200 times slower than DMX as a result the 2 second fade DMX can do will be translated into a two or three step fade. A way around this problem is to reduce the number of channels transmitted using the 8** mode on the converter. Send 32 channels rather than 64 will double the data update rate.

If the converter is being used to control multiple ballasts set to a single address e.g. house light control, then by setting the converter to length 1 Global mode will be sent allowing for maximum data speed.


XTBA is proud to present our exclusive XTBA DALI Quick Start Guide, see here for more details. This guide is provided to de-mystify the secret world of DALI, and is designed to work in conjunction with our new DALI tester / programmer called the XTBA DALI Watch