Lighting technology continues to accelerate at an unparalleled rate. The ability to monitor luminaires, track their status, and control nearly every aspect of their functionality opens the doors to limitless possibilities.
DALI is at the forefront of this movement.
DALI provides operators with more control over lighting fixtures than ever before—especially when it comes to streetlight LED drivers.
Let’s dive into what DALI is and how DALI is used in street lighting and smart city applications.
DALI is short for Digital Addressable Lighting Interface—it’s a standard communication protocol that powers lighting equipment and gives far more control to the lighting operator. It’s a system that provides a means for a two-way connection:
DALI was introduced to the world in the 1990s, with its successor, DALI 2, launching in 2014. As DALI continues to evolve, the potential for new applications and uses moves forward as well.
The biggest requirement for effectively using DALI in a larger system is the implementation of well-trained personnel and software tools. In most cases, the system is easy to install.
As we mentioned, technological advancements with DALI have enabled operators to unlock potential uses that leave a lasting impact.
This is especially true when it comes to street lighting. Classic street lights have become the target for operators to become a part of digital infrastructure. DALI’s light monitoring capabilities open the doors to huge energy savings with outdoor light fixtures, such as street lights.
Take this overpass in X’ian, which is a large city and the capital of the Shaanxi province in China, for example. An entire DALI-controlled lighting system was installed on the fences and the undersides of the bridges, which includes nearly 10,000 LED drivers and supporting components. The installation was made to help create a more welcoming space in the areas underneath the overpass.
However, without the high level of control provided by DALI, this project would never have come to fruition. DALI not only allows the operators to shut off and turn on the lights digitally but also gives operators full control over the brightness and color of the lights. This is crucial for changing the lights depending on the flow of traffic, or even to provide welcoming light colors in response to certain holidays.
DALI has also helped make sizable strides towards the creation of “smart cities”.
The ability to control street lights at will is only one part of the idea behind smart cities. Experts are already trying to push the boundaries of the DALI system with the capability to monitor other pertinent information, such as weather conditions, cameras, security usage, digital signage, and more.
DALI’s light monitoring capabilities provide nearly endless possibilities for the advancement of these smart cities. Operators have a system that is simple to wire and set up, yet highly functional.
GRE Alpha is an expert in creating DALI LED drivers that are rugged enough to support harsh outdoor applications. Our drivers are ideal for outdoor environments supporting ambient temperatures of -20°C to 50°C (full load) and humidity levels ranging from 5%-95%.
In addition to the manufacturing of these quality LED drivers, our affiliated firm, GRE Manufacturing, has been an accredited DALI testing facility since 2018.
GRE Alpha is proud of the current state of our partnership with DALI while also looking forward to future advancements. The opportunity to continue moving forward with DALI technology excites us and keeps us motivated to stay up to date with the latest DALI information.
Progression in LED technology continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible.
One of the biggest benefits of these advances is the effect of LED lighting on the horticulture industry. With horticultural LEDs, indoor gardening is not only a possibility—it’s a highly efficient method for growing plants.
Let’s look at the importance of horticultural LED lighting and how GRE Alpha is helping to advance the industry.
The Importance of Horticultural LEDs and Grow Lights
Growing plants effectively requires a combination of several factors, including nutrients, air, water, and the proper temperature. Achieving this ideal situation can be difficult, especially when the natural lighting conditions are less-than-stellar.
This is where horticultural LED lighting really makes a difference.
LED lighting provides significant advantages over traditional, existing horticultural lighting. For starters, LED lighting provides the best possible energy efficiency in a horticultural environment. LEDs tend to last longer and consume less power when compared to their older counterparts. With LEDs, the light’s spectral composition is completely controllable down to precise measurements which can influence plant growth. A wide spectral output provided by LED lighting makes it possible to effectively grow all sorts of different plants depending on their specific lighting requirements and conditions. In some cases, the presence of LED lighting can even improve the taste of certain plants.
As LED technology advances, so do the benefits to horticulture. LEDs are becoming increasingly easy to integrate into digital and programmable systems, meaning that the current state of lighting can be monitored and altered accordingly.
What Features To Look For in an LED Driver
Powering horticultural LEDs is impossible without a quality LED driver.
When searching for an LED driver, here are some potential features to look out for.
Smart driver technology
Some drivers on the market are known as “smart drivers” These LED drivers offer additional functionality achieved through a high-end processor. For example, a connected interface with the capability to communicate with the rest of the lighting system’s network.
With a wireless or cable connection, the operator can control several aspects of the lighting function, such as brightness, on/off scheduling, temperature, electrical use, and more.
Smart driver technology costs tend to be higher, meaning that they’re mostly found in commercial or industrial settings. However, the possibility for new developments in applications and interfaces make them an intriguing feature to monitor.
Dimming is often a desired feature in horticultural environments.
One common method of providing dimmable features to LED lighting is with DALI, or “Digital Addressable Lighting Interface”. DALI is a standard communication protocol that gives power to lighting equipment while also putting more control in the operator's hands. For example, a grower is able to make precise adjustments to light intensity using DALI technology.
How GRE Alpha Impacts the Horticultural LED Industry
LED drivers in a horticultural setting are exposed to many different elements that could cause malfunctions, such as humidity, moisture, and higher temperatures. There’s no avoiding these elements since they’re all associated with plant growth.
This means that LED drivers not only have to be efficient, but also highly reliable and durable.
We know that having the right lighting control system makes all the difference when it comes to effective plant growth. That’s why GRE Alpha provides a wide range of lighting control solutions suitable for a horticultural environment. Our LED powering solutions are robust and stand up to the elevated temperatures and other environmental conditions associated with plant growth.
Want to Learn More About Horticultural LEDs?
GRE Alpha is committed not only to providing high-quality and industry-leading LED technology, but also to keeping our audience up to date with the latest LED drive information.
For more information on horticultural lighting solutions from GRE Alpha, visit our specialty solutions page.
GRE Alpha is excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at the 2022 LightFair International Trade Show from June 21st to the 23rd.
The trade show showcases the best in lighting design, technology, architecture, urban planning, and more. LightFair is one of the most important events for the LED lighting industry and is the place to learn about the latest technology and industry insights. It’s also a great opportunity for people to see GRE Alpha dimming modules firsthand. Attendees will be able to visit our skilled team for in-person product demonstrations at booth 2377 in the West Hall.
GRE Alpha is showcasing products featuring compatibility with some of our partners, such as Casambi, Tuya, and Enocean. While the trade shows were on hold, GRE continued to innovate with top-notch partners. For example, with Casambi, GRE launched the SLD-DIM-CB Dimming Module—a 240 watt single-channel output constant voltage LED dimming module that allows for seamless integration with Casambi-enabled luminaires, sensors, wall-mounted and wireless switches.
Here are some of the featured products for 2022:
GRE Alpha is honored to be a repeat guest at the 2022 LightFair International Trade Show and we can’t wait to demonstrate our cutting-edge products.
For more information about the 2022 LightFair International Trade Show, check out this link.
In September of 2021, a new regulation was passed in the EU impacting LED lighting: The Ecodesign Regulation. Every aspect of this new regulation is about maintaining high standards that enhance the wellbeing of those regularly exposed to LED light sources—especially concerning light flicker.
Light flicker is defined as rapid and repeated changes to the overall brightness of a light source over time. But what effect does this have on the LED driver industry?
Places all around the world have developed regulations designed to mitigate the effects of light flicker—including the EU.
Let’s dive into the new EU Ecodesign regulation, how it relates to light flicker, and what that means for LED drivers.
In September of 2021, the new Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/2020 for light source Ecodesign went into effect. Along with regulating other aspects of lighting, such as energy efficiency, one of the most important parts of the new Ecodesign regulation revolves around light flicker and stroboscopic effects.
Light flickering can cause numerous problems, such as migraines, eye strain, headaches, and more. The new regulation aims to eliminate these problems, among other things.
The EU Ecodesign Regulation introduces a brand new method for testing light flicker: PstLM.
PstLM is a metric used to measure flicker severity in the short-term. When testing light sources on the PstLM scale, it’s important to test in a lab-style environment to ensure maximum accuracy. Tests should be performed with no other light sources nearby that could interfere with the test. The testing device is known as a flicker meter.
With the new regulation in place, lighting products testing at PstLM ≤ 1.0 are deemed acceptable to be put on the EU market.
The EU regulation isn’t the first of its kind. As light flickering has grown into a larger issue, similar regulations have popped up around the world over the past few years.
For example, back in January 2017, the state of California introduced requirements for light sources to have less than 30% flicker when operating at frequencies below 200hz.
The EU isn’t the only area where awareness surrounding light flicker has grown.
To avoid the detrimental effects of light flicker, the question is: What should you be looking for in an LED driver?
Putting it simply, you’ll want to select flicker-free LED drivers. LED drivers labelled “flicker-free” are defined as LED drivers that produce less than 5% light flicker.
Products such as GRE Alpha’s ELV Dimmable LED Driver take flicker-free LED drivers one step further, using patented technology to allow full range, flicker free dimming of LED lighting fixtures.
GRE Alpha is proud to provide flicker-free LED drivers that adhere to the new EU Ecodesign regulations (and other light source regulations around the world). Our commitment to remaining ahead of the curve also extends to our valued partners, such as EnOcean. Together with our partners, GRE Alpha continues to produce high quality, reliable LED drivers that address these flickering issues.
The GRE Alpha team is here to answer all of your questions regarding the new EU Ecodesign regulations, flicker-free LED drivers, and more. Reach out to us. We’re happy to help.
For over two decades, GRE Alpha’s diverse team of LED power conversion specialists have been building upon the latest in power management technology, providing customers with cutting edge, cost-effective, safe, adaptable and high performing LED powering products. Along the way, partnerships with innovative companies like EnOcean, Zigbee, XiCato, and Casambi resulted in advanced dimming modules featuring WIFI and BLE (Bluetooth low energy).
Now, in a collaboration with Tuya, a leading global IoT Cloud Platform that that enables smart home products to come to life, GRE is launching a new dimming module. It is among the first that supports both BLE and WIFI, so you no longer need to choose. We are very excited about this and will be sharing full details soon.
Simply put, Bluetooth allows for short-range data transfer between devices while WIFI allows devices to connect to the Internet. Together in a single dimming module, you get a complete, versatile, and user-friendly solution to turn your LED lighting into IoT connected smart devices.
As innovations in connectivity and AI shift into full gear, LED powering will become even more intelligent, connective, and efficient. Whether its dimming, color tuning, timing, linkage, sensing or voice control, GRE’s newest dimming module has what it takes to help put your lighting project on the forefront of the WIFI ecosystem.
If you have any questions about the new dimming module or any of our other high quality LED dimmers and drivers, we are here for you. Please do not hesitate to contact us. Our customer service and support teams are always eager to help.