Focus on outcomes, without worrying about the addresses

The DALI-2 standard allows up to 64 Control Gear devices to be connected on a single DALI line. These can be ballasts, lamp drivers, emergency drivers, DALI relays and similar.

There is no standard method of connecting the individual DALI Lines into a larger system. Growing beyond a single DALI line is often part of some other system; requiring an installer to create complex routing rules to make different system parts work together.

The RAPIX DALI-2 Lighting Control System allows hundreds of DALI Lines and thousands of luminaires, sensors and wall switches to be used as if they were a single network.

Like most lighting systems, DALI uses addresses. A DALI address applies to a physical device, on a physical piece of wire (the DALI line). When many addresses need to be controlled, the amount of commissioning work and documentation can quickly become difficult and tedious.

Most installers do not care a lot about device addresses – instead they want to perform useful operations on a space in a building. With RAPIX, the installer selects the devices to be controlled together and puts them into a ZONE. All operations are applied to Zones, and the RAPIX system looks after the complexity of making the whole system work.

A zone is a space in a building

Zones can normally be drawn on a floor plan. Examples of small Zones:

  • A single luminaire;
  • A small office;
  • The perimeter lighting of a meeting room;
  • A corridor or walkway.

Zones can also be larger:

  • A large open plan office;
  • A complete meeting room;
  • The entire floor area of a building.

All these Zones are controlled in the same way:

When configuring a switch or sensor, there is no need to be concerned about the size or location of the Zone being controlled. Configuring a large site uses the same simple process as configuring a single room.

So what is a Zone made from?

In its simplest form a Zone still needs to be made up from the DALI addresses of the devices in that space. Device addresses still need to be known in order to define the Zone. But after the Zone is defined all operations apply to the Zone. The separate components (the device addresses that make up the Zone) never need to be a concern again.

On small simple products like the RAPIX eHub and Occupancy Sensor, Zones can only contain DALI addresses: A Short Address, a Group Address, or the Broadcast. On large controllers, like the RAPIX Zone Controller – a Zone can contain other Zones inside it.

This ability to make a Zone contain other Zones inside it allows easy formulation of some common, and quite complex scenarios, such as:

  • A meeting room might contain two zones: projection screen area, and general room lighting.
  • Each zone can be separately controlled, for example from switches. The 2 lighting zones are manually switched on and off.
  • The entire meeting room can be a Zone, made up of the combination of the two smaller Zones. It can then be used with an Occupancy Sensor that turns all lighting off when the area has been vacated for some period of time.

Another example:

  • Office areas are separate Zones.
  • Corridors that link offices are separate Zones.
  • Relationships can be made to keep the corridor lighting on if any office lighting is on.
  • The entire building floor is an enclosing Zone that allows easy control or monitor of the whole floor space.

In the RAPIX products and software, all operations apply to Zones, and the software manages the Zone components.

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