Casambi vs DALI: Which system to choose?

When you want to finetune lighting down to the last detail, light management systems are the way to go. DALI has been popular in many lighting projects for years. On the other hand, Casambi is making an unmissable advance. The question we often get at Light4U is: when do I apply DALI and when Casambi?

Before answering that question, let’s briefly go back to the basics. A light management system uses hardware and software to get the most out of your lighting. With a single system, you can set up various lighting scenarios: the correct output and the perfect color temperature, in the right place and at the right time. With the most advanced systems, you can even gain extensive insight into your energy consumption. In short: if you want to control your lighting down to the last detail, such a smart system is a must.

Casambi: wireless favorite

But which system to choose? Casambi is immensely popular, and for a good reason. This wireless solution works via Bluetooth (Low Energy technology). With an app, scenes can be created for all connected light points and groups. Switching or dimming is done instantly via the free Casambi app, via existing switches or wireless wall controls. Optionally extended with sensors, which allows lighting installations to operate autonomously. For example, tuned to the presence of people or to the amount of natural light that falls on the illuminated space.

A big advantage is that Casambi is easy to install. Luminaires from the Light4U range are, for the most part available with a Casambi functionality. It is even possible to equip your existing fixtures with such a module. This makes a significant difference in costs. You don’t need to install any extra cabling with whichever option you choose.

Another plus from the Casambi is the Mesh network. Each receiver transmits a received signal. This further increases the limited range of Bluetooth. This way you can build an even more reliable and extensive network with every fixture, switch, or sensor. Working with Bluetooth does mean that you have to be on location to control your lighting. Do you still want to adjust the lighting in the office from home? Then you will have to create a gateway.

Pros:
  • Free Casambi app for operation
  • Quick to set up, easy to customize
  • No additional installation work is required
  • 80% of Light4U fixtures are available with Casambi
  • Casambi module is integrated into the driver and not visible
  • Mesh network extends limited Bluetooth range
  • Both traditional dimmers and DALI/1-10V receivers are available
  • Wireless transmitters available to fit most standard switchgear
Cons:
  • Limited options for controlling lighting than eg DALI
  • Dimmer sensitive to interferences
  • The DALI-1-10V receiver cannot switch large powers

Read more about the functionalities of Casambi here.

DALI: fixed, sensitive and smart

If you choose DALI, you can finetune even more. DALI stands for Digital Addressable Lighting Interface: each fixture has its own unique address. Many of our customers with retail, offices and luxury housing projects use this bus system. The condition is that a fixed network connection is available.

One DALI line can control 64 DALI devices to configure the different rooms in your office, retail environment, or luxury home. A DALI router makes it possible to control even more luminaires.

All components (light sources, switches, and sensors) are connected to this control device via DALI. With special control devices, operation is possible via tablet, smartphone, or switch. DALI has already included many common scenarios, making the schedule easy to set up.

Pros:
  • Simple 2-core standard cable required
  • Easy and fast configuration
  • Create different lighting scenarios
  • Luminaires are solid 0-100% dimmable
  • Automatic dimming control (daylight and presence)
  • Less energy consumption with sufficient daylight
  • Multiple luminaires can be controlled via the DALI interface
  • Find and fix faults quickly
  • No influence from mains failures
Cons:
  • A bus cable is required (challenging to realize in existing home installations)
  • One DALI line can handle only 64 DALI devices.
  • Expensive controls eg from KNX
  • Less flexible to adjust, once installed

In short, with both, Casambi and DALI you can perfectly attune to the use of the space and the presence of daylight at that moment. The highly sensitive sensors continuously measure the presence and light level in every room and adjust accordingly. Is it a sunny day? Then the fixtures dim back. Is someone entering the room? Thanks to motion detection, the light level increases. That makes a huge difference in energy consumption. Dimming with DALI and Casambi is therefore not only a smart but also a sustainable solution.

Need some personal advice?

Both systems have their pros and cons but the biggest difference is that DALI is a wired and fixed solution and Casambi is a wireless solution via Bluetooth. Still not sure which choice to make? We are happy to advise you which control system suits your project best. So let us know your wishes, and let’s build a futureproof lighting solution together. Feel free to contact us.

 

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