[Solved] To DALI or not, and what else to look out for with my automaton attempt?

This is a generic query about lighting, though controllable via openHAB.

Some may recall my post some five years ago along the lines of “no light switches” for a new build. Well, life throws spanners in the works, and the house is still under construction. :slight_smile:

The break was an advantage, as it gave me time for further thinking, and waiting for the world to catch-up on my ideas. My architecture will not change much; still rPi with OH, MQTT and sensors based on Arduinos.
However, the lighting discussion has flared up again, and I am looking for input to enhance my horizon.

The grand plan ATM is:

  1. openHAB as orchestrator
  2. sub-boards with mains and Ethernet in each room
  3. sub-board contains rPi with touch panel on door for OH control (the rPi idea only surfaced today; was looking at some tablet, but power connection is always a problem; with a rPi, options are greater; sound output, mirror type bigger panel, Bluetooth, WiFi, wired etc.)
  4. each of the standard rooms has an LED in each quadrant, tune-able white; hence needing two channels in DALI speak
  5. each room has a centre light (e.g. oyster type), which includes any required sensors (temp/humi, light, presence), and which can ‘potentially’ switched with one light switch (capactive, though providing on|off, dim-up|-down); the oyster may look not its best, but avoids cables everywhere otherwise.

While I have a handle on most of these things, and I have been looking at DALI the last few days, and came up with a bunch of questions:

  1. is there a better system (than DALI) to switch/dim LEDs (not strips)?
  2. the constant current vs. constant voltage has me puzzled, leading to choosing series or parallel connections. Parallel appears to be the better solution, in case one LED fails
  3. Most drivers are constant current drivers
  4. Which manufacturer seems to to have value-for-money controllers, drivers, etc.
  5. Can openHAB control a DALI gateway? Which one?

What other questions should I ask or be concerned with?
In fact, the lighting business has been the most daunting for me to date… too many options; and some have costs that are simply way off.

Well, further thinking took place, which led to to abandoning the DALI idea, and taking a custom approach: 16-channel dimmable (individually addressable) LED drivers, catering for 8 tunable whites… connected to a room controller… controlled by openHAB.

For a background: the house has 87 LEDs, all tuneable, 12W (2x6W), and be grouped any way I like, thus providing some redundancy per room, by running half the lights on another driver. E.g. two rooms 8 LEDs each, drive 4 in each room of one controller; if one controller fails, half the lights are still working per room.

It took me a couple of days to plan it all out, and this should work. All low voltage (<-48V).