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Could someone please confirm whether CAT6 cable is suitable for DALI bus wiring in terms of communication protocols and technical compatibility?

Discuss Could someone please confirm whether CAT6 cable is suitable for DALI bus wiring in terms of communication protocols and technical compatibility? in the UK Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

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DALI WIRING

Dear Forum Members,

In my house, I have already installed CAT6 cable specifically for DALI2 D+ and D- bus wiring, utilizing a separate conduit. Power cables have been laid in a distinct conduit as well. Could anyone confirm the practicality and suitability of using CAT6 cable for this application in terms of communication reliability and technical feasibility?

Your insights and expertise on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
 
You cannot use Cat6 cable for the DALI bus, it has to be mains rated cable. The reason is that although the voltage is typically only around 16v there isn't enough isolation from the mains to designate it SELV, so a single point of failure could put 240v on the bus.

Also the Dali Alliance site recommend the bus should be wired in 1.5mm cable and CAT6 is nowhere near that.
 
You cannot use Cat6 cable for the DALI bus, it has to be mains rated cable. The reason is that although the voltage is typically only around 16v there isn't enough isolation from the mains to designate it SELV, so a single point of failure could put 240v on the bus.

Also the Dali Alliance site recommend the bus should be wired in 1.5mm cable and CAT6 is nowhere near that.
I have been using CAT6 cable for DALI bus wiring in certain areas for the past four years without encountering any issues. While I understand the recommended standards advise against this practice, I am seeking clarification on whether a practical workaround could be feasible.

Given that the CAT6 cable has already been installed and cannot be changed at this point, would twisting two pairs within the CAT6 cable for DALI bus wiring, albeit not recommended, be a viable option? I am particularly interested in understanding any potential risks or drawbacks associated with this approach.

Your expert insights on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
 
Title: Using CAT6 Cable for DALI Communication: Practical Considerations for Installations

In modern lighting control systems, efficient communication between devices is crucial for seamless operation and energy efficiency. One of the technologies gaining popularity is DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface), known for its ability to individually control and monitor each light fixture. While DALI systems traditionally use specific wiring standards, there's a growing interest in using CAT6 cables due to their versatility and capability to handle both data and power transmission.

Key Points:

  1. CAT6 Capabilities for DALI Systems:CAT6 cables are designed to transmit data over long distances while maintaining high signal integrity. For DALI systems operating within a range of 60 meters or less, CAT6 cables are well-suited to carry DALI communication signals effectively. The cables' construction, which includes twisted pairs to reduce electromagnetic interference, ensures reliable data transmission critical for DALI operation.
  2. Power Over Ethernet (PoE) Compatibility:A significant advantage of CAT6 cables is their compatibility with Power over Ethernet (PoE) standards. This means CAT6 cables can not only transmit data but also deliver low-voltage power to connected devices, such as DALI drivers. PoE simplifies installation by reducing the need for separate power lines, thereby streamlining the wiring process and potentially lowering installation costs.
  3. Distance Considerations:CAT6 cables are suitable for DALI communication over distances up to 60 meters. This distance range covers most typical installations in commercial and residential buildings, making CAT6 a practical choice for DALI implementations where flexibility and performance are key considerations.
  4. Signal Integrity and Safety:DALI systems operate at low voltages (around 16V), and CAT6 cables are designed to handle these low-voltage signals efficiently. The cables' insulation and shielding properties ensure that DALI communication remains stable and secure, meeting the safety standards required for building installations.
  5. Practical Benefits:Using CAT6 cables for DALI communication offers several practical benefits:
    • Simplified installation with a single cable for data and power (PoE).
    • Reduced installation time and cost compared to separate wiring for data and power.
    • Compatibility with existing Ethernet infrastructure, leveraging familiarity and availability of CAT6 cables in the market.
Conclusion:In conclusion, CAT6 cables provide a robust solution for DALI communication wiring within a range of 60 meters, combining data transmission capabilities with the flexibility of Power over Ethernet. This integration not only enhances efficiency in lighting control systems but also supports scalability and adaptability in modern building automation. By leveraging CAT6 cables for DALI installations, businesses and homeowners can achieve reliable performance and streamlined operations in their lighting management strategies.
 
I have been using CAT6 cable for DALI bus wiring in certain areas for the past four years without encountering any issues.
Nail as a fuse works until it doesn't. When you say certain areas what does that mean?

If you have been doing it like this for 4 years why the need to seek clarification now?

Given that the CAT6 cable has already been installed and cannot be changed at this point, would twisting two pairs within the CAT6 cable for DALI bus wiring, albeit not recommended, be a viable option? I am particularly interested in understanding any potential risks or drawbacks associated with this approach.

With regards to the 1.5mm recommendation this could be relaxed for shorter runs because of the volt drop requirement of not more than 2v, unless you have a very large house or very large runs. 1.5mm is up to 300m generally. Manufacturers give 0.5mm for up to 100m and 0.75mm up to 150m. So CAT6 would be ok in a domestic dwelling for volt drop most probably. However that is trumped by the requirement for mains wiring due to the bus supply not being SELV compliant. Unless you can get clarification that the power supply you are using is SELV compliant on the bus there is no workaround.
 
This thread hasn't been replied to for 14 days, so replying to this one may not get a response. Post a new thread instead.

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