Using ethernet for transmitting lighting data has many benefits. The following lists a few:
- Ethernet (100BaseT/1000BaseT) can control millions of DALI ballasts compared to the 64 that a DALI circuit can support.
- The computer industry is huge! Using ethernet for lighting control provides access to a wide range of low cost products such as switches and radio links.
- Ethernet uses low cost cable that is readily understood by building contractors. This allows all of the lighting cable to be installed and certified before the lighting contractors start their installation.
- Many existing buildings are already wired for ethernet. This allows existing building cable to be used for retrofit or temporary lighting projects.
- Products for moving data around physical barriers, such as cityscape projects or crossing rivers, are readily available. These include a range of technologies such as wifi radio links, laser links and telephony systems such as leased line, ADSL, ISDN, VPN and so forth.
- All ethernet wiring is ‘star’ format. This increases system reliability compared to DALI wiring.
So is Art-Osc the same as Ethernet?
No, Art-Osc is the communication protocol that ‘sits’ on top of ethernet. An analogy is the way that DMX512 ‘sits’ on top of the RS485 standard.
What does Art-Osc offer me that DALI does not?
In addition to all of the benefits listed above:
- It allows DALI commissioning to be performed from a central location via the network.
- It provides simple interfacing to all types of control surface including smartphones and tablets.
- It supports the RDM standard, allowing human readable RDM data to be streamed across the network for analysis, archiving or display.
- Free tools, such as DMX-Workshop, are available to monitor data at any point on the network from a central location.
- Perhaps most importantly, Art-Osc is a public domain, royalty-free protocol.
Are there any drawbacks to using Art-Osc?
No – none!
Will ethernet replace DALI?
No – definitely not. The real point of Art-Osc is that it allows ethernet and DALI to work together, so you get the benefit of both worlds. Products such as ‘DALI gateways’ allow Art-Osc to be converted to DALI for physical connection to the fixtures.