DALI and Self-Test

Automatic testing of emergency lighting equipment

DALI and Self-Test logos

Standards dictate that emergency escape lighting systems require routine inspections and tests to be done. The results of these tests must be maintained. If automatic testing is used, the results of a monthly short duration test and an annual full-rated duration test should be recorded.

EN 62034:2012 – Automatic Test Systems for Battery Powered Emergency Escape Lighting covers both self-contained stand-alone luminaires (SELF-TEST) and self-contained centrally monitored luminaires (DALI).

What is monitored/tested?
Automatic monitoring includes: status of battery charging and mains supply. Automatic testing includes: battery charge condition, functional test and duration test.

How to test
Automatic test systems require that an annual duration test shall only be started after the battery has had an uninterrupted 24 hour charge period.

Both the DALI and Self-Test protocols ensure you will always know the status of your emergency fitting. When purchasing, you don’t have to choose because both protocols are included in ELP LED products with the /DALI option.


Self-Test fittings with power on and connected to a DALI bus are immediately visible to your DALI command centre. Unless programmed by the DALI controller, the fitting will enter a self-commissioning phase. Once a DALI command is received the fitting enters DALI mode and will perform functional and duration tests according to your DALI settings.


Self-Test fittings perform a self-commissioning test at first power on. After charging for 24 hours a full duration test (3 hours) is performed. Initial function and duration tests are randomly generated. They are then performed in accordance with standard requirements (every 7 days for function tests and every 52 weeks for duration tests).

DALI/Self-Test building schematic

What is DALI?

DALI logoDALI stands for Digital Addressable Lighting Interface. It is a testing and control system that offers both flexibility and reliability. The DALI protocol is set out in the technical standard IEC 62386. The DALI technology is administered by DALI-AG. This is a working group set up by leading manufacturers and institutions in the field of digital lighting control to promote DALI technology and applications.

ELP are proud to be members of DALI AG. Our DALI emergency lighting modules are designed to be compatible with IEC 62386-202. Our modules are DALI device type 1. They are suitable for use on a dedicated DALI emergency lighting system. They are also suitable for use in conjunction with other DALI compatible devices as part of a DALI general lighting system.

DALI features

DALI boasts many features, including:

  • Mains power lines will not interfere with DALI data lines so they can be laid together.
  • DALI data lines are not polarity conscious.
  • DALI uses a system of distributed intelligence; a controller operates as a ‘master’ and DALI units react only as ‘slaves’.
  • Status feedback reports can be issued by the DALI units.

DALI Operating Modes

ELP DALI modules adapt their operating mode depending on whether a DALI bus/signal is connected. The following describes the DALI operating mode:

The module can be connected to the DALI bus via non-polarity sensitive da/da terminals. Once the module has received a valid DALI command, the module enters DALI mode and adopts default settings. These include a function test interval of 7 days and a duration test interval of 52 weeks. Settings can be modified via the DALI bus using appropriate DALI configuration commands. These commands are detailed in IEC 62386-202. If the DALI bus is disconnected, the module will still use the DALI mode settings. It does not revert back to the initial, randomly generated, functional and duration test dates.

DALI testing options

Modules may be configured for two types of testing regimes when operating with a DALI bus:

Locally controlled testing

Function and duration tests are initiated by the module. ie modules perform automatic self-testing according to the locally stored settings.

Centrally controlled testing

Function and duration tests are initiated by the master controller if the automatic self-testing is disabled.

Local status indicators – DALI and Self-Test

A single bi-colour indicator LED is fitted in all DALI/Self-Test products. This LED is clearly visible for manual inspection. It indicates the module status. The LED shows permanent green or flashing green when conditions are normal and permanent red or flashing red if a fault condition is present.

Types of test

DALI and Self-Test modules perform two types of test, as defined in IEC 62034:

Function test

A function test is a 30 second test that simulates a mains failure and checks the operation of the emergency light source from the battery supply.


The local indicator LED fast flashes green whilst the function test is in progress.

If there is a failure during a function test the local indicator LED either changes to a permanent, or flashing red and the appropriate DALI status flag is set.

Duration test

A duration test simulates a mains failure. It also checks the operation of the emergency light source from the battery supply for the rated duration of the module.


The local indicator LED slowly flashes green whilst the duration test is in progress.

If there is a failure during a duration test the local indicator LED either changes to a permanent, or flashing red and the appropriate DALI status flag is set.

The battery is required to be fully charged before a duration test can be started.