Digital Systems

Light is a smart network – digital infrastructure with DEXAL

Digitalization is making giant strides. With DEXAL, OSRAM has developed a future-proof interface that will be of great help in making lighting play an important role in digitalization. LED drivers with DEXAL interface lay the foundation for a digital ceiling that connects luminaires with integrated sensors and RF modules to set-up a close-meshed, radio-based network.

OSRAM is thus setting a milestone on the way to the Internet of Things (IoT). By networking lighting, important data can be collected, analyzed and eventually used for new applications that were previously impossible. These include, for example, optimizing energy consumption and space utilization, preventive maintenance of lighting installations and monitoring of room conditions. In principle, however, anything is possible, as digitalization is far from being at its end.

Design the Internet of Things - with DEXAL!

Read also about city and outdoor solutions with DEXAL





Intra-luminaire, bi-directional interface

OSRAM DEXAL is a non-proprietary, intra-luminaire interface which is based on the DALI standard. It provides power and enables bi-directional communications between the OSRAM OPTOTRONIC DEXAL LED driver and the fixture-integrated component.

OSRAM DEXAL technology allows manufactures to create smart, connected fixtures using one interface supported by multiple light management systems (LMS).

How DEXAL benefits agents

As part of a response to a specification which includes smart fixtures, an agent requests an OEM to build a fixture that works with a light management system.

  • DEXAL is a non-proprietary interface for bi-directional communication
  • Luminaires are set up for future smart building applications
  • DEXAL creates smart connected luminaires (smart nodes) compatible with various LMS systems

How DEXAL supports OEM

By utilizing an OSRAM OPTOTRONIC LED driver with DEXAL technology, manufacturers are able to build smart fixtures that support various light management systems.

  • DEXAL is a non-proprietary interface for bi-directional communication
  • Supported by multiple light management systems with “Works with OSRAM DEXAL" components
  • Analytics possibility using luminaire data
  • Significantly reduces the number of supported component configurations

How DEXAL benefits end users

DEXAL enables your fixture to become a smart node on a lighting control network

  • DEXAL extracts valuable, exact fixture-specific data for maintenance service, including:
    • Power and energy consumption
    • Temperature profile
    • Operating hours
    • Diagnostics and more

VIDEO "Digital infrastructure with DEXAL"


Light is ready for the Internet of Things

Read our interview with Hannes Wagner, Product Manager at OSRAM, and learn what an important role DEXAL will play in the development of the digital infrastructure of the future.

OSRAM: Can you briefly explain what DEXAL is?

Hannes Wagner: DEXAL is an intra-luminaire interface for radio-based or sensor-controlled luminaires. The interface supplies both RF modules and sensors with power and also enables the exchange of data within the luminaire. The data is then transferred to a management system via the RF module.

OSRAM: And what happens with the data?

Hannes Wagner: The data is stored and processed both locally and centrally, for example with the cloud-based SiteWorx solution from the OSRAM subsidiary Digital Lumens. The data can be used in a variety of ways – from the simple identification of a luminaire to complex IoT applications. The DEXAL driver itself provides luminaire data, such as energy consumption, temperature and operating hours, which can be analyzed and used for energy optimization or predictive maintenance of the lighting installation.

OSRAM: What is the added value of the involved sensors?

Hannes Wagner: With DEXAL, different sensors of the same infrastructure can be detected and analyzed. Sensors not only collect additional information, but also enable increasingly accurate evaluations through correlation analyses. For example, presence sensors help to analyze and optimize space utilization in buildings. The data of sensors that measure room conditions, such as temperature, humidity or CO2 concentration, can also be monitored so that actions are triggered when limit values are exceeded.

OSRAM: What prompted the development of DEXAL?

Hannes Wagner: The development began in the USA, where lighting control systems with a 1-10 V interface were primarily used. These are limited in terms of homogeneity of dimming and the set-up of flexible lighting groups and require additional wiring, which increases costs and effort. Radio-based systems have a clear advantage in this context. However, a uniform international wireless technology standard for the communication between luminaires does not exist so far. Nevertheless, the need to enable the easy connection of the different RF modules in a luminaire has to be fulfilled. That’s why we have developed DEXAL.

OSRAM: Will there be a uniform wireless technology standard for luminaires in the future?

Hannes Wagner: Most probably not. Every wireless solution has advantages in certain applications, for example in terms of range, simple interaction with mobile devices or data throughput. Therefore, it is foreseeable that there will always be a certain variety of wireless solutions. Thanks to DEXAL, however, luminaire manufacturers can now provide smart, radio-based luminaires in a very easy way.

OSRAM: Are there any other benefits for luminaire manufacturers?

Hannes Wagner: Definitely. With a DEXAL driver, luminaire manufacturers can not only cover different wireless solutions, but also have lower system costs compared to a mains-powered RF module. Fewer components are required, the installation space in the luminaire is reduced and both luminaire approvals and final production tests become easier. The integration of sensors also enhances the value of the luminaire. In addition, DEXAL offers a particularly low stand-by consumption and luminaire manufacturers can use DEXAL drivers to produce both smart and non-smart luminaires because the data transfer can also be deactivated.

OSRAM: And how do lighting designers benefit from DEXAL?

Hannes Wagner: With DEXAL, lighting designers can set up smart buildings with the management system of their choice. By integrating the sensors into the luminaires, the planning effort is significantly reduced and it is also possible to react very quickly to new space requirements, especially in the case of open-plan offices.

OSRAM: The DEXAL interface is compatible with the products of several partners. What role do these partners play?

Hannes Wagner: The DEXAL interface is used both in buildings and outdoors. Each area has different requirements and calls for specific solutions. OSRAM covers both indoor and outdoor applications, but with the help of our partners, we can offer a much wider range of solutions. In the future, we will focus on certain fields, such as industrial applications with the SiteWorx solution from Digital Lumens. However, with the continuous expansion of our partner network, DEXAL will play an important role in many areas.

OSRAM: Do users have to worry that the DEXAL interface will be obsolete in a few years?

Hannes Wagner: Not at all. DEXAL is a future-proof solution as the luminaires can be adapted to the state of the art at any time, for example to new wireless technology standards such as 5G. Updates, upgrades or even complete technology changes are possible over the entire service life of 20 or 30 years.

OSRAM: In your opinion, how long do we have to wait for the Internet of Things?

Hannes Wagner: The past has shown that such developments are progressing faster than originally assumed. It is important to define open interfaces for the communication between the different network nodes. With DEXAL, we have defined such an open interface and thus set an important milestone on the way to the Internet of Things.

Meet our DEXAL Partners

DEXAL is compatible with a growing list of industry-leading light management systems

The successful cooperation between OSRAM and its DEXAL partners ensures that their integrated luminaire components are fully compatible with our DEXAL-based OPTOTRONIC LED drivers when operated together in one system. The DEXAL technology thus enables luminaire manufacturers to integrate a large number of different sensors and light management components, whereas lighting planners greatly appreciate the wider spectrum of choices from which they can select the best matching LMS system and luminaire for their specific project. OSRAM cooperates with its partners to jointly develop the smart luminaires of the future. Parallel to this, OSRAM supports activities for the standardization of this concept in the global lighting industry.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Overview of OSRAM DEXAL partner components

The partnership between OSRAM and its DEXAL partners ensures that their integrated luminaire components are compatible with our DEXAL-based OPTOTRONIC LED drivers when operated together in one system. A partner component is declared as compatible if it fulfills the minimum compatibility requirements.

The table in the PDF gives you an overview of components that have been tested for compliance with our OPTOTRONIC LED drivers with DEXAL technology according to the minimum compatibility requirements.
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