To PoE and not, that’s the issue! If the legendary English poet, playwright, and actor William Shakespeare were alive today, we’re pretty sure this would be his topic!
What exactly is PoE mean, and what does PoE connect to lighting? PoE refers to Power over Ethernet. This technology can deliver electric power and network data to be transmitted concurrently over an ethernet cable that is twisted. It typically consists of two main products: powered gadgets (PDs) and power equipment for sourcing (PSE). Some examples of PoE devices include IP phones (VoIP), IP security cameras, and Wireless Access Points (WAP). With the advent of PoE lighting fixtures, lighting fixtures using the standard Ethernet cable draw electricity directly from PoE switches and send with data, removing the requirement for separate electrical cables. Each lighting fixture has an IP address, allowing two-way communication to your structure’s Building Management System (BMS). PoE technology can provide control and networking capabilities to LED systems, which AC main power can’t provide.
Since PoE lighting is based on Ethernet cables, it can be an excellent solution for indoor environments like offices, data centers, hospitals, and even schools.
Below are several options for energy efficiency and control that PoE lighting could provide.
- They are controlling the fixtures on an individual basis.
- Eliminates all high voltage circuit alignments above the ceiling and any metal conduits necessary to run the high voltage wire.
- It eliminates the requirement for a Certified Electrician to assist with the installation of fixtures as well as running the network cable, as LEDs are Low-Voltage DC Devices.
- Fixtures can be placed where required and then moved or changed without shutting off the power to the area.
- Internet of Things (IoT) lets you collect the devices’ data and track patterns to maximize energy savings while optimizing space and increasing productivity. Sensors can also signal occupied spaces during emergency situations, allowing rescue workers to identify trapped occupants!
- Many more devices are designed to work with PoE, enhancing the design possibilities.
- Make adjustments to the level of lighting depending on the function of the room. For example, a room that was once a lab for science has been transformed into a classroom. The science lab will require at least 100-foot candles in a classroom with a floor. However, the classroom needs 40-foot candles. PoE lighting systems offer the ability to reduce the candles in feet to meet the latest lighting requirements of the space without having to purchase new lighting fixtures.
- Ensure emergency routes are illuminated in the situation in the event of an emergency.
- Circadian rhythm optimization allows you to simulate natural light indoors by programming the fixture’s lamp to alter the colour temperature while reducing blue light wavelengths in the evening.
Lighting using PoE
On the other hand, there are other aspects to consider when evaluating lighting using PoE. Consider security concerns (network hacking) and the cost of equipment (proprietary systems) and training and certifications, upkeep of equipment and cable distance, the maximum electrical load of a switch, and space for IT or lumen requirements.
In the end, it’s the customer we design for, so it is our responsibility to listen to them. Know what they want and guide them towards the illumination control that meets the expectations of their clients.
Contact us if you need assistance in your next lighting Design. We are also able to assist with your AV/Technology Systems or Acoustical Design requirements!
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