Business leaders are currently engaged with the logistics of surviving a world in the throes of a pandemic. Flexibility, creativity, and innovation are helping their businesses to pull through. One of the most widely accepted workplace adaptations has been the adoption of the hybrid work model. This limber way of doing business demands open-mindedness, creativity, sustainability, secure connectedness and must offer an environment to workers that are geared toward health and wellbeing. All of this is a tall order. This article highlights one of the best tools available to assist in developing a thriving office environment that meets the needs of the workplace in 2021 and beyond: PoE LED lighting.
What is PoE lighting?
Power over Ethernet (PoE) lighting is a smart lighting solution that combines light-emitting diode (LED) luminaires with digital controls to achieve a desired lighting effect. This up-to-date lighting solution uses an Ethernet cable to provide low-voltage power to LED lighting fixtures (called luminaries) and transmit data between the fixtures and the control software. To fully understand PoE lighting, we need to break our explanation down to its two main technologies: Power over Ethernet (PoE) and Light-Emitting Diode (LED).
What is PoE?
PoE technology supplies low-voltage (less than 100W) electrical power and data transmission to network powered devices (PDs) over a single twisted-pair copper Ethernet cable. This technology eliminates the need for a separate AC power source and, thus, the need for proximity to power outlets.
PoE is a low-cost, flexible, reliable, safe, and secure powering source for smart devices. And it is pivotal to environments that deploy several smart network-connected devices, such as lighting, window shades, sensors, HVAC, controllers, cameras, and security systems.
What is LED lighting?
LED Magazine describes LED technology as follows:
In the simplest terms, a light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor device that emits light when an electric current is passed through it. Light is produced when the particles that carry the current (known as electrons and holes) combine together within the semiconductor material.
Since light is generated within the solid semiconductor material, LEDs are described as split-state devices. The term split-state lighting distinguishes this lighting technology from other sources that use heated filaments (incandescent and tungsten halogen lamps) or gas discharge (fluorescent lamps).
How does PoE lighting work?
Standard CAT5/6 cables are used to send and receive data, enabling LED lights to respond to prompts from sensors while also providing valuable data analytics. Many enterprises already use PoE to power their networks, making a retrofit uncomplicated as historic cabling can be plugged into and extended.
As PoE can deliver up to 100W of power, several luminaries can be “daisy-chained,” making for simple and cost-effective installation. In addition, the cost of cabling is significantly lower as PoE technology uses the same cable to transmit both power and data. And on top of that, the services of an expensive certified electrician are not required.
Each fixture has its own address with PoE lighting, which allows users to control each light, a group of lights, or the entire light system as they please. Things like light dimming, timing, sensors, lighting colors, daylight harvesting, and much more can be seamlessly controlled.
A computer serves as a centralized brain. It sends and receives commands and serves as the graphical user interface (GUI). The power source equipment (PSE) supplies the power. Here’s how it works:
- The PSE (e.g. PoE switch) converts AC voltage to DC voltage which is then sent to the nodes that power the luminaires.
- The nodes receive power and data from the PSE, which passes them downstream to the connected devices (in this case, the LED lights).
- Each LED light is given an IP address from the local network, thus making custom lighting configurations easy.
Reasons to Use PoE Lighting in the Workplace
PoE lighting has many advantages over more traditional lighting options such as incandescent, fluorescent, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), halogen as well as the newer AC-powered LED options. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy states, “LED is a highly energy-efficient lighting technology, and has the potential to fundamentally change the future of lighting in the United States.”
Here are four key reasons to use PoE lighting in a 21st-century office:
1) Cost Reduction
When it comes to the initial installation costs and time considerations, PoE lighting is highly economical. Here’s why: Installation is straightforward and will not require the services of a certified electrician because of its low voltage use. Even better are the considerable savings in operational costs. Check out these numbers:
2) Exceptional Flexibility
Because PoE technology is not tied to a high voltage power outlet, PoE luminaires can be placed in locations almost anywhere. In addition, they can be accessed and repositioned with ease.
3) Access to Advanced Analytics
A PoE lighting system can help answer questions like:
- How long have the lights been on?
- How much space is being used in the facility?
This smart solution offers a customized dashboard that can provide real-time data such as:
- Energy usage
- Occupancy details
- Production costs
- Operational efficiency
- Potential problem areas
4) Production Improvement
People work best in different environments. Some prefer bright light with warm light tones, while others work best in a dimmer, cool-toned setting. With PoE lighting systems, each employee can have control of their individual workspace. This is simple: When workers’ needs are met, when they are comfortable, productivity increases.
PoE lighting combines power and communication into a single infrastructure, provides huge installation and operational costs savings, and is energy-efficient, leaving a small environmental footprint. In addition, PoE lighting systems enable customized environments that provide well-being for employees and are best suited for the modern-day workplace, data center, and educational and healthcare facilities.
Planet Technology USA is a distributor of top-of-the-line PoE equipment that includes PoE switches, PoE hubs, PoE extenders, PoE injectors, and much more. To view our quality products, visit our website by clicking here.