Power over Ethernet has the potential to address all the challenges that the above-mentioned trends pose, as it provides a common infrastructure which can power, control and converge most building systems (lighting, CCTV cameras, wireless access points, VoIP phones, access control, fire detection systems, intruder alarm systems, audio and video, lifts…), all within a common network.
PoE is a low-voltage direct-current platform, able to power each device with native power, eliminating the need for inverters and transformers for each device, while drastically reducing the risk of fire and electric shocks.
Among many other advantages, PoE is also brand-agnostic, is compatible with a vast and growing array of devices, uses one universal connector (RJ45) and simplifies installations (as only one low-voltage cable is required per device).
The commercial building lighting control market is experiencing a period of rapid transformation.
The shift from fluorescent to LED lights in the commercial market is triggering the replacement of analogue lighting controls by more scalable and reliable digital lighting controls that can operate over a wired or wireless infrastructure. The rising efficiency levels of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) together with the increasing power delivered by PoE switches (90W) has broadened the spectrum of PoE applications, making it possible to power and control the entire lighting system of (almost) all types of premises.
There is growing interest in IP-based lighting systems, and awareness of PoE lighting systems is on the rise. Adoption rates are expected to double on an annual basis over the coming years (although from a very low base), due to the wide range of advantages that PoE-based systems bring for new built and large-scale refurbishment projects.
According to Martin Chiesa (BSRIA Senior Consultant): “PoE is at the core of the concept of Smart Buildings and Digital Ceilings, where a number of current and future IoT devices (wireless access points, CCTV cameras, sensors of all sorts, lighting, fans, heat recovery units etc.) are powered, controlled and converged based on a common infrastructure, using low voltage DC native power, increasing energy efficiency, reducing fire and health hazards and generating valuable data about energy consumption, building and assets utilisation.”
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