Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a proven technology that has been around for years. Businesses typically us PoE networks for Voice over IP (VOIP) telephones. An LED lighting manufacturer in Staten Island, New York has taken a proven technology and applied it to LED Lighting. PoE Lighting converts traditional lighting into a “Digital Ceiling” with amazing benefits.
What was once a large capital expense to install a lighting solution is now 25% cheaper using PoE Lighting. The result is a “digital ceiling” that provides more than just lights to work under.
Poe Lighting solutions provide the foundation for intelligent building infrastructures. Manufacturers can create PoE LED Lighting fixtures that are powered and controlled through Cat5 Ethernet cables. Manufacturers can also cost-effectively integrate sensors and actuators into LED Fixture that provide data and control options. Businesses can now extend their IT networks to control points such as automated curtains, daylight harvesting and dimming systems. Businesses can now integrate their HVAC systems to their digital ceiling without the expense of installing a separate Energy Management System. A space’s lighting fixtures can now control perimeter heating and cooling for example.
The brains behind the PoE Lighting solution is the Inspextor command and control platform. The Inspextor resides on a network server. Inspextor provides all of the logic and analytics that embody 20 years of experience in the lighting industry. The Inspextor allows users to set up multiple control policies for each group of LED fixtures. The Inspextor also provides its owns maintenance management and can alert users when fixtures are not working and needs attention. The office space can now adapt to the employee resulting in improved comfort and employee productivity.
The next major component is the Cisco 3850 PoE Lighting switch. The Cisco 3850 delivers 60 watts per channel with isolated power supplies. Cisco has developed this switch so that it can operate in temperatures up to 113 degF. At this higher operating temperature, installers can site the PoE switch outside of an environmentally controlled network closet.
Each PoE Lighting fixture comes with a network card that gets connected to the Cisco 3850 via Cat5 ethernet cables. The PoE Light fixtures, switches, sensors and actuators each will have an inherent IP address. An IP addressable fixture can be read, commanded and controlled by the Inspextor platform. Designing the digital ceiling now becomes quite simpler and cheaper than installing a traditional high voltage one. A high voltage lighting infrastructure requires items like safety devices, conduit and armored cabling systems which drive up costs. Businesses must hire licensed electricians to install high voltage systems which also drive up costs. A low voltage PoE system would require a lower costing structured cable management system. These low-voltage systems can be installed by a technician resulting in considerable cost savings.
One of the greatest value added benefits from a digital ceiling is employee productivity. Employee spaces can now adapt to the employee instead of the other way around. Workers will be able to change the color of their lighting systems from 3000K to 5000K. The PoE System can also automatically dim the light output up or down or even adjust curtails to modulate outdoor sunlight. This constant adapting of the space to the employee results in comfort leading to better employee performance.
Another benefit is the ability to re-use the lighting system when a new tenant moves in. When a tenant moves out, their spaces are typically gutted and painted to have it resemble a “white box”. The new tenant comes in and has their own floor plan with different office layouts. Each PoE Lighting fixture, sensor, light switch and actuator in a digital ceiling is now addressable. More importantly, having IP addressable components allows lighting designers to adapt the lighting system to the new office layout. Businesses can simply re-configuration a lighting layout in the Inspextor platform rather than initiating major high voltage re-wiring endeavor. Landlord and Tenants stand to save a considerable amount of money, time and energy if renovation projects do not need a full gutting of the space.
As Energy Consultants, our job is to make sure that our Clients are saving money through energy efficiency with the lowest capital outlay. PoE Lighting Systems can perform double-duty as energy management systems without the need to install separate hardware. Businesses and real estate developers can purchase LED fixtures with integrated sensors and actuators as part of a digital ceiling design. The PoE Lighting infrastructure carries both power and data. Businesses can leverage the Inspextor command and control platform to modulate more than just lighting. For example, an unoccupied space can have its lights dimmed or turned off and air conditioning controlled by the PoE Lighting system without having to install a separate standalone energy management system for the HVAC equipment.
Smart Buildings can leverage the Digital Ceiling to adapt to energy pricing and congestion signals as well. LC Associates is a demand response provider and has enrolled hundreds of buildings into demand response programs. A Demand Response program works like this: The utility company or an Independent System Operator (ISO) will send out a dispatch signal or message to curtail electric demand during a such and such a time typically on the following day. For example, lets say July 3, 2018 from 2pm to 6pm. Smart Buildings fitted out with a PoE Lighting System can implement a building wide curtailment protocol to dim 10% or more of their light fixtures with little or no impact to the building occupants. For example, the NYISO and ConEdison pay Participants that are enrolled in a demand response program for being on standby in case they are needed. As a demand response device, the PoE Lighting system is not only saving money by reducing energy consumption, it is also generating a payment each year for being on standby…your lighting infrastructure is now generating revenue. Click here to learn more about Demand Response.
Sounds expensive..? It’s not! Read on below to see how a digital ceiling may be less costly than a traditional lighting system.
Why does this make sense? Traditional LED Lighting systems save money over fluorescent ones however still use the old legacy electrical distribution system which is expensive to remove and install. The PoE Lighting infrastructure consists of ethernet cables, cable track management systems, and gets fed into a network closet. The expensive legacy high-voltage distribution system including its armored cables, conduits, electrical enclosures and high voltages will be a thing of the past in the coming future.
Here is a short video that explains the benefits of PoE Lighting