Power over Ethernet Lighting – Use Data, not high voltage.
Published on: October 4, 2019
PoE Lighting

LC Associates secured a cash incentive to fund 50% of a PoE Lighting project.  

PoE Lighting Systems are about 30% cheaper to install when compared to traditional lighting systems.  This observation applied to gut renovations, new tenant fit outs and new construction projects.

What is Power over Ethernet (PoE)?

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a proven technology. Businesses typically use PoE systems to power VOIP telephones, security cameras and other small devices generally categorized in the Information Technology domain.  With the advent of LED lighting however, the “Digital Ceiling” is emerging.

Use Data to Power your LED Lighting – not high voltage systems.

In reality, LED Fixtures operate on DC Power.  In practice however, manufacturers fit LED fixtures with AC to DC converters called “LED Drivers”.  Manufacturers design LED fixtures in this way so they can be integrated into existing high voltage networks of traditional lighting fixtures. 

PoE Lighting Fixtures however operate on DC electricity, in fact Cat5 data cables deliver power and data to these LED Lighting systems.    Note that PoE lighting fixtures do not have ballasts or traditional drivers, which can cause harmonic distortion.   PoE Lighting fixtures are also IP Addressable – this is a major breakthrough in lighting technology.

For new construction projects, or tenant fit-outs, PoE Lighting systems offer a lower install cost, and hyper-value added features.

All of this technology for a lighting system may seem expensive.  However we found that the labor and material costs are significantly lower for PoE Lighting Systems.   We observed that a total PoE lighting project’s install cost is 30% cheaper than a traditional lighting system.  “Why?”, one might ask?  For starters, low voltage data cables are much easier, and cheaper to install when compared to hazardous high voltage wiring.

What is a Digital Ceiling?

Now that you have a modern, low cost PoE Lighting System, what can you do with it?  Well, one can order PoE Lighting fixtures with IP Addressable sensors including CO2, Temperature, Humidity, Occupancy, and others.  These sensors collect space conditions and relay them back to the digital ceiling.  The digital ceiling then sends this information to a building management system (BMS) or to the iPowernet PoE hub. Some PoE Lighting fixtures can be dynamically color tuned.  Lighting designers can now specify an automated circadian rhythm protocol in their plans.  Your digital ceiling can now re-configure the space conditions of one’s business to accommodate employees and boost productivity.

What are Circadian Rhythms and how to they affect employee comfort and productivity?

Click to learn about Circadian Rhythms
Click to learn about Circadian Rhythms and Lighting

Natural lighting is dynamic and changes throughout the day.  Traditional office lighting does not follow this dynamic “color tuning”.  Studies have shown that humans respond to the natural lighting fluctuations that occur throughout a 24 hour cycle.  The static nature of traditional office lighting systems disrupt circadian rhythms and can stress out employees.  It is not uncommon for people complaining about office lighting causing them headaches and discomfort.

There is a national Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute that has done extensive studies on circadian rhythms and lighting effects.  You can learn more about Circadian rhythms and lighting by clicking on the LRC image on this page.

If you are interested in learning more, LRC has studies on their website.  These studies show employees are more productive and less stressed out in office spaces where lighting fixtures are dynamically color-tuned.  In many cases, businesses with dynamically color-tuned spaces report that employees stay at work longer.  These employees indicate that they enjoy their job much more than employees in spaces where traditional lighting is used.

PoE Lighting
Click to View the Circadian Rhythm Calculator

There is Circadian Stimulus Calculator?

Circadian rhythms and lighting for office spaces has been extensively studied.  In fact, the LRC created an online “Circadian Stimulus Calculator” that lighting designers can use to analyze their lighting layouts.

PoE Systems Provide Automatic Color-Tuning and Circadian Rhythm Protocols.

Now that we are all brought up to speed on color-tuning and circadian rhythms, how do we effectively design our office spaces to make effective use of this phenomena.  By specifying PoE Lighting Systems with Color-Tuning capability, architects and designers can provide a space that caters to its occupants, rather than the other way around.   Businesses will be able to offer its staff a comfortable place to work that will foster productivity and overall well-being.  Architects and lighting designers will be able to provide this solution at a lower installation and operation cost to their customers.

Download a Brochure on our PowerNet PoE Line

Where can we purchase a PoE System?

Customers typically purchase PoE Lighting systems as engineered systems.  What this means is that retailers like Home Depot most likely do not carry them.  LCA has a team of lighting designers on staff that can design a PoE lighting system for your office or classroom.  We have worked with a number of architects and engineers that are familiar with the nuances of setting up a PoE System.  We posted links to a few of the better known firms below.

PoE Lighting - Gensler
mkda architects
PoE Lighting - Environetics Architects
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