PoE Lighting Improves Energy Efficiency for Architects

How Igor's Technology is Making Energy Efficiency Easy

November 7, 2017

Why Does Energy Efficiency Matter in Building Construction?

According to the International Energy Agency, buildings are the largest energy consuming sector in the world, accounting for over one-third of energy consumption in the world, and lighting makes up a large portion of that consumption. This has increased pressure on architects to design sustainable buildings with a clear energy-saving lighting plan. While constructing buildings with energy efficient lighting systems has unique considerations, designing and implementing a smart lighting system from the beginning offers significant benefits over retrofitting buildings to catch up on energy efficiency standards.

Energy efficient lighting is much easier to achieve (and considerably less expensive in the long run) when it’s set up during the construction phase. Planning for energy efficient lighting solutions in advance allows for inclusion of more energy saving capabilities and for more effective measures to be incorporated, such as Igor’s intelligent lighting.

How Does Igor’s PoE Technology Work?

Igor’s Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology offers an innovative approach to energy efficient lighting. PoE allows for devices to be powered, connected, and controlled by an Ethernet Cable. In the past, lighting fixtures required voltages too high to be powered by the Cat5 cable, but with today’s energy efficient LED bulbs, PoE lighting is possible.

Igor produces the software and hardware necessary to create a complete PoE lighting system. The Igor node - which can be used to transform traditional LED lighting into PoE-enabled lighting - allows an entire lighting system to be powered and controlled over a standard Ethernet connection. Because it cuts down on cabling costs and does not require a certified electrician to install, Igor’s technology is easier and more cost-effective than traditional lighting installation. Igor’s PoE lighting solution also offers immediate and complete control over all connected devices.

Are LED Lights Powered by PoE Really More Energy Efficient?

LED lights have grown in popularity because of their environmental impact. While CFL bulbs use 25-35% less energy than incandescent bulbs, LEDs use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. In commercial and industrial buildings with a large lighting system, this adds up over time.

In addition to the benefits of LEDs, PoE lighting systems have recently been certified to ensure energy efficiency. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) released a new installation standard for PoE lighting systems that standardized cable requirements to reduce electrical energy loss. This new standard ensures that PoE lighting will be a highly energy-efficient lighting solution in compliant buildings.

Igor’s PoE Features Energy Reporting Capabilities

LED lights powered by Igor’s technology provide even more energy saving opportunities than traditionally powered LEDs because of the data analytics and reporting capabilities. All devices that are detected by the Igor node are automatically connected together via the Igor Gateway software, which then monitors devices and identifies opportunities for additional energy savings.

In a case study of Igor’s technology and reporting features, Haverkamp Properties saw significant savings in lighting costs after one of their apartment properties was retrofitted with Igor-enabled lighting. After the initial installation, Haverkamp properties saw a 62% reduction in lighting costs compared to their original fluorescent energy consumption.

Once the lighting system was installed, it was then configured to recognize each hallway as a unique space with its own timeout. Within one month of this configuration energy costs were reduced an additional 25%, bringing the total annual savings to 71%.

Igor’s cloud analytics, which compiles and reports on data, revealed that someone walks in each hallway every three minutes so the lights rarely went into unoccupied mode and turned off. With these insights, the lighting system was reconfigured to timeout every one minute. After this opportunity was discovered and taken advantage of, the total annual lighting cost savings reached 86%. When Igor’s lighting system is planned into new construction, it can be customized to offer even greater energy savings.

What’s New From Igor?

Igor’s 2.0 Software offers several upgrades that give the lighting system more functionality, including tunable white light. The tunable lighting feature can be used to adjust the balance of warm and cool lighting for an optimized environment. Light can be set to increase productivity, improve patient outcomes, optimize shopping environments and more. This feature takes smart lighting to the next level, as few companies have achieved the ability to program tunable white light with the same depth and precision as Igor.

The software upgrade also added emergency lighting support and API events. Using Igor’s technology, administrators can designate emergency lights that will turn on to their safe levels within seconds in the event of a power disruption. The new API event functionality encourages developers to create applications that are compatible with Igor’s technology for a wide array of uses. From small-scale to enterprise-wide, third party applications enhance businesses by adding increased functionality to the Igor ecosystem. These applications deliver capabilities that improve productivity, create safer work environments, and ultimately increase profitability.

Why Use PoE in Your Building Project?

PoE lighting continues to grow as the technology evolves to provide more innovative solutions. Over 100 million PoE-enabled ports ship out annually from multiple suppliers, and as the demand for energy efficient PoE lighting continues to grow, the industry will grow with it.

Incorporating Igor’s technology into a new building sets the foundation for continuous energy efficiency and smart-enabled improvements to be made on the building. Smart devices are plentiful, but using PoE eliminates the need to settle on one specific IoT protocol or brand. In addition to lighting, PoE can be used to remotely control and network other systems within a building including surveillance cameras, HVAC systems and access control systems.

As PoE technology advances and appliances continue to have improved energy efficiency, more and more electrical devices can join the PoE ecosystem. Implementing a PoE lighting system today allows a building manager to adapt and add to their smart building ecosystem over time on one common platform: PoE.

The cost savings are especially hard to ignore. Lighting typically accounts for 40% of a building’s electricity, and with the ability for Igor’s technology to provide lighting cost savings of over 80%, this can bring total energy consumption costs down 30%.

On top of the energy savings and connectivity opportunities, PoE lighting compliments building design. Because of the customizable nature of PoE lighting, systems can be setup to adjust based on how people interact with a space, highlight different design elements, balance the warm and cool light for different needs and uses, and much more.

Interested in Finding out More About Energy Efficient Lighting Through PoE?

Want to learn more about PoE and the practical uses of PoE lighting within architecture? We’re excited to show you how Igor’s intelligent lighting technology works. Contact us for an in-person demo of Igor’s lighting solution today!