Benefits of Power over Ethernet Lighting text with buil

6 Key Benefits of PoE with Igor's Smart Building Solution

January 23, 2020

Smart building technology is all around us, from smart home devices that play music to lightbulbs we can control with our smartphones. Igor’s smart building solutions utilize Power over Ethernet, a unique and robust technology solution. To understand the benefits of PoE lighting and other PoE technology, it helps to review the basics: What is PoE, and how does PoE work?

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What is PoE Technology?

PoE stands for Power over Ethernet and refers to the ability to use an Ethernet cord to carry network data and electrical power to connected devices. Ethernet cords are commonly used to connect computers and enable them to send and receive network data — this forms the basis of an internet connection.

In the past, Ethernet cords were not used to power devices, such as lights, because they required more power than the cord could transmit. However, lighting has evolved, and the rise of LEDs has made lights very energy efficient. With modern technology, one Ethernet cord can power and control multiple PoE light fixtures at once.

In addition to PoE lighting, Ethernet cables can be used to power devices such as:

  • Security cameras
  • Door lock systems
  • Digital displays
  • Phones
  • Occupancy sensors

As PoE technology continues to evolve, even more PoE applications will become possible.

How Does PoE Work?

With Igor’s system, Power over Ethernet technology is very simple. Once the Igor hardware is set up, the Igor node acts as an intelligent PoE hub — it receives power and data from the network switch and passes it downstream to the devices connected to the system.

As PoE light fixtures and other devices are connected to the network, the Igor node automatically discovers and reports all devices back to the Igor Gateway software for easy plug-and-play functionality. Once identified, each device receives an IP address from the local network to simplify installation and make custom configurations easy. From there, Igor’s IoT platform, Nexos, can be used to customize, control and learn from the connected devices.

The Advantages of PoE Technology

We know PoE stands for Power over Ethernet, but PoE also stands for so much more — cost savings, control, security and reliability. PoE devices are the perfect way to leverage smart building automation technology to create intelligent, automated environments. Top PoE benefits include:

1. Further Cost Savings

One of the biggest advantages of PoE technology is cost savings. PoE installation is cheaper than traditional electrical work, operating costs are lower over the course of the PoE lifetime and data can inform further decisions to save costs — all without sacrificing lighting quality for occupants. Explore real-world examples of Igor’s PoE Platform delivering on this promise.

2. Easy, Low-Voltage Installation

Because PoE is a low-voltage power option, typically less than 60 volts, installations don’t require conduit or metal cladding. This makes installations faster, decreases the hazards associated with typical electrical work and dramatically reduces the overall cost of installation.

3. Enhanced Flexibility and Control

Once installed, PoE controlled devices can be disconnected, moved and reconnected to a new PoE system with minimal downtime. Additionally, users have more control over their smart building ecosystems because network data flows between all connected devices. A single application, such as Igor’s Gateway software, can be used to manage and control countless individual devices and custom environments..

4. Data Analytics

Data breathes life into smart building technology, making it possible to collect information and make intelligent optimizations. Since data travels both ways through an Ethernet cable, PoE software not only sends data and commands to devices, but it also collects data from devices to provide helpful insights, further cost savings and opportunities to enhance occupants’ quality of life.

5. Social Benefits

In addition to making good business sense, PoE lighting and other smart building technology can provide further benefits to a building’s occupants by optimizing lighting levels, balancing light colors and enhancing safety. Furthermore, PoE LED lighting platforms dramatically decrease energy demands from lights and devices connected to the PoE system, providing environmental benefits to society while minimizing a building’s exposure to energy cost fluctuations.

6. Robust, Secure and Reliable

Unlike devices reliant on wireless technology, the Ethernet cord allows for significant flexibility while maintaining a reliably connected system. PoE eliminates the risk of wireless disruptions and allows users to enable additional security features.

The Additional Advantages of PoE Technology Powered by Igor

All basic, functional PoE systems should provide certain benefits to users, but Igor continues to strive to be on the forefront of this technology, offering unique and innovative smart building solutions. Check out the possibilities available with Nexos, Igor’s powerful IoT platform.

Tunable White Lighting

To have a white-tunable environment means that the lights are adjustable on a scale of warm, neutral, and cool lighting. Using the right balance of warm and cool lighting can help boost productivity, optimize shopping environments, enhance learning environments, and improve patient outcomes in healthcare facilities.

Security Solutions

PoE lighting solutions and other devices can be used to keep people safe. PoE-connected devices such as colored lights and electronic displays can be programmed to alert building occupants in the event of an emergency such as a severe weather threat or an intruder. With an Igor-compatible security system, users can create programs for different security situations. Each custom program can trigger different actions across all PoE devices. This can include things like lighting changes, automated door locks, display screens, gunshot detection, audio alerts and more.

Emergency Lighting Support

Using Igor’s patented technology, administrators can designate and program emergency lights within the Igor Gateway software. In the past, there were no PoE lighting solutions approved for emergency situations. Smart buildings with PoE technology still needed a traditional lighting system installed for emergency use because no PoE lighting devices met the standards for emergency compliance.

But in 2018, Igor received the first UL 924 certification for a PoE emergency lighting solution. Igor’s emergency lighting solution enables commercial buildings to have a safe, centralized system for simpler, more reliable and less expensive emergency lighting solution.

API Events

This feature empowers third-party developers to create applications to expand user capabilities. This addition to the Igor Gateway Software creates the ability for any third-party developer or user to create dynamic real-time events to meet critical business needs. For example, a user could indicate that they want to be notified by email or SMS whenever a motion sensor in a specific area of the building is triggered during a specified timeframe. When that event occurs, the notification is sent to the designated recipient.

Advanced Analytics

Through Igor’s fully integrated PoE communication platform, any lighting manufacturer’s LED fixtures and sensors can be connected to a powerful AI-enabled cloud analytics platform that allows users to create custom dashboards. A dashboard can display information such as energy usage, occupancy details and other sensor data.

Integrating Technology with Igor

Igor’s system allows for 3rd party application integration, and it supports device integration no matter the manufacturer — even non-PoE devices can be incorporated into an Igor ecosystem. This means users have abundant options when it comes to Igor’s smart building capabilities, and there are no limitations placed on innovators interested in coming up with new, creative smart building solutions.

Ongoing Service & Support

Software updates are pushed automatically to ensure the highest security protections and analytics capabilities at all times. Igor technology support exists to ensure a quality product experience. Furthermore, Igor believes in the importance of building personal relationships with those who work alongside the company as partners and customers.

Discover the Power of Igor’s PoE Smart Building Technology

Power over Ethernet lighting and other devices are quickly gaining momentum in the marketplace because the advantages of PoE are so compelling. Sign up for the Igor newsletter, and stay up-to-date with the latest IoT news and information.

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