Power over Ethernet (PoE) as the Backbone of Smart Buildings

Advances in energy efficient building solutions have allowed for the rise of Power over Ethernet (PoE) to become a viable power and control system for a complete smart building solution.  As connecting historically static devices and systems - such as lighting, HVAC, security, and more - to the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes increasingly common and competitively necessary, it brings the total number of potential devices in the IoT cloud well into the billions. However, for smart lighting and other connected devices to become a reality, they need a universal ability to speak with each other.

PoE, the right protocol at the right time

Developing a connective, agile platform that an IoT-enabled smart building can operate on has been the biggest challenge to the adoption of smart building technology. Current solutions in the marketplace lock data in silos, require duplicated software development, and prevent applications from easily interacting. Today, Igor’s Nexos platform uses the structured reliability, security, and power of Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology to bring the IoT agile smart building into reality.

How does PoE work?

PoE refers to the use of the same wires that are part of a structured IT network for the delivery of electrical power. This enables a single cable to provide both a data connection and electrical power to PoE devices, such as wireless access points and lighting, PoE adapters, PoE switches and PoE ports, phone systems, PoE cameras and LED lighting. Connecting smart LED lighting/sensor hubs to the LAN delivers valuable future-proofing by enabling the installed LED hubs to quickly support and take advantage of technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) without additional, expensive retrofitting replacement requirements. 

For a more in-depth review of how PoE works, read Igor's Q&A with Lux Review

Benefits of Power over Ethernet (PoE)

Beyond any considerations of cost and efficiency, light fixtures powered by PoE can be paired with sensors, wireless communication modules, and embedded processors in smart hubs. With a PoE smart building platform like Nexos, building designers can capture the benefits of a structured cable system while still layering on Bluetooth, beaconing , and Zigbee systems. With Nexos, everything connects in one system for a streamlined experience.

For electrical contractors, this technology offers a wealth of opportunities to streamline building automation, enhance building efficiency and provide value-added expertise and services. PoE technologies and PoE devices are delivering cost savings, easy installation and enhanced flexibility to projects of all sizes.