Power over Ethernet (PoE) lighting is part of a brave new world. The ascendance of LED fixtures has given rise to some new methods of providing and controlling light in our environments. Since LEDs are low-voltage devices that use direct current, they are a good match with a system that provides low-voltage DC power over Ethernet cables. Guess what? That’s a computer network! For several years, lighting (and computer) companies have been developing the idea of powering LED fixtures from what is essentially a computer network switch. As you might imagine, this gives rise to a host of questions about a variety of issues.
In this LCA column, Steve Mesh takes an in-depth look at power over Ethernet (PoE) systems.