Although the energy efficiency of solid-state lighting has been documented, the most efficient way to power the lighting has been the subject of debate with emphasis on PoE Lighting Efficiency.

The DOE (department of energy) published a report in November 2017 (herein referred to as “Part 1”) summarizing the results of an exploratory study investigating power losses in Ethernet cables used between PoE switches and luminaires in PoE connected lighting systems. Testing was conducted at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) Connected Lighting Test Bed (CLTB) in September 2017. The results were analyzed to explore the impact of cable selection on PoE lighting system energy efficiency, as well as the effectiveness of guidelines published by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C137 Lighting Systems Committee in 2017. The guidance offered in ANSI C137.3-2017 was found to be effective in limiting cable energy losses to 5% in PoE lighting applications, provided that the

PoE Lighting Efficiency

average cable length on a project does not exceed 50 m. Part 2 of the report summarizes the results of a continued investigation of the power losses in Ethernet cables used between PoE switches and luminaires in PoE connected lighting systems. Testing was conducted at the PNNL CLTB in July-August 2018. A test setup comprising a PoE switch, a set of luminaires, and a reference meter was again used to test multiple cable models of varying design. The results were analyzed to explore the impact of cable selection and installation practices (e.g., cable bending, cable bundling, and installation in conduit) on PoE lighting system energy efficiency, as well as the effectiveness of the ANSI C137.3 guidelines. Notably, three cables—two of which were shielded—were previously excluded from the Part 1 study due to compatibility issues. All three cables were included in this Part 2 study, along with a fourth model cable introduced in Part 2. In addition, whereas no patch cords were used in Part 1, patch cords were used in some Part 2 testing. The ANSI C137.3 guidance was again shown to effectively limit power losses to less than 5% in the cables tested (varying in AWG, Category, shielding, fire rating, and manufacturer), and AWG again proved to be the most important cable design variable for energy performance, as expected. However, these findings should not be construed as being representative of all cable models and installation practices. For example, energy losses would be greater when cables are connected to patch cords, bundled in conduit, and loaded with powered devices (PDs) approaching 100 W input power. The other key finding was that with 44 W luminaires as PDs and room ambient temperatures below 30°C, cable energy losses were not substantially increased by cable bending or bundling in uninsulated conduit. However, environments with higher ambient temperatures will have greater energy losses due to increased conductor DCR. In addition, product selection and installation practices will have increased importance as PDs approaching 100 W input power—conveyed by a single Ethernet cable—are introduced following publication of the forthcoming Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standard 802.3bt. The report also provides recommendations and next steps, which include plans for additional PoE cable energy losses testing with higher-power PDs to more fully explore the potential of PoE lighting systems.

What is the benefit of microgrids?

Microgrids provide a DC distribution system inside of a building or small area. On-site renewables or energy storage can feed DC power to the grid without inverter losses and electronic devices can consume power without rectifier losses. When it’s necessary to draw on the local utility grid, a single rectifier converts the grid power to the local DC grid voltage.

How do ethernet and the microgrid work together?

Ethernet cables (generally CAT-6) provide a common wiring platform for a low-voltage DC power grid. Each CAT-6A cable has 8 smaller wires inside a protective sleeve. POE uses two pairs of these wires to provide approximately 50W to the end-use device. The remaining two pairs can be used to carry data to and from the controlled device. In lighting, this may be a dimming signal, an on-off command, or a power measurement in PoE Lighting Efficiency.

Pros of POE Systems

Fewer Electrical Hazards

POE power-carrying line pairs typically carry 48V, well below the Class 2 wiring threshold of 60V. As such, work on these systems can be performed by less-expensive labor categories (depending on local regulations).

No Conduit

Since the electrical wire is Class 2, conduit is not specifically required. This can reduce the first cost, although this may carry some risk (see below).


Does PoE Lighting Save Energy Costs?

Power over Ethernet (PoE) supports low voltage technologies like LED lighting systems, sensors, and HVAC controllers that have become standard in today’s commercial office building. PoE power devices draw less power than legacy devices, and because they are smart, they can turn off and on automatically. PoE energy costs are low and getting even lower, as smart office spaces are becoming more and more efficient. These sensing capabilities are making commercial office space more affordable for businesses to lease and own.

PoE Lighting Efficiency An Important Role In A Digital Ecosystem

Smart building technology is being applied to create a digital ecosystem where insight into usage and optimization can be harnessed to improve the utilization of the space and the environment for those who occupy it. This data, in turn, provides insights that were never achievable before, and allow businesses to create connected applications and services that deliver new capabilities and value to employees and customers.

Luminetworx PoE Building, PoE Technology,
The Smart Connected Lighting System for Offices, Retail, Residential and more.

One way to address all of these challenges is to choose the right IoT platform for the building that can provide flexibility to customize a your facility’s building to its unique needs. While current LED technology and intelligent lighting controls can reduce energy costs, alone they solve only one challenge. The Luminetworx lighting control system and PoE lighting is a complete smart lighting solution yet has the capability to be one solution for many problems. Luminetworx’s patented PoE Lighting & IoT platform can integrate with other building applications into one centralized system. This empowers the client to improve the quality of service by carefully managing the client’s needs. For example in healthcare circadian rhythms, monitoring noise levels, employing low lighting when needed, maintaining comfortable temperatures depending on space and light, optimizing staff resources, and ensuring patients feel safe and comfortable.

To find out more about the Luminetworx PoE Lighting Solution contact us now.