How PoE is Tranforming LED Lights in Smart Buildings


For years, Ethernet was synonymous with communication signals via cable, with the technology instrumental in opening the door to a host of networking possibilities, including in commercial settings such as office buildings, hotels, and retail spaces. Today, the focus is on PoE, or Power over Ethernet, that sees both electrical power and data in one cable, resulting in a faster, more flexible, and more efficient system.

A Human-Centric Approach to Lighting

The evolution of the light bulb has always been driven by improving energy efficiency and lifespan. The IoT era promises a radical transformation in how buildings are equipped.

PoE is an increasingly important tool for devices related to the Internet of Things, or IoT, pushing its way into every element of building design and operations. It’s a simple approach with big payoffs. For example, a single cable that sends both data transmission and enough electricity to power less-demanding devices such as lighting allows for a more flexible and extensible building environment. This simple process can not only lower costs, deliver stronger security, and improve sale or lease opportunities, but increase worker productivity as well.

Of course, before PoE, these two systems could come together over an IP network, but they still required separate data and electrical connections and proximity to electrical outlets. As PoE power levels have steadily increased from 15W to 60W, it’s now possible to deliver 100W of data and power over a single cable.

An LED lighting system connected to a network via PoE offers incredible benefits:

  • Improved control over light quality

  • Lower energy bills

  • Longer bulb life

  • Standard RJ45 connectors that enable a light to have its own IP address for monitoring

  • Data can be generated on daylight, temperature, and occupancy making it easy to change lighting levels as needed

  • Consistent reliable performance without Wi-fi interference

One of PoE LED lighting’s greatest advantages is that it recognizes how light has a positive or negative effect on people. Science has shown that lighting conditions have a direct impact on people’s circadian rhythms—the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that are in sync with the 24-hour day. A more human-centric approach to lighting can result in a person’s enhanced performance and overall well-being.

POE LED Lighting and the Future of Smart Buildings

Just about any building is a good candidate for PoE LED lighting. Architects, engineers, and builders can all work together with IT departments to bring PoE networks to the forefront in commercial properties like offices, factories, warehouses, and living spaces. And PoE eliminates the need to hire a professional electrician to install extra circuitry in a building. Instead, since PoE networks don’t need power outlets near each device, LED light sources can be easily installed at nearly any location by end users or IT personnel. Even legacy lighting fixtures in older buildings can be retrofitted with LEDs and sensors that are compatible with smart control features.

The ability to seamlessly migrate lighting controls to an IP-based framework brings an enormous advantage to building owners. To meet the growing demand, manufacturers are developing increasingly efficient and exciting lighting products to replace traditional fluorescent lighting.


PoE and IoT are revolutionizing the commercial building sector, especially in office buildings and health facilities. The technology is less expensive to install, more efficient, and more effective than legacy networks. It can also create a more comfortable and secure working environment. It’s safe to say that PoE LED lighting is a viable power source that truly reflects the future of smart building design.

Christopher Ramos