There are five generally accepted benefits to installing a PoE network in your business or home. We’ll review them briefly, then examine how PoE can improve your home or business specifically.
- PoE reduces installation costs: Because PoE cables carry both data and power, you only need to run one cable at a time to each connected device without worrying about hooking those devices up to a DC power source. For example, a network of security cameras can be installed without having to run separate power lines to each camera. This cuts the cost of equipment and installation, and no custom cables are required for setup, just regular Ethernet cabling.
- PoE can be safer than conventional networks. Fewer installation steps and lower overall voltage in PoE systems makes them safer to be around. Conduit and metal cladding are not necessary.
- PoE networks are more responsive. Since PoE networks are basically “plug and play,” using only a PoE cable and PSE equipment, sections of the network can be moved and reconnected at the switch level without the need to take down the entire network. This simplifies Moves, Adds and Changes (MACs).
- PoE networks can gather data. Data gathered over a PoE network can inform analytics software when an area is unoccupied and direct the system to reduce or shut off lighting and climate control in that area, saving power.
- PoE can enhance productivity. In the same way lighting and climate control can be monitored and shut off in unoccupied areas, they can be optimized in areas where employees are working, for example tuning the lighting to more closely mimic daylight.
So how can these be applied in the home or the office? We’ve hinted at a few above, but let’s explore some applications of PoE in further detail.
Benefits to installing a PoE network in the Home
PoE networks can be used to set up “smart home” environments, where everything from door locks to the color of the lighting to a network of home security cameras can be controlled via a mobile device or computer. Smart homes also allow homeowners to monitor their homes while away, and optimize their energy use to save money on their utility bills. More advanced smart home networks are provided with virtual assistants, and allow for intuitive, optimized lighting throughout the entire house.
Benefits to installing a PoE network in the Workplace
The energy savings of a smart home network are magnified when applied to a commercial building. A PoE network can support automated access points with bio authorization methods like retinal scanning for enhanced security. Digital signage on the side of a business can also be run from a PoE network. Older copper wiring infrastructure from landline phone networks can be repurposed for use in a PoE network for greater flexibility.
In a manufacturing environment, PoE networks can help prevent workplace accidents by allowing for better documentation of safety compliance rules. Sensors running on a PoE network can detect changes in temperature or pressure, allowing manufacturers to protect their products during development. This also means that warehouses and loading docks can be monitored and optimized for maximum efficiency, even when no employees are there to keep track of the products. Assembly lines can be monitored and extraneous machinery can be identified and eliminated, reducing cost further.