It’s not any port in a storm when you’re dealing with networks. Data has to get to its correct destination with maximum efficiency. Managed PoE switches give you greater control over your network than by using an unmanaged switch. Not only can you control how your ports are configured, but how data travels, how fast it travels, who has access to that data, and the ability to fix network errors remotely.
Switches come in sizes to 48 ports. Managed switches best support the Internet gigabit standard (variant IEEE 802.3ab). Still considered the gold standard, it allows unlimited devices and users–the cornerstone of managed PoE switches.
Consider your budget, network size, and speed, security and configuration needs before choosing either a managed or an unmanaged PoE switch. Keep in mind, a managed switch acts as a brain of your network whereas an unmanaged switch is basic–no bells, no whistles. Since managed switches are more expensive and need oversight, know the differences between the two before you choose.
Managed PoE Switches
There are two kinds of managed PoE switches. They allow you to customize your port configuration as needed to your LAN so that you get the best performance when and where you need it. You use managed PoE switches when milliseconds count, where security and remote accessibility are paramount.
- A limited managed switch is a “smart” switch. These affordable switches allow for a limited number of configurations. They are good for home and small offices seeking cost-efficiency and the option to change up configurations. Also called “web-smart” switches, they usually are managed individually.
- A fully managed switch gives you control over your ports and configurations. It is more expensive than a smart switch but allows you to remotely troubleshoot and fix problems impacting your LAN as well as prioritize LAN traffic. These switches can be managed both individually and as a group and offer more features than a smart switch.
Managed PoE switch features depend on the model and manufacturer, but offer such features as Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), Virtual Local Access Network (VLAN) support, port mirroring and bandwidth rate.
Applications include both metro-wide transportation projects and where mission-critical configurations and security are optimal needs, especially over fiber-optic networks that require remote management to control downtime.
Unmanaged PoE Switches
Commonly known as “plug-and-play” switches, unmanaged switches are simple and need no skilled management. There’s no particular set-up. They simply allow devices to communicate with each other. Unmanaged PoE switches have lockable port covers for basic security for small networks and temporary network workgroups. Quality of Service (QoS) is built-in so you know its fixed ports are working optimally.
Unmanaged PoE switches do not have IP addresses like managed switches, only Medium Address Control (MAC) addresses. There’s no prioritization regarding data packets and each packet simply goes to its pre-configured MAC address. They often connect edge devices to network spurs and simplify the installation of wireless access points (WAPs) and IP cameras. One device per port. Note that they don’t support IGMP and can confound networks as they treat multicast and broadcast traffic the same.
Unmanaged switches are often used in maritime and energy applications, IP surveillance camera setups, and home businesses using SOHO routers.
Managed Ethernet Switch or No?
Managed switches can be used as unmanaged switches, but not visa-versa. Whether you’ve set up a network of IP cameras to secure your business, networking your home’s smart devices, or are configuring an enterprise network utilizing industrial departments at varying locations, you have to consider the following:
- Number of devices
- Size of network
- Configuration changes
- Remote troubleshooting and access
- Your IT team
- Features needed
- Cybersecurity needs
Managed PoE switches provide major security as you can create access controls that keep threats at bay. This is especially important when you’re updating Army network switches like project manager, William “Rich” Richardson and his team does.
Richardson says that “by increasing the speed and bandwidth of the infrastructure—from 1 gig to 10 gigs, in most cases, is pretty significant.” He adds that “going from old, obsolete data networks to the latest and greatest state-of-the-art technology being deployed—is really rewarding. It’s great seeing these systems being brought out of the Dark Ages and into the light.” Military and industrial applications use managed PoE switches as they have a large network that needs oversight. An unmanaged switch will suffice if you’ve just a few devices and a small network that doesn’t need oversight.
According to Industry Herald 24, touting a 2020 Report from Report Consultant, the “global managed Ethernet switch market is projected to grow at a CAGR +12% during the forecast period 2020 to 2028.”
What does this mean for your decision whether or not to use a managed PoE switch for your network? Scalability. If the managed Ethernet switch market is growing at a rate indicating that its performance is optimizing networks across the globe, it is more cost-efficient to focus on scalability than scrapping legacy systems.
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 (PD) 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.
In this blog, Versa Technology will take a quick look at the energy-saving impact of PoE Lighting, its constellation of the attached devices, and the results of a recent study of its benefit in the smart building space.
Philips Study on Connected Lighting
The digital nature of LED technology brings illumination and IT together, allowing lighting systems to participate in the IoT.
Philips, Interact Office, PoE Technology,
The Smart Connected Lighting System for Offices.
According to a study done by the lighting manufacturer Philips, in a Class-A commercial building in San Francisco, CA, 19 percent of all energy is consumed by lighting. And not surprisingly, the company also found that up to 80 percent of energy savings came from LED lighting, integrated sensor, and HVAC technologies. Combined with other technologies, LED lighting systems are having a significant impact on business right now.
In the study, the total operational savings in terms of energy resulted from the following automated functions:
- Occupancy sensing
- Daylight harvesting
The combined reduction in power consumption for that San Francisco property over a 2-3 year period resulted in an $83K payback.
A Deeper Dive into Other Savings for PoE Energy Costs
Personal control apps, accessible through smartphones and tablets, allow workers to raise and lower lighting levels or back off heating or cooling functions and use energy more precisely than presets. Comfortable spaces improve the overall efficiency of occupants, adding to the payback in terms of employee wellbeing. Philips is quick to state that worker productivity is just as measurable and essential as the savings enabled by LEDs and sensors.
Because PoE lighting systems can also connect to open API control systems, they can simplify the processes of scheduled maintenance, inventory and ordering of replacement products. Further, prescriptive maintenance capabilities collect and analyze real-time and historical performance data as well as alerting facilities teams of bulb outages through centralized control platforms.
Since sensors are now embedded in LED installations, LED lighting can also track actual occupancy. Philips found that the average office space density is at 50 percent. Tracking occupancy levels allows facilities teams to optimize space more effectively. This improved efficiency results in substantial savings to businesses, as the average cost per desk/per year, is approximately $10K. The average yearly rental space savings resulting after optimization is up to $5/ft2.
PoE Lighting 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.
Philips, Interact Office, PoE Technology,
The Smart Connected Lighting System for Offices.
A siloed approach for each of these subsystems, the company states, was making data collection practices redundant. The open API that developers can use to integrate other systems helps achieve flexibility and consolidates the overall management process of facility management.
Images from an IP surveillance camera operating over a Power over Ethernet (PoE) network is limited by a distance of 100 meters between ports. If your IP camera must be set up over 100 meters from its network source (LAN), you will need at least one PoE extender as your receiver signal will lose integrity beyond that distance.
The 5 Different Types of Extenders
PoE passes electricity and data on a pair of twisted CAT5e or CAT6 cables. The various PoE extenders plug into your new or existing IP camera system, allowing you to view images from distances up to 4,000 meters (roughly 2.5 miles). It’s designed to extend your TCP/IP network by increasing voltage and boosting your network’s signal. There are 5 types of Ethernet extenders to choose from:
- Fiber Media Converters: single-mode fiber extends up to 60 km, multi-fiber only to 500m
- UTP Ethernet Extenders: 4-pair UTP cabling extends up to 500m, other units to a maximum 2.5 km
- Coaxial Cable Extenders: extends up to 1,000m using legacy coaxial cables
- Radio Wireless Extension: can extend network several miles
- Cellular Extension: can extend network anywhere there’s a cellular signal
Radio wireless extenders use two wireless access points (WAPs) to create a wireless bridge. The limitation is that that wireless bridge must be in the line of sight of the network. Cellular extenders bypass that limitation as these extenders use cellular signals to gain distance.
PoE extenders provide relatively inexpensive solutions to IEEE802‘s distance issue. That’s where they differ from using a PoE switch to achieve distance. Although you can plug several cameras into the switch, your switch can’t be plugged in directly to your Network Video Recorder (NVR). PoE extenders can be plugged directly into your NVR, but with one caveat: it can only connect one IP surveillance camera.
PoE Injectors vs. Extenders
You might wonder why you need an extender if your system is already using a PoE injector. They have two different functions. A PoE injector simply powers up your non-PoE enabled camera to make its images viewable by your network. PoE extenders increase the distance that you can use for your IP devices and do not require a power source.
By definition, however, a PoE extender is also a PoE injector since it makes images viewable by your network by reducing the amount of cabling needed.
Should You Use a UTP or an STP Extender?
It depends on your application. UTPs are less expensive and do a good job of reducing noise. However, if you suspect or know that you will have excessive electromagnetic (EM) interference between your camera and NVR due to camera placement, STPs will shield that noise. STPs are commonly used when you install IP surveillance cameras at a venue that uses sensitive machinery like hospitals or airports. But if you’re installing surveillance cameras within an office building for instance, using UTP will work just fine in most cases.
How Many PoE Extenders Will Be Needed?
The rule of thumb is one extender to one camera and one NVR. If you are setting up an IP surveillance camera greater than 100m from your network without an extender you will lose signal integrity. Why? Because CAT5e and CAT6 cables would not be able to handle wattage load as the twisted cables are usually the standard 22 gauge.
Your extender will have a PoE in port and a PoE out port. Connecting your PoE extender to your IP surveillance camera is simply a matter of plugging it inline. You connect the cable to the PoE in port from the NVR or PoE switch. The PoE out port connects to your IP camera. No matter how many PoE extenders you use, your IP device requires at least DC38 voltage left at the camera to work with your NVR.
Most IP surveillance cameras that exist in a building will work fine within the standard 100m distance. How much is 100m? It’s 328 feet or about 1.1 times the height of the Statue of Liberty, including the pedestal. Visualizing that distance, you get an idea of how easy it is to lose your camera’s signal after 100m. Using the 100m metric, you will be able to make an educated guess of how many extenders that you will need to make your project work. For instance:
- If your IP camera is more than 100m but less than 200m you will likely need only one extender.
- If you need to be 300 to 400m, you will likely need at least two or three extenders.
- If you are connecting a remote camera from around 1km away, the extenders won’t help you. You will need a fiber PoE solution.
So for every 100m of distance, use an inline extender, dependent on your application. Outdoor cameras setups should use weatherproof, outdoor IP66 rated extenders while indoor cameras don’t need to be. However, if your cameras are lodged in a building with sprinkler systems, waterproof.
The Future of PoE Extender
One looming consideration is whether PoE extenders as we know them today will become legacy in the near future as cabling trends toward CAT7 and CAT8. Looking toward scalability and interoperability with current systems, today’s PoE extenders currently work best with CAT5e and CAT6 since CAT7 and CAT8 aren’t approved for telecommunications yet.
But according to a white paper authored by Jean-Jacques Sage, Marketing and Innovation Director of Nexans, the United States PoE growth rate through 2025 is about 20 percent. With that PoE growth rate coupled with the ongoing innovation of the IoT, as technology increases gigs, extenders will most certainly be updated to make IP surveillance cameras work over the faster data lines and in remote locations.
Because Power over Ethernet (PoE) Powered Devices (PD) show up in user-facing smart-building deployments, they are ideal for collecting data. Moreover, the points where they are positioned and the kinds of data they collect make them extremely useful in the Machine-Learning (ML) space. In fact, you could say ML and PoE technologies have a symbiotic relationship. That data specific to the people occupying a room, building, or city provides the right insight to help managers, developers and other machines simplify the smart management process.
Smart buildings and smart devices are getting smarter by applying these data-driven insights. This process streamlines the functionality of homes, workspaces, and learning environments, making things like lighting more personalized. As a result, ML brings a whole new level of sophistication, personalization, and functionality to the world of low powered devices.
This blog will look at how ML works with PoE and the value it’s bringing to the table.
Machine Learning Defined
Machine learning applies artificial intelligence (AI) systems, including algorithms and programs, to automatically learn and improve experiences without human intervention. It develops computer programs that process data to “self” learn and improve existing systems.
There is a distinct difference between AI and ML. In AI, machines think like humans independently. In ML, continuous data mining harvests insights.
With ML, the efficient running of a building is the chief goal. Humans are still required. ML automates the process while anticipating and evolving. Change is seen over time, or you could say learning occurs.
ML implements in two phases. First, developers train neural network models using massive datasets. Without the help of machines, these data sets are too large for humans to interpret.
Once trained models are verified, they move into the inference engine phase. Inference is the predictive part of the application set. From a dictionary perspective, inference is the process of deriving strict logical consequences from assumed premises. The ML apps use the trained model to class external data and queries. Parallelization distributed between multiple training nodes sorts through enormous amounts of data to improve the model accuracy.
With ML, the importance of the rapid return of the results means that hyperscale computing needs to be deployed and always with a view to keeping costs down. As a result, the competition between cloud service providers is steep.
Machine learning growing adoption in business across industries reflects how effective its algorithms, frameworks and techniques are at solving complex problems quickly. The global machine learning market was valued at $1.58B in 2017 and is expected to reach $20.83B in 2024, growing at a CAGR of 44.06% between 2017 and 2024.
Louis Columbus, Roundup of Machine Learning Forecasts and Market Estimates 2020
Device as ML Data Collector
The smart home, office and city employ a diverse set of connected technologies that are not only simplifying management processes, they’re making bank. Up to 83% of IT leaders say AI & ML is transforming customer engagement, and 69% say it is transforming their business. [Enterprise Technology Trends, Salesforce Research.] Customer experience is a Midas touch the hospitality industry has capitalized on in recent years. That principle has definitely wicked its way into the approach for better smart space product development.
Additionally, the data capture process is amping up with 5G. Because 5G is also an enabler of IIoT, it provides the speed needed for IIoT applications. As the data from the IIoT amasses, ML and AI will increasingly gain insights.
Why ML Data Collection, Analysis and Interpretation In PoE Is Important
In the 2020 state of enterprise machine learning, the authors cite three main uses of ML.
- The reduction in company costs (38%)
- The generation of customer insights and intelligence (37%)
- The improvement of customer experiences (34%)
Customer insights drawn from ML are enhancing business process effectiveness in verticals like security, billing and supply chain management helps service providers to identify anomalies and alert customers. Smart billing helps service providers improve customer satisfaction by enabling smart billing to optimize rate plans automatically.
In smart settings, ML optimizes satisfaction is through predictive maintenance scheduling and automated order processes for replacement parts. Connected devices leveraging the last mile Ethernet ecosystem to bring broad-based solutions that are interoperable and cost-effective.
Places Where Machine Learning and PoE Intersect
The best way to understand how ML will begin showing improvement for the end-users is to discuss how it is used within different technologies—autonomous cars and smart buildings.
How Autonomous Vehicles Use ML
Autonomous vehicles are, by definition, driverless. They have neural networks that synthesize to help vehicles learn how to react in real-time. These features use apps based on algorithms that take sensor data to predict driver responses. The sensors rely on speech and facial recognition and make these “perceptions” and plug them into the car driving system. An autonomous driving algorithm can also learn multiple routes between home and work and choose the roads with the least amount of traffic based on traffic alerts.
How Smart Buildings Use ML
In the smart building, ML is both supervised and unsupervised.
In the training session, algorithms in supervised ML sort through labeled training data. The supervised algorithm learns from previous examples by pairing inputs with the desired outputs. The algorithm searches through the data set for the input that corresponds to the desired output.
In unsupervised ML, the algorithm searches for previously unpredicted data sets with no pre-existing labels and a minimum of human supervision.
One of the ways this learning might show up is in a smart lighting platform, “knowing” a preset light level for a meeting or classroom. When the teacher starts a presentation, it not only lowers the light to predetermined levels to allow a presentation screen to show up, it might also lower blinds on the windows. Smart lighting algorithms might learn when to turn on motion sensors for lights for a cleaning crew and when they come on, have them turn on at 50 percent intensity.
As these smart space trends continue to develop, ML technology will continue to make the places we live and work more efficient, intuitive, and personalized.
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Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020
If there’s a lesson to be learned from being stuck at home during COVID, and struggling to get things done at home that might have taken seconds in the office, it’s this–the agile workplace wins. Workplace agility is nothing new, but developing it has taken on a new urgency. Essential workers with the good fortune to be able to work, needed to socially distance literally overnight. The notion of workstation flexibility, once bordering on the absurd, has now proven to be essential. We’re wiser now. We realize how fragile situations can be and that agility is critical.
Why? Agility equals readiness. It allows buildings to respond to the dynamic flow of priorities of its inhabitants. It’s a two-way conversation between architecture and people, and it’s changing our understanding of what’s smart about the smart building.
This blog will explore seven qualities that embody this idea of the agile workplace and the flexibility organizations need. There are more, but we felt these were an excellent place to start the process if an organization were ready to take on this process more fully.
One: The Agile Workplace Is Sustainable
Key considerations for designing sustainability into an agile workplace are worker wellbeing, technology integration, and workflow enhancement.
Worker wellbeing leverages environmental capabilities to optimize the conditions for the mental and physical health of employees.
Technology or smart building integration uses technology tools to maximize a building’s potential to be as close as possible to energy-neutral (net zero) or energy-efficient. It’s more of a journey than a destination.
Workflow enhancement in smart, agile workspaces relies on automated controls and cross structure transparency to simplify the process of management. This is the heart of sustainability.
“Rather than designing things that can only be used once, design so they can be disassembled and used again,” says Gary Clark, chair of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Sustainable Futures Group.
Here’s the Sustainable Futures Group list of preferable characteristics for a working environment.
- No fixed desks
- Mobile technology
- Settings promote mood and activity
- Sticky spaces for deep collaboration
- Blurring inside and outside
- Contact with wind, sun, and greenery
- Mixing eating, working and socializing
Each of these factors combines to amp up the agility of the responsiveness of a building.
Image courtesy: Summertown
Two: It Centers on the User
The workspace adapts to the inhabitants in the space providing ease of use. That means that as the needs of users flow with their business priorities, the space can quickly adapt. Areas throughout the building may differ based upon the unique ways it is used, conforming to worker specifics:
- Meeting spaces
- Chillax zones
Each space uniquely conforms to the workers in that space.
Rather than using a traditional office approach, where workers have assigned desks and rooms where they work each day, designers and facilities teams model spaces on the Activity Based Working (ABW) principle. In ABW, workers choose where they work each day and even move items around their workspace to address the moment’s priorities. The emphasis is on better collaboration, efficiency, and productivity.
Three: The Agile Workplace Self-Diagnoses
The implementation of building controls and cross-platform visibility is a rapidly growing approach in building management. These platforms and apps pay for themselves in a relatively short period, saving man-hours and reducing the need for manual processes. One app that embodies this principle is Gridd® Mobile, an app used for cable management in raised floors. Designed as a tool to be implemented alongside FreeAxez’ raised access flooring system, the augmented reality app gives facility managers, IT teams, electricians and maintenance personnel the ability to see the status of the power and data cabling beneath the floor from the convenience of a tablet or a smartphone. It even allows them to access product information to help troubleshoot problems without disruption.
In an agile campus setting, machine-to-machine communication builds efficiency and eliminates steps.
Image courtesy: FreeAxez
Four: It Offers Convenient Operational Controls
Properties with intelligent lighting systems, smart HVAC, deploying a full range of PoE devices, including sensors, help conserve power, simplifying maintenance. IP addresses make device tracking easy. Managing resources, as well as the ordering and inventory, are visible on a single screen with aspects becoming automated.
Next-generation building automation systems and controls will interconnect entire building mechanical, electrical, and plumbing, combined with lighting and daylighting. Sensors and personalized controls will make easy the efficient use of power, improving management productivity.
Cloud-based and IoT-connected systems allow enterprise-wide and remote access. They automate predictive and preventive technologies like leak detection sensors and water valves shut off.
“Most discussions of smart buildings today focus on data collection and user customization,” says Paul De Santis, LEED AP, Partner with Goettsch Partners. “The data is mostly derived from enhanced sensoring, while the customization is driven through new mobile technology interfaces.”
Five: It Offers Multifunctional Spaces
A multifunctional space not only addresses the need for multiple functions within one area of a structure, but it also goes beyond. It also adapts to the larger setting, whether in a city, campus, or public space. Flexible workplace designs offer employees flexibility and adaptive accessibility for ADA compliance. Inclusivity allows employees to feel comfortable and productive.
Six: It Leverages the Modular Building Approach
Floors that can be reconfigured over a weekend, walls that move to make places bigger and vice versa—these technologies future proof and adapt allowing a workforce to evolve freely without the constraints of a building—people first then a facility. That is the right prioritization.
Image courtesy: PortaFab
Seven: The Agile Workplace Collects and Analyzes Data to Improve Tenant Experiences
Behavioral data—both of people and buildings—uncovers gaps and allows decision-makers to customize the experience, remediate, and thereby boost the potential performance of both. Small corrections make a big difference in the long run.
Why Develop Workplace Agility?
“Opportunity doesn’t make appointments, you have to be ready when it arrives,” Tim Fargo, American author, keynote speaker, angel investor, and entrepreneur.
As we’ve seen with COVID, there are just some things you cannot foresee. Preparation and responsiveness have won the day for many people. Developing an agile workplace is a smart investment in the future, and it’s also a smart investment today.
Responsiveness and efficiency in taking care of your biggest asset, your people, is money well spent and that care is going to work its way out to care for your customer, and that is agility indeed.
Not every IP camera is Power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled. If your customer’s existing security cameras aren’t PoE enabled, they will need to upgrade by using either a switch or a PoE injector for IP cameras. PoE injectors save you from using both a power cable and an Ethernet cord to power up and connect your IP cameras to your network. They’re cheaper, easy to set up, and a cinch to move if you need to adjust your devices elsewhere. Before you use a PoE injector, you’ll need to know what kind of switch that you’re dealing with.
What’s Your Setup? What Do You Need?
First, you need to determine whether you need the PoE injector. You’ll need one if you’re using a non-PoE switch. How do you know if you have a non-PoE switch? Plug your device into the switch and your switch will determine whether it is PoE or not. If it’s not, you’ll need the injector to power and view the data from your IP cameras.
- PoE switch: also called an endspan, you need no injector to power your device, just plug your switch directly to your IP camera
- Non-PoE switch: also called a midspan, it acts as a middleman between your switch and IP camera to enable power to your device
If you’ve determined that you need a PoE injector, you’ll notice that it is usually noticeably smaller than your switch. One side will have your PoE ports. The other your LAN ports.
If you’re using a wired IP camera, you’ll need an Ethernet cable to power up and transmit. What kind of Ethernet cable to use depends on what kind and how many IP cameras and their connection distance from the LAN.
- Category 5e: cheapest, slowest, crosstalk reduced, not especially scalable
- Category 6: limited distance, nearly no crosstalk, supports 10 Gbps up to 164 feet at 250 Mhz
- Category 6a: most expensive, practically no crosstalk, supports 10 Gbps up to 328 feet at 500 Mhz
Most wired PoE use a Cat5e or a 6 cable.
An IP camera and an Ethernet cord are all you need to start to use your PoE injector. Now that you’ve determined your setup, you can decide what kind of PoE injector that best fits the need of your client.
But what Kind of PoE Injector Do You Need?
PoE injectors are either active or passive, single or multiple port, Mode A or Mode B. The multiple port injectors can be a 4, 6, 8, or 24-port injector. A single port will work for a single camera. The more cameras, the more ports you need to power up your IP cameras. As a rule, use a PoE injector unless you have many IP cameras, which in case, a PoE hub makes more sense and is more data and cost-efficient.
Know your network speed since that’s also where the data flows. You might think that gigs are better, but most injectors and IP cameras operate just fine on 100Mb bandwidth.
- You’ll want a PoE injector that is active. An active injector is always a 48 volt. You can use passive, but that just dumbs down your system.
- You can either use Mode A or Mode B, but Mode A is your safest bet as you’ll be using pin pairs 1 and 2, 3, and 6. This works best with 48V IP cameras. However, if you’re using a 24V device, you’ll always use Mode B since it uses power over the spare pins. It’s not that one mode is better, it’s just that Mode A is more standard and that 24V just works with Mode B only.
It’s important to note that not all IP cameras use the same amount of power. Use a power supply that handles within 80 percent of the max rating for your expected load.
How To Use Your PoE Injector
Now that you know which Ethernet cord and what category cable will work with your particular setup, here’s how to use your PoE injector to get your IP camera network up and running.
- Make sure all your equipment is in working order before mounting your IP cameras.
- Plug your Ethernet cord into the injector’s PoE port as well as into the IP camera port.
- Mount your camera where there’s good lighting.
- Use another Ethernet to plug your non-PoE switch to your injector.
As you can see, using your PoE injector for IP cameras isn’t brain surgery. Just plug your cord into your injector and camera, mount your camera and there you go. You’ll get anywhere from 15W to 70W per port on an active switch.
An Interoperable Future: PoE Certification
A press release cited by Market Watch states that there will be nearly 40 billion connected devices by 2025. The ensuing IoT infrastructure demands that secure and cost-efficient solutions will be needed to manage those devices. A PoE enabled network will provide cost installation savings, flexibility, less chance for failure, and centralized power management whether you’re using a VoIP phone, PoE enabled wireless access point, or IP security cameras.
The next logical step for PoE past the current standards is interoperability. According to the Ethernet Alliance, the launch of the Gen2 Power over Ethernet (PoE) Certification program is underway. If you’re a PoE stakeholder, it will be especially important for you to know how the certification process will work and affect your PoE-enabled systems and devices.
Thanks to the rise of whole building efficiency initiatives, facility operations are becoming less of a drain on the power grid and on the people who run things. One key aspect of reducing that energy-hungry footprint is the use of low-power solutions throughout a facility, such as Power over Ethernet (PoE) lighting systems. Intelligent lighting provides a more customized, comfortable, and energy-efficient smart building experience. Building owners and managers are focusing on ways to attract tenants by becoming more energy-efficient, like investing in systems to meet these sustainability goals. That’s exactly why PoE continues to grow in popularity. PoE provides a simple, cost-effect way to install and operate smart building solutions—like lighting systems and platforms, and is a critical driver in intelligent building growth in 2020.
If you’re new to building management, this next bit will summarize how.
Smart PoE Lighting is cost-effective to install
PoE transmits power and data through one Ethernet cable, eliminating the need for an electrician to install additional outlets and breaker boxes. PoE and LED are highly compatible and eliminate the need for AC-to-DC power conversion technologies within the lighting fixtures themselves, improving overall building efficiency. Delivering power and data over one Cat5e, Cat6, or Cat6A Ethernet cable not only reduces installation overhead but also reduces energy costs. LED luminaires connect to the PoE switch through Ethernet cables, which connect to wall switches and sensors. These systems can be daisy-chained to maximize the usage of each port.
Image courtesy Igor.
IEEE 802.3bt PoE standards are driving incentives to adopt
The latest IEEE 802.3bt PoE standard now enables PoE power outputs for 60W per port (Type 3) and 90W per port (Type 4) by using all four pairs of a PoE cable. Building networks leverage a greater cost-efficiency impact for each cable deployed when four pairs are used.
Type 3 and 4 standards allow the implementation of an increasing number of sophisticated PoE devices, including things like lighting embedded with sensors, building automation, and high-performance wireless access points.
PoE technology is helping bring business into the 21st century. It’s helping transform outdated operating systems and making them work for the people they impact.
Smart PoE Lighting and worker health and productivity
PoE lighting systems are not only easy on the purse strings and facilities teams, they’re also good for the people who work in these environments. Thanks to the influx of data in commercial buildings, manufacturers and building managers are leveraging the smart building experience to bring tenants and workers a better environment that promotes a sense of health and wellbeing and allows them to get more done in less time.
Lighting systems control lighting temperature settings and allow those levels that match natural rhythms to more closely align with nature and improve concentration and sleep cycles. Sensors can also alert centralized building control platforms to shut down lighting systems when spaces are unoccupied.
Image courtesy eldoLED.
Additionally, personal lighting control apps used on smartphones or workplace computers are also becoming more widely used, giving people more control and adaptability.
PoE lighting systems include sensors that collect massive data sets that can inform priorities for organizations. Data collected by lighting sensors help streamline operations and refine services. They track compliance and security status while helping save time on things that can be automated and improve the quality of life.
Smart PoE Lighting makes intelligent building management and maintenance easier to plan and implement
Centralized building management systems let building managers know when to schedule maintenance and other key information about spaces within a building or campus while eliminating manual processes. Smarter facility management begins with smarter lighting.
With all of the benefits associated with PoE lighting systems and platforms, one would think that adoption would be much more widespread.
The reality is, though, that actual PoE lighting systems deployments are still limited.
Why the reluctance to adopt new technology?
In an earlier post, Versa discussed the barriers to adoption of PoE Lighting Technology. We often hear from partners and business buyers that they are aware of PoE lighting, but that they have a difficult time selling new technology to customers.
This resistance to change is nothing new. Though PoE lighting systems and hardware are superior in efficiency and attractiveness to earlier products, especially when used with the new management platforms, consumers often see dragons to slay before enjoying the benefits.
Barriers to PoE Lighting Systems adoption
When the wave of light bulb innovation took place in the earlier parts of the 2010s, they were an instant success. The reason that buyers took the leap of faith is that the budgetary threshold was small. It was easy to pitch the value of a bulb that can last for years instead of months to a busy facilities management team.
The budgetary hurdles for lighting systems and platforms are a bit higher. It’s taking a little longer for their value to “sink-in” for decision-makers with a hotlist of priorities. But the inevitability is that as other systems fail and human resources responsibilities lists expand, PoE lighting technologies will come into their own. They will save time and require fewer manual processes.
The convergence of IT and OT
Besides the budget, there is one other biggie that looms-for-many-a building management team, which is the somewhat labor-intensive convergence of IT and operational technology (OT).
Commercial building platforms are melding separate siloes through connecting to automated solutions. This process may be time-consuming for already time-strapped project teams. The expense and disruption of sifting through legacy systems and capturing data in usable form can often outweigh the promise of convenience in the long-term.
Perceived barriers due to business priorities, though, cannot diminish the value of getting businesses–including the management facilities–into digital form.
Reinvent your business with technology or fade to black. Every company now continuously reinvents its business with technology at the core–or watches while its customers defect and its markets are disrupted.
Forrester® | Digital Rewrites The Rules Of Business
The harsh reality is that there’s a real “urgency” for businesses and organizations to step further into the digital marketplace. When longstanding, impeccable brands like Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, and a host of others are struggling to compete with sellers like Amazon. It’s time for the rest of us to take stock.
In this blog Versa Technology is circling back on a previous post, Adjustable LED Lighting: Revolutionizing Workspace Design, to share insight on several developments taking place in the research of light and its effects on health and productivity. Light frequencies can be harnessed to mirror those found in nature. Researchers are finding that the right application of light can bring about benefits that not only make work more enjoyable; they can impact the bottom line also from the resulting increase in employee productivity. An investment in smart LED lighting systems is an investment in better working conditions that far outweigh the initial investment in smart Power over Ethernet (PoE) lighting systems.
The Natural Impact of Warm and Cool Light
Warm light is lower in frequency and occurs in nature at dawn and dusk, bookending the daylight cycle. This light is lower in frequency and provides a relaxing effect on the brain. That’s why adjustable lighting can work with and not against the flow of a natural feeling atmosphere in a room. Warmer light also promotes a feeling of wellbeing. It is appropriate for spaces in an office where workers go to relax.
Cool light is higher in frequency and occurs when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky. Light that is higher in frequency can promote focus and productivity and is perfect for areas within a campus where workers do the bulk of their work. It’s also good for spaces where collaboration takes place.
Model of Brain Response to Light Therapy
Image Courtesy of TheScientist
How Light Interacts with the Brain
Light travels in frequencies. Different wavelengths are proving to have a profound effect, at least within controlled environments. For example, bathing patients in flashing light and pulsing sounds [pink noise] both tuned to a frequency of 40Hz is showing promise in reversing signs of Alzheimer’s in the brain. Li-Huei Tsai, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) neuroscientist, conducted a study back in March 2015, with two groups of mice programmed to produce the same plaque (Amyloid) that concentrates in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The mice that received one hour per day of flickering strobe light had a 50 percent reduction in the levels of plaque than others that spent the same hour in the dark.
This lightwave therapy also called gamma wave therapy or brainwave entrainment, synchronizes brain waves naturally with the rhythm of the light frequencies. Click here to see and hear a simulation of light and sound therapy used for Alzheimer’s treatment.
Prolonged exposure to daylight is also reducing sleeplessness in elderly patients with both Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Getting patients out into the sunlight on a regular and prolonged basis promotes longer sleep cycles, and enough sleep slows the progression of either disease.
The implications of this study are profound. If light is helping people with acute health conditions, what can an introduction of exposure to light frequencies that more closely mirrors that found in nature do for those with milder challenges?
The Impact of Outdated Lighting Solutions on Workers
Decision-makers can increase worker well-being and productivity by making better lighting quality a priority. To drive home this point, let’s examine some of the effects of poor lighting quality.
1. Mental Fog Due to Sleep Deprivation
Fluorescent lighting, a cooler light with higher frequency, can disrupt the inner clock in the human brain. The scientific term for these inner cycles is circadian rhythms. They tell your body when to wake up and when to go to sleep. Keeping the internal clock aligned with natural light frequencies throughout the day helps support mental sharpness. Increasingly sophisticated Power Over Ethernet lighting solutions can be programmed to mimic the light frequencies that are happening outside, contributing to the mental focus of workers. Because the flow of light flows with natural brain tendencies, workers will experience deeper and longer sleep cycles, which promote productive functioning throughout the day.
Linked to mental fog is also mental and physical fatigue. It becomes harder to solve problems creatively and look at situations from different perspectives when you’re already struggling to apply yourself mentally.
Light within the range of daylight frequencies can boost mental clarity for workers who are trying to push through. Lowering light frequencies at end-of-day into evening, can help people begin to wind down and begin the relaxation period of the day and their brains prepare for sleep later on.
The Mayo Clinic identifies light as being one of the primary causes of eyestrain. Too much or too little exposure to light can throw things out of whack. Extended amounts of blue light is one notorious cause. Straining to see in dim light is another.
Symptoms can include sore, watery eyes, tension in the neck and shoulders, difficulty concentrating, and the feeling of not being able to keep eyes open.
4. Migraine Headaches
Headaches of differing degrees can be triggered by the intensity of bright lighting in office spaces and is especially true for those who experience chronic episodes. By providing warmer lower-frequency lighting and the ability to dim lights within their workspace, employees can overcome this susceptibility.
Many lighting and facility platforms offer mobile that allow people individualized control over defined areas within a building. Workers struggling with these tendencies can enjoy relief through the use of lighting controls.
Power Over Ethernet Lighting to Create Natural Light Frequencies in the Workplace
Around the same time that Dr. Tsai was researching mice at MIT, Doctors Mohamed Boubekri, Ph.D., Ivy N. Cheung, B.A., and a distinguished group of researchers for the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine conducted a study examining the impact of daylight exposure on the health of office workers, specifically pertaining to sleep quality and patterns.
Participants in the study (2 groups), either worked in an environment with no or low window exposure versus those who had exposure to daylight while in an office setting. Workers in windowless workspaces lacked vitality, had physical problems, and exhibited the effects of poor sleep and sleep disturbances. The employees with windows and exposure to daylight were more active and had better sleep scores.
The conclusion of the findings of the MIT study?
We suggest that architectural design of office environments should place more emphasis on sufficient daylight exposure.
Easier said than done, as retrofitting windows into commercial buildings can come at a steep price point.
The Benefits of Natural Light Anywhere
Power Over Ethernet lighting systems and platforms are a much more cost-effective solution than renovating to add windows. After contractors and materials, you can be looking at a sizable investment. Alternatively, adding LED lights and connecting them to a lighting platform can quickly give you a comprehensive solution to the full frequency of light and control, while stretching over an entire floor or even a building at a fraction of the cost. The improved health and well being of workers, though, is priceless and will reflect company productivity as they flourish on the job.
Find out more about Versa Technology’s PoE networking solutions (used to implement PoE Lighting Systems), follow this link.
Power Over Ethernet (PoE) is a simple and reliable way to power security cameras. A PoE security camera system is an excellent option for home and business surveillance. There are a few essential things you should consider before you begin selecting the right IP security camera system for your needs. Let’s explore six crucial aspects of security camera systems, including location, camera type, focal length, special features, number of cameras, and types of PoE switches.
Will your camera system utilize indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, or both? It’s important to know where your cameras will be located and choose cameras that are suitable for their environment. Indoor and outdoor cameras similar, but outdoor cameras require extra protection. Outdoor cameras are rugged and designed to withstand the elements. Wind, rain, and snow are just some of the harsh conditions that outdoor cameras have to work in. Outdoor cameras rank by the Ingress Protection (IP) rating. The IP rating determines how durable a camera is against solids and liquids; lower numbers indicate less protection, and higher numbers indicate more protection.
2. Types of Cameras
IP security cameras are available in four primary styles- bullet, box, dome, and turret.
- Box cameras are the traditional model of security cameras; they are durable, long-lasting, and are useful in a variety of locations. However, bullet cameras do need an external light source for use in poorly lit areas.
- Bullet cameras are box cameras that are protected by an outer shell, which makes them great for outdoor use. Bullet cameras are often equipped with larger lenses, which enhances the visual field.
- Dome cameras are small cameras tucked inside of a transparent dome. The clear dome protects the camera from vandalism and other problems. Dome cameras come in various sizes: standard, mini, and micro. Dome cameras are often equipped with Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) capabilities.
- Turret cameras are similar to dome cameras. Turret cameras are small and dome-shaped; however, they utilize a ball-and-socket design.
3. Focal Length
The focal length determines the depth and width of the camera view. There are three main types of focal lengths:
- Fixed lens cameras use a non-adjustable lens and are unable to zoom in. Cameras with fixed focal lengths provide basic surveillance and tend to be cheaper than cameras with other focal types.
- Varifocal lens cameras can be manually adjusted to customize the angle and zoom of the camera.
- PTZ enables a camera to pan out for a broad view, tilt or rotate for an increased visual field, and zoom in on areas of interest. PTZ cameras offer the most control over the focal length and tend to be more expensive than cameras with other focal types.
4. Special Features
Another factor to consider when deciding which PoE security camera system is right for you is to explore unique features and the needs of your environment.
- Night vision is a useful feature that will enable your security camera system to provide a good visual in dark areas and at night time. Security cameras equipped with night vision typically use EXIR or infrared (IR) technology. EXIR is an advanced technology for night vision and provides nighttime surveillance footage to be observed and recorded with increased clarity, depth, and detail than traditional LED lighting.
- Audio recording is available on many models of security cameras. The audio feature requires a built-in mic or external mic and transmits sound one-way. Security cameras with audio capabilities provide an extra level of security; it is essential to consider local and state laws before installing a camera that records sound.
- A Network Video Recorder (NVR) is an optional feature for IP security camera systems that can connect your cameras via an ethernet cable and record audio and video.
5. Number of cameras
It is crucial to consider the size of your camera system. The number of cameras on your surveillance network will determine the size of the PoE switch you will need to support your cameras.
6. Types of PoE switches
PoE switches provide reliable power for security cameras and can support for four-48 cameras on a single system. PoE switches come available in managed and unmanaged units. PoE switches offer many benefits for IP security networks. Managed PoE switches include a Device Management System (DMS), which makes it simple to monitor, control, troubleshoot, and reboot your surveillance network remotely. AETEK’s C50 Series Smart PoE Switches provides reliable power, high-speed data connectivity, and advanced DMS. Unmanaged PoE switches provide power and connect your cameras to one system; however, unmanaged PoE switches don’t include advanced diagnostic DMS.
IP security camera systems are an excellent way to monitor your business, home, or property. There are many factors to consider before deciding which PoE IP security camera system is the best fit for your needs. Determine the location of the cameras and if you will need indoor or outdoor cameras or both. Camera types and focal lengths vary greatly and should be selected based on the unique environment. Night vision, audio, and NVR are optional special features that provide additional surveillance protection. The number of cameras on your network will determine the type and size of the PoE switch that is needed to support your PoE security camera system. PoE switches can support up to 48 cameras on a single system and come in unmanaged and managed models. Carefully considering each aspect of PoE security cameras will help you find the camera system that will fulfill your needs.
Silicon Labs, an Austin based provider of silicon, software, and smart solutions, recently announced the release of a new line of integrated circuits (IC) that provide up to 90W per port of Power over Ethernet (PoE) to power devices (PDs), including 5G small cells. Victory lap for PoE. If you’re not familiar with Silicon Labs, don’t feel out of the loop. These technologies fall into the category of ingredient solutions, and so, even if you’re using them, you may be doing so unawares. They occur inside another manufacturer’s product.
Small Cell 5G Infrastructure Explained
What is small cell technology?
A small cell is basically a mini base station comprised of much smaller pieces, namely picocells, microcells, and femtocells. Small cell systems can be implemented either indoor or outdoor. They attach to a macrocell base station to increase the macro cell’s edge data capacity, speed, and overall network efficiency.
Small cells were added in 2008 to help densify networks and build out existing wireless infrastructure. They appear in urban areas in places lots of people use data at one time.
Most small cell deployments are outdoors.
Indoor deployments can include unlicensed LTE bands, Wi-Fi or Licensed Assisted Access (LAA), based on the capabilities needed.
Small Cell 5G has been around for a decade, but sort of in the background. Now that the race is on and telcos are competing heavily to establish fully-functioning 5G networks, small cells are moving center stage. Small cells are closer to the end-user. This edge proximity allows the potential for faster speeds with less competition for bandwidth, as instead of more centralized wireless applications, which travel farther to get to and compete with countless other signals to get onto the network.
Small cell close proximity puts in place the structure needed for lower latency. And the benefits don’t end here. Small cells are also being deployed in the expansion of frequency ranges, making it even easier to get onto a network.
The lower frequencies used by existing mobile networks are already crowded and don’t have the ready bandwidth to support 5G. To counter this, new frequency bands are becoming available in many countries around the world. In addition to ‘mid-band’ frequencies, new bands in the so-called millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum, namely the 24 GHz, 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands are being allocated; with more likely to follow. Darrell Davies, Small Cells – Big in 5G, Nokia.com.
These speeds translate to better streaming and potential for better AR/VR experiences and even AI. Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and ultra-low latency (URLLC), made available by 5G small cells, can also optimize industrial applications of wireless technology. Smart cars will also feel the benefit of 5G wireless signal intensification as they travel through increasingly dense signal frameworks.
PoE delivery of power and data is cost-efficient and the use of one-cable installations will likely bring down overhead, and will make rolling out the infrastructure to support 5G happen faster. The cost and complexity of adding 90W Power over Ethernet (PoE) to power-sourcing equipment (PSE) and powered devices (PDs) have decreased. One cable installations deployed locally are easier to install and easier to justify from a financial standpoint.
Why 90W PoE is such a big deal
The 90W PoE power capability expands the potential for feature-laden, sophisticated IEEE 802.3bt (Type 4) compliant devices. The 802.3bt standard delivers 60W to 90W, doubling PoE power from Type 2 (30W) and expanding the capabilities of wireless access points and IoT wireless gateways.
This higher power capability extends PoE delivery to 5G small cells and digital buildings.
These new Silicon Lab ICs bring power to IoT nodes with flexibility and a high degree of integration. Type 4 PoE 90W supports extensive integration and advanced features. These capabilities help developers simplify designs while meeting stringent power, size, and cost budgets, essential at this stage of the IoT ramp up.
The New Silicon Lab ICs
The March 2020 release includes three PSE and PD products.
The first IC is the Si3471 PSE controller is the industry’s first fully autonomous, 90W, single-port 802.3bt-compliant power-sourcing device. The Si3471 adds 90W to single-port midspans or “injectors” and automatically manages all nuances associated with the 802.3bt standard. One attractive feature is that it requires no external host MCUs, firmware downloads, or software programming, and may be configured using three digital I/O pins.
The next IC is the Si3474 quad Ethernet-port PSE controller. It powers up to four 90W, 802.3bt PoE ports or up to eight 30-W 802.3at/af PoE ports, and is suitable for Ethernet switches and security recording equipment use in industrial and commercial settings.
The third is the Si34071 single-chip PD device. It combines an 802.3bt interface with an integrated, high-efficiency dc-dc converter capable of achieving more than 90% efficiency. The Si34071 powers 5G small cells, wireless access points, and IoT gateways.
90W PoE Moves The 5G and Small Cell Rollout Forward
Small cells are considered labor-intensive, so having a one-cable solution for power and data eliminates work. The less it takes to install and power wireless technology, the better. And the better the optimization, the greater the return on investment for operators. Improving wireless network capacity means either adding more spectrum or increasing the nu
mber of cell sites. For small cells, increasing the number of sites is the key, and the 5G rollout is definitely a force driving this phenomenon. The small cell 5G network market revenue in the US is expected to grow from $0.5B USD in 2019 to $3.5B in 2025.
Mobile Data Traffic Speeds Higher
Increasing data traffic is giving rise to the demand for higher network bandwidth. One Gigabit per second (Gbps) per small cell is what is making 5G more attractive. According to Ericsson, the monthly data traffic per smartphone usage would increase by 10 times from 2017 to 2023. The increase in mobile data traffic leads to an increase in demand for small cell 5G networks. The FCC expects up to 80% of new cell site deployments will be small cells.
The three 90W ICs from Silicon Labs are just the beginning. It will be exciting to watch as other key products begin to emerge. Until then, congratulations are in order to Silicon Labs.
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