Power over Ethernet (PoE) or remote powering has transformed the way facilities are cabled and the way that electronics are being powered. It uses the same twisted pair data (Ethernet) cable to power the device as it does to connect the device to the Local Area Network (LAN). Devices that can utilize PoE include lighting, cameras, phones, Access Control, Intercoms, Point of Sale Devices (POS), and Wireless Access Points (WAP). Utilizing PoE for all these devices can create an intelligent infrastructure whereby devices can be monitored and controlled via Internet connection.
Additionally, the reduction in cabling allows for more cables in one area in addition to the increased safety of using low voltage wiring. This in turn means lower upfront costs for the owner in terms of installation as the low voltage installer can pull all the cable required without getting an electrician involved. It can also mean lower costs over the life of the network as less electricity is used by the low voltage network.
Devices attached to the network can also be moved more easily because devices are no longer constrained by how close they are to an electrical outlet. Moreover, PoE allows you to put devices in places where it is difficult to install power – like drop ceilings.
Devices on the network can also be backed up by a power supply, something multiple times costlier with many devices running on Alternating Current (AC) power. PoE comes from a sole source rather than many, making the backup process much more straightforward.