There is no doubt that Power over Ethernet, or PoE, equipment and systems continue to grow in popularity and installed system share across a wide range of industries and applications. Deployments are common now across company information systems, wireless internet and intranet access, video surveillance, access control, lighting control, and many more places than we can mention here.
The reasons for this popularity are clear:
- PoE simplifies system design and installation
- PoE saves money with a reduced installation cost
- PoE maintains flexibility to add, modify, or remove system elements
- PoE allows for centralized power management and backup
Elsewhere on our site, we covered 6 key attributes to consider during your PoE vendor and equipment selection processes. (Click here to see that page) On that page, we stated that the first selection factor is to be sure your choice supports the maximum available power. The question now is, which version of PoE should be considered to maximize the benefits?
PoE is an Evolving Standard
It’s important to know that not all PoE systems are the same. PoE is a standard that was first introduced in 2003 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (or IEEE), but has evolved over time such that the IEEE has now standardized three versions with differing capabilities.
The original version of the PoE standard (called IEEE 802.3af-2003) provided for up to 15.4 Watts of DC power, with 12.95 W available for powering devices over Category 3 or Category 5 cables. The difference between the provided power and available power accounts for cable losses. By 2009, the IEEE had an updated standard (IEEE 802.3at-2009) that increased the wattage available for powering devices to up to 25.5 Watts over Category 5 cables. This improved version is known as PoE+ (or PoE Plus).
In 2018, the IEEE delivered the 802.3bt-2018 standard that added two more power types, making use of all four conducting pairs in Category cables to deliver up to 51 Watts to power devices (Type 3) or even up to 71.3 Watts (Type 4). Systems that make use of these higher-powered standards are known as PoE++, or 4PPoE as an abbreviation for “4-pair PoE” because they use all four pairs in the cable. An important improvement of this new standard is that support for higher data rates in the cables is included, up to 10GBASE-T.
Today’s Power-Hungry Edge Devices
In response to – and in support of – the increasing power in PoE standards, there has been a marked increase in the availability of PoE-capable devices. Today, the available devices include such items as:
- Network routers
- Wireless access points
- Intercom and public address systems
- Intelligent lighting controllers
- Lighting fixtures
- IP cameras
- VoIP phones
- Clocks for classrooms and businesses
- Machine control systems
- and many more
Some of the items are newly available as PoE devices, such as lighting fixtures and Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras, because they previously required more power than could be provided by the first generation of PoE systems. Today, systems can not only make use of higher available power, but can also drive more devices with each cable connection.
If you are considering a new PoE system, or upgrading your outdated system, then it makes sense to ensure that your equipment choices support the maximum available power. By implementing higher powered PoE systems, facility managers can take advantage of more device options, and install the desired options with fewer cables than ever before. It’s no mistake that DITEK PoE solutions support the PoE++ standard (IEEE 802.3bt) to deliver the maximum system flexibility and longevity available today!
We are ready to help
DITEK Networks provides a range of networking solutions that are ideal for professional installations at educational, retail, government, and business facilities of all kinds. Our PoE solutions are the best value on the market, with excellent reliability, capabilities, and flexibility to meet your project needs – all at a very competitive price.
Contact us for a free evaluation of your project needs and see how we can help!