At a time when businesses strive for profitability and employees aim to earn more to keep up with the cost of living, time spent at the workplace remains high. Andrew Naber, an industrial-organizational psychologist and data scientist, observes the average person will spend one-third of their lifetime at the workplace. Consequently, businesses need to create practical solutions to sustain long working hours, and switching to Power over Ethernet (PoE) workplace lighting is one of the most innovative ways of improving efficiency and workplace conditions.
What is PoE LED Lighting?
PoE workplace lighting is a smart lighting technology powered and controlled by ethernet cables and light-emitting diode (LED) luminaries. This technology allows for the transmission of low-voltage electric power and data over a single Cat5e, Cat6, or Cat6A Ethernet cable.
PoE LED lighting systems also have self-management features that enhance their efficiency and control:
- Remote Monitoring: PoE LED lights have a central control system that you can monitor remotely, allowing real-time status checks and adjustments. They also include energy monitoring and reporting tools to track power usage and optimize energy efficiency.
- Automation: PoE workplace lighting has automated features such as programmed and adaptive lighting, fault detection, and occupancy sensing that improve functionality and require less monitoring.
What Are the Commercial Advantages of PoE Workplace Lighting?
Businesses can enjoy the following benefits after incorporating PoE for power delivery:
Installing new lighting or adjusting existing infrastructure shouldn’t result in excessive operational downtimes. PoE lighting installation is faster because power and data can be transmitted over Ethernet cables, which is a cost-effective solution. This technology uses low voltage power (often less than 100 W), and installation doesn’t require metal cladding or conduits, making the process much faster. You won’t even need to hire an electrician!
Long-term Cost Benefits
PoE lighting systems use smart technology to analyze and record a company’s operational patterns and provide information that ensures efficient energy use. LED lights have a longer lifespan than traditional fluorescent or incandescent bulbs, which helps minimize replacement and maintenance costs. These last 25 times longer and use 75% less energy.
Better Overall Workplace Efficiency
PoE LED lighting allows seamless integration with other smart systems common to modern workplaces, such as building management, alarm, and automation systems. These integrations improve overall efficiency and enable conditional actions, like adjusting lighting based on occupancy or daylight levels. Comfortable lighting adjustments also make employees and staff more productive.
Enhanced Focus and Productivity
LED can adjust the levels of blue and yellow lighting frequencies, which can benefit focus and productivity. Blue lighting has a stimulating effect and enhances alertness, making it a suitable choice for highly productive places in the company. Conversely, yellow lighting is relaxing and ideal for common areas or break rooms.
PoE lighting positively contributes to the sustainability goals of businesses. LED lights don’t emit harmful substances like mercury, which are dangerous to the environment and human health. PoE lighting systems also typically feature low-voltage lighting, which is ideal because excess artificial light can harm indoor plants and pets in the workplace.
Are PoE LED Lights Good for Your Health?
When installing lighting systems in your business, it’s important to consider the health and safety of your employees. Providing safe and healthy working conditions improves confidence, morale, and productivity. It also helps reduce liability for workplace-related health issues. PoE workplace lighting offers numerous health benefits, making it an ideal choice for companies.
These benefits include:
Circadian Rhythm Regulation
The human body has an “internal clock” (the circadian rhythm) that responds to the progression of natural light from night to morning and influences sleep and wake cycles. Circadian rhythms cause the body to react differently to specific changes in natural lighting, e.g., the need to be more productive or to rest. PoE LED mimics natural light patterns, helping to regulate employees’ circadian rhythm and working habits to prevent overworking and exhaustion, both of which can lead to long-term health complications.
Natural light has a soothing effect on the human mind. This type of light triggers the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with good mood and well-being. Exposure to light that resembles natural daylight helps create a calming and reassuring atmosphere, decreasing stress in the workplace.
Reduced Headaches and Migraines
Traditional fluorescent lighting often exhibits flickering, triggering headaches or migraines in sensitive individuals. LED lights have proper drivers and controls that ensure flicker-free operation, eliminating these triggers. They also have glare controls that prevent excessive light reflections, which may cause eye strains that contribute to headaches and migraines.
What are the Potential Disadvantages of PoE Workplace Lighting
It’s evident that PoE workplace lighting has numerous advantages, but are there any potential issues that businesses should know about before installing them?
- Initial Investment Cost: Installing PoE LED lighting systems requires PoE switches, cabling, and compatible LED fixtures, which makes the initial investment higher than traditional lighting systems.
- Network Dependency: PoE lighting requires reliable network availability to function since it uses Ethernet cables. PoE also features a single switch connecting multiple power lines, and any network outages or disruptions can potentially make the lighting system fail unless the switch it connects to is backed up by a power supply.
- Slightly More Complex: Managing PoE systems involves integrating lighting control with the IT network. Plug-and-play components alleviate some of this challenge, however, you may need to have access to someone with relevant IT knowledge if a question arises. Incidentally, Versa Technology has premium tech support staff that can answer networking questions. Your LED lighting manufacturer can assist you with product-related questions.
With its ease of installation, long-term cost benefits, and integration capabilities, installing PoE LED lights is an excellent choice for companies seeking improved productivity and environmental sustainability. PoE lighting can significantly improve employee health, offering benefits such as circadian rhythm regulation, reduced stress, and other lighting-induced health issues.
Versa Technology has worked with Ethernet for decades and offers comprehensive PoE IT networking capabilities to support PoE lighting for businesses in many industries. Contact us today to leverage the full potential of PoE LED lighting and make informed decisions for your business.