Feb 3, 2017: With the aim to solve the limitations of Power-over-Ethernet technology, Cisco Systems launched a new Ethernet data switch, designed to build operations like LED lighting.
Cisco built the new Catalyst Digital Building Switch to be embedded inside the ceiling close to the lighting fixtures. The will reduce the loss of Ethernet-borne electricity that takes place when cable travels longer distances within a building. Such transmission limitations have deterred users from deploying Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) lighting, an Internet of Things (IoT) technology that transmits data and electricity via standard Ethernet cable to LED lights.
The new box knocks voltage down from 120V and 240V electrical lines that feed it, transforming it into a lower voltage, which is enough to power LED lights. The low energy can travel safely over standard Ethernet cable Cat5 and Cat6.
Cisco claims that users can reboot the switch while the lights are on, unlike earlier situation when reboots could be done only after turning off the lights. The lights will come back in seconds after a power failure, Cisco claims.
With the introduction of the new switch, Cisco is moving its marketing away from ‘Digital Ceiling’ flag, rebrand it with the broader banner of ‘Digital Building’.