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Understanding Cree’s SmartCast PoE LED lighting

Understanding Cree’s SmartCast PoE LED lighting

By BizLED Bureau

Mar 15, 2015: LED manufacturer Cree launched SmartCast PoE, a new line of lighting fixtures and accessories designed to function with Digital Ceiling. More than quarter of any building’s electrical usage accounts for lighting. This concern has been taken seriously by the facility managers, who crave to trade old fluorescent fixtures for more efficient and longer lasting LEDs. It is noticed that cost of a lighting retrofit may take few years to reach its threshold level, new construction projects clearly opt for LEDs to better lighting, green savings, and reduced power consumption.

The cost of a lighting retrofit may take few years to recover, but new construction projects clearly opt for LEDs to better lighting, green savings, and reduced power consumption.

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As Power over Ethernet (PoE) gaining traction, it’s becoming convenient than ever to integrate a building’s energy lighting,  management, and The Internet into one set of cables. In a recent development, Cisco unveiled Digital Ceiling, an important communication protocol for PoE devices. We will discuss in detail as what they have to offer.

Variety in lights

Several models of its SmartCast lights are being updated by Cree, including troffer and recessed downlight fixtures. They are dimmable and available in multiple color temperatures. The troffers contain adjustable color temperatures – anywhere from 3000K (warm white) to 5000K (cool/daylight) in 100K increments – while the downlights are in a variety of fixed color temperatures. Different color temperatures have the ability to adjust lighting to match the body’s natural circadian rhythms, promoting alertness and productivity. These LEDs are highly efficient, providing quality lighting comes with a minimum efficacy of 100 lumens per watt and a color rendering index (CRI) of 90.

Lighting controls

The fixtures are designed to pass through an infrared motion sensor to detect room occupancy. An ambient light sensor will automatically adjust the brightness based on the natural light in the room. Sensor information data is fed to the building automation system (BAS) which helps to maintain energy efficiency levels in the building.

The lights are designed to be integrated into the BAS, in addition to the manual wall switches and dimmers. The programming interface of SmartCast application provides information allowing BAS to adjust lighting levels and color temperatures, HVAC, and security systems based on the time of the day, sensor information, and customized programs.

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Third party developers may code apps to control a variety of IoT devices on the network. The entire system is designed to integrate seamlessly into the Cisco Digital Ceiling with a dashboard allowing the facility manager to control from a single point.

Power on Ethernet (PoC)

Power over Ethernet (PoE) allows low-voltage devices to be powered directly from the Ethernet cables, saving additional wiring expense. But the benefits don’t stop after the installation as LEDs is inherently DC-powered devices and  PoE eliminates the requirement for an AC-to-DC converter on a single light fixture. That circuit used to be responsible for early failures of LED lamps, hence PoE increases system reliability. The AC-DC converter is another source of inefficiency as it takes power to drive the circuit.

It has been observed that high-voltage/low-current (AC) traveling over long distances is more efficient than low-voltage/high-current (PoE) over the same distance, due to the wire resistance power loss.

Energy savings

A lighting system based on SmartCast PoE could use 70% less electricity than standard LED lighting, according to Cree lighting experts. Cree provides an option to download savings worksheet to help facility managers performing their own financial analysis.

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