Power Over Ethernet (PoE) Applied to Cree SmartCast®

Cree, Inc. in collaboration with Cisco has introduced its SmartCast® Power over Ethernet (PoE) platform for IoT controlled lighting and data analytics in buildings. Cree announced the solution today at Cisco Live!® Berlin as part of the Cisco Digital Ceiling framework, which connects disparate systems into a single IP network. According to Cisco, the Digital Ceiling Framework creates smart, more secure, seamlessly connected building systems.

Cree’s SmartCast PoE is the first LED lighting platform that can allow mass deployment and adoption of the Cisco® Digital Ceiling framework. Cree asserts that its SmartCast PoE system embeds intelligence to make buildings more efficient and people more productive. According to Cree, the system can also deliver far better light and consume less energy than ordinary LED lighting.

Cree in collaboration with Cisco launches Power Over Ethernet (PoE) -based Smartcast platform

Cree in collaboration with Cisco launches Power Over Ethernet (PoE) -based Smartcast platform

Cree is a member of the Digital Ceiling partner community, which is made up of partners seeking to enhance the traditional workforce through connecting intelligent things to create new user experiences, lower total costs, and enable business analytics.

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Norbert Hiller, executive vice president of lighting at Cree stated, “The new connected lighting technologies we’re pioneering with Cisco leverage Cree’s SmartCast®Technology and the communications power of the internet to deliver better light and up to 70 percent more savings than standard LED lighting. With Cisco, Cree is taking Intelligent Light far beyond what’s possible with traditional lighting solutions.”

Cree says that its SmartCast Technology connected to a PoE infrastructure solves the inherent commissioning complexities of deploying network-powered smart lighting within buildings. Furthermore, Cree boasts that its SmartCast PoE works out of the box, just like the original SmartCast Technology. According to Cree, the SmartCast with PoE enables an entire building to be commissioned at one time with a single stroke.

Cisco’s standards-based PoE-powered network architecture enables operation and control Cree’s series of SmartCast® lights, light switches and dimmers. Standard Ethernet cable can provide power and networking for the lights with this platform, eliminating the need for separate data and high-voltage power connections.

Tony Shakib, vice president, IoT verticals business unit, Cisco commented, “Cree’s expertise is important as we make this shift in the industry to help customers in the enterprise begin to harness the benefits of network powered smart lighting solutions.”

Cree contends that its SmartCast Technology with PoE can provide energy savings up to 70 percent greater than LED lighting alone. At the same time, the platform makes possible new services and experiences. Mobile County Public Schools in Mobile, Alabama recently deployed the technology in their administrative offices, with plans to implement in classrooms this spring.

“Cree’s SmartCast® Technology with PoE is transforming the Mobile County School System by blending fundamentally better lighting with truly intuitive technology to personalize learning environments and deliver more value than we’d ever imagined,” said David Akridge, Mobile County School System executive manager of information technology. “Beyond high-performance energy efficiency, we now have the ability to tune the color of our lighting to create custom, comfortable classrooms. Cree’s SmartCast® Technology with PoE software is also adaptive, allowing for future security enhancements such as signaling a school emergency, so we can continue to offer safer environments.” 

Initial installations are in progress, and Cree SmartCast Technology with PoE will be commercially available in the second quarter of 2016.