U.S. DOE Releases Report About Power Reporting Capabilities of Commercially Available PoE Lighting Systems

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released the first portion of a study examining the power reporting capabilities of marketed power over ethernet connected lighting systems. Power Over Ethernet (PoE) refers to systems which use a single Ethernet cable to both bring low-voltage DC power and enable network communication.

The new DOE report offers a brief background on the development of the various PoE technologies, ranging from standards-based to proprietary. The DOE report also illustrates the convergence of PoE power sourcing technology and LED luminaire power requirements.

It then categorizes PoE devices by how they are used within systems. Also, existing test setups and methods pertinent to characterizing PoE system energy reporting performance are reviewed.
Existing specifications and standards for energy reporting are explained.

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The report acknowledges that connected lighting systems can help reduce energy consumption for lighting and can report their energy savings compared to conventional lighting solutions. Connected lighting systems can also aid energy management wby providing behavior and settings (such as brightness) and scheduling recommendations that can enhance energy savings while meeting the lighting usage requirements.

Little Detail Provided About When, Where, and How of Energy Usage Reporting

The DOE report claims that most commercially-marketed PoE lighting systems provide some level of energy reporting. However, such PoE systems typically offer little to no detail about where, when, and how energy usage is reported.

The DOE contends that such systems should deliver at least a minimum level of detail describing where, when and how energy usage is reported. Such minimum details would require an accounting of the numerous potential configurations logical, physical, and temporal (with network volume and data traffic).

The DOE said in the report that it is not aware of any rigorous, independent, publically-available studies characterizing the reporting accuracy and precision of commercially-marketed PoE lighting devices and systems. Therefore, the DOE plans to conduct just such an independent study about the precision and accuracy of the energy usage reports from PoE lighting devices and systems.