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POE lighting/outlets tied to solar (inspired by net metering thread)

jberks | Posted in General Questions on

I was reading the net metering thread earlier, and was also recently discussing biosolar roofs with a friend (PV panels on a live vegetative roof). 

The discussion of the shift of most of our electrical to DC and how a PV DC system could be a lot more efficacious within a home. To elaborate, in how I design, all the lighting is LED downlighting, the wifi, speakers, computers, small hot water recirc pumps, home monitoring,etc. is all DC. (The Heat pumps are DC but let’s leave that out of the discussion for now) 

I already run a POE system for some of my devices like wifi, camera’s & speakers.  I was thinking about what it might look like to integrate lights and USB outlets throughout as well. And the potential to tie them to a transfer switch where it could be handled by either the PV DC supply or mains power. 

I found a few companies like Hubbell and cree  have already started doing POE lighting systems for commercial. 

Does anyone have any experience with this? 

Or What companies you recommend to work with or ease of install and control for Poe lightning and plugin power?

Or just any thoughts on the concept in general is appreciated as well. 



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  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    You're limited to 30 watts on the new PoE systems, and a bit over 15 watts for devices complying with the original standard. PoE was originally intended to enable IP phones that were powered from the network cable to make them like phones of old that were powered by the phone line. PoE has proven useful for other devices too (cameras, etc.), as new network-connected devices have become available.

    Using PoE to power lights and USB chargers is possible, but probably overkill. You have additional conversion losses (PoE runs 48v DC), and you have a LOT more complexity than is necessary for basic functions like powering a light fixture. I don't see PoE as a system to power regular powered devices, including lighting, since there are other simpler ways to do that.


  2. Expert Member
    Akos | | #2


    Going from PV DC to usable POE power or 12V/24V still requires a power conversion (DC-DC). This is slightly more efficient than going DC-AC-DC, but not that much.

    This is one of those where standard 120V is simple and good enough, when you can buy a 120V LED bulb for under $1, there is really no reason to go with anything else.

  3. jberger | | #3

    If you really want to go with led lighting and category wiring you should check out LumenCache. Derek has had this solution up and running for a number of years and the idea of remotely locating the LED drivers seems to be a real winner.

    I've attended his training courses, but never installed a system , so no real world experiences to share but I think he's got a really well thought out system.
    He's also got dimmer controls, etc so you don't have to figure it out or roll your own.

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