Cree Sees Wider Opportunity in Ethernet-Powered Lighting with Cisco Partnership

Cree Sees Wider Opportunity in Ethernet-Powered Lighting with Cisco Partnership

The expansion of lighting system networks to function as data networks for connected devices is driving people throughout the lighting market to consider new possibilities, a movement early inquiries suggest will be everywhere at next month’s Lightfair International trade show in San Diego. Among the shifts are new partnerships between lighting companies and technology companies aimed at building out networks that can both integrate lighting as part of the intelligent network and power the lighting from the network itself via power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities. One interesting such announcement came from Cree Inc. and Cisco Systems, in which Cree’s SmartCast intelligent lighting system is tuned to work with Cisco’s Digital Ceiling. To get more insight, we engaged Gary Trott, Cree’s vice president of product strategy, in an e-mail discussion about what networked lighting is bringing to the industry.

Will Cree expand SmartCast PoE to other network providers, or is this Cisco-exclusive? Cree’s SmartCast PoE works out of the box, with enabled LED lights, light switches and dimmers that operate with Cisco’s standards-based PoE-powered network architecture. This platform provides power and communication for the lights with a standard Ethernet cable, eliminating the need for separate data and high-voltage power connections.

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