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Thread: POE Lighting code requirements

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    POE Lighting code requirements

    Hello,

    I am curious about POE lighting and what (if any) NEC rules apply. After digging around on the internet (lots of opinions and differing conclusions...), I found the following paper:

    https://library.ul.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2015/11/Power-over-Ethernet-white-paper_final.pdf

    This seems to do a pretty good job of describing the various NEC and UL codes that apply, but I am curious about a few things that hopefully the experts around here can give their opinions on.

    The latest POE spec (802.3bt Type 4) allows for 100W delivered by the PSE, with the PSE voltages between 52-57V. This is actually plenty of power for LED lighting applications.

    My first set of questions are: Is POE lighting getting special treatment under NEC code by virtue of it riding on what was originally meant for information technology (computer) equipment? (Section 725.121 application allowances) Or, is the important aspect that POE lighting is just falling under the Inherently Limited Power Source portion of the code (Class 2 source, <100VA, <60V)?

    My second set questions are: Would any Class 2 power source be ok to power LED panels/drivers? For example, could you use a 60VDC 100W Class 2 supply to power a hypothetical listed 60VDC LED Panel driver? Would something like Bell wire work (assuming the proper gauge size etc.)? Would CAT6 cable work (assuming you were distributing power in a similar way using the 4 pairs etc) even though you were not technically using Ethernet?

    I see that some companies sell LED Panel drivers intended for remote install using class 2 plenum wires. This would seem to indicate that (assuming proper cabling for the install location), LED lighting powered by a class 2 supply, would not require conduits, etc. Correct?

    One final note, it does appear that NEC 2017 does address issues specific to POE cable bundling.

    Thanks,

    Chip

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    2017 NEC 840.160 directs you to 725.144 when it is >60W and the comm cables are used in place of Class 2 and Class 3 cables.
    Ron

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    I fail to see the advantage of large scale POE lighting at all. Power distributed on 24ga wiring within category cables can't be very efficient. I can't understand where this idea came from. What's wrong with powering the fixtures in the conventional manner with line voltage then run ethernet cables to provide the control?

    -Hal

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    Quote Originally Posted by hbiss View Post
    I fail to see the advantage of large scale POE lighting at all. Power distributed on 24ga wiring within category cables can't be very efficient. I can't understand where this idea came from. What's wrong with powering the fixtures in the conventional manner with line voltage then run ethernet cables to provide the control?

    -Hal
    While I also think Poe lighting is not practical at most scales, we desperately could use some sort of "plug and play" lighting system for grid fixtures. It's ridiculous how much time it takes to wire up a room full of 2x4's with mc and wire nuts...
    Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

    "You can't generalize"

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    Actually I think that was tried several times over the years. Pre-made whips with plugs on the ends, daisy chain them together. It didn't became very popular. Still, I think manufacturers could make it easier to wire them without having to take them apart.

    I don't know where the push for POE lighting is coming from but I have a hunch it's from IT and other LV people hoping to get into the lighting market.

    -Hal

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    POE is intended to power things like remote cameras, key pads, phone terminals, and similar low-current devices, not 4' LED tubes replacing all of the fluorescents in a warehouse!

    I think that LED wiring will end up running on POE voltages, but using more robust wiring. That would enable you to use low-voltage wiring rules.

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