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Published on February 23rd, 2016 | by Joshua S Hill


Cree Announces SmartCast Power Over Ethernet To Enable Internet of Things

February 23rd, 2016 by  

Leading lighting provider Cree has introduced SmartCast Power over Ethernet, a new way to power lighting and enable the Internet of Things.

Cree-1Cree’s SmartCast Technology was introduced back in February of 2014, and was billed as “the first self-programming wireless lighting-control system that reduces energy consumption by more than 70%.”

“Commercial lighting customers have resisted installing traditional lighting controls because of excess cost and complexity, and the majority of those who have installed controls stop using them as intended after the first year because they’re difficult to maintain,” said Norbert Hiller, executive vice president, lighting, at the time. “Cree SmartCast Technology eliminates these barriers to adoption and delivers the enormous benefit of significantly greater energy cost savings, allowing customers to finally realize the promise of lighting controls.”

Two years later, and Cree has partnered with tech company Cisco to provide SmartCast Power over Ethernet, which is part of the Cisco Digital Ceiling framework, “which connects disparate systems into a single IP network to create smart, more secure, seamless connected building systems.” Using an existing Ethernet framework rather than separate data and high-voltage power connections, Cree’s SmartCast PoE will be able to work straight out of the box and make use of existing data infrastructure. Cree explains Power over Ethernet:

Power over Ethernet (PoE) uses standard Ethernet cables to carry both power and data, replacing more expensive AC wiring while networking LEDs and a complement of sensors. Instead of wiring the light fixture into the building’s AC electrical system, it’s simply plugged into an Ethernet port and the network.

In one fell swoop, lighting can be installed that is at once powered and connected to the internet, allowing Cree’s suite of technology and software to drive smart lighting.

“Cree is committed to delivering better light experiences for our customers,” said Norbert Hiller. “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% more savings than standard LED lighting. With Cisco, Cree is taking Intelligent Light far beyond what’s possible with traditional lighting solutions.”

“Cisco is excited to work with Cree and the global partner community to make the Digital Ceiling framework a reality,” said Tony Shakib, vice president, IoT verticals business unit, Cisco. “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.” 


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