In-ceiling PoE switch supports digital lighting and other building applications

Feb. 15, 2018
Microsemi says its PDS-208G PoE switch is energy-efficient and fanless, meaning it operates quietly in a ceiling.

Microsemi recently introduced the PDS-208G Power over Ethernet swtich that the company said offers “an optimal and cost-effective solution designed specifically for digital ceiling installations.” It is compatible with any IEEE 802.3af or 802.3at PoE lighting fixture. When the 802.3bt standard is completed—which is expected to happen later in 2018—Microsemi will offer a compliant PDS-208G, the company added.

Sani Ronen, director of product management for Microsemi’s PoE systems, commented, “Our new PoE switch is a unique offering from Microsemi, as it is differentiated from enterprise switches by enabling lighting fixtures and other Ethernet terminals to receive power and data over standard Ethernet cables in the most efficient manner possible. The device’s high-power efficiency results in minimal losses to ensure the support necessary for digital ceiling applications, enabling installation of connected lighting systems that offer improved lighting experience, new features and power savings.”

The 240-watt fanless switch supports full-power mode by providing 30 watts for eight ports simultaneously. Any individual port can operate at up to 72 watts.

In an interview with, Ronen explained, “It’s preferable to have a switch that installs in the ceiling,” as opposed to in a telecom room. “The basic control happens through the switch, directly to the powered device.

“There are hundreds of models of PoE switches in the market,” Ronen continued. “Few are suitable for ceiling installation.” The PDS-208G fanless switch operates silently, he pointed out, which avoids distraction in the workspace from noisy fans in the ceiling. The fanless product is also highly reliable, Ronen added, with a highly efficient power supply.

In addition to supporting LED lighting, the switch can support building applications including presence sensors, building automation, HVAC, IP cameras, and WiFi access points.

“According to market research firm MarketsandMarkets, the total smart lighting market size is expected to reach a value of $19.47 billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate of 27.1 percent,” Microsemi said when introducing the switch. “In terms of volume, it expects the market size to reach 1.27 billion units by 2022, at a CAGR of 71.3 percent during the forecast period. With growing demand for energy-efficient lighting systems expected to be the major factor driving the market, Microsemi’s PDS-208G PoE switch is ideally suited to capitalize on this growing demand.”

The company added that the switch’s eight 10/100/1000-Mbit/sec ports with PoE capabilities are based on Microsemi’s energy-efficient four-pair PoE technology, “enabling 50 percent power-loss savings on the Ethernet cables when compared to similar installations using an Ethernet switch. It also features two Gigabit ports that can be used for uplinks and can be remotely managed through SNMP and the web.”

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