Questioning the Status Quo of AC in a Growing DC World
For a while now, something has been bothering us.
We have noticed that most newly constructed homes and commercial buildings now use LED lights. These are low-voltage, energy-saving, DC-powered fixtures. However, designers and builders continue to use standard copper 120V cabling to provide power to these lights. Why are they doing that? Shouldn't there be a better way?
We think the answer is, YES. After a great deal of research and discussion with manufacturers, we have identified a number of Power over Ethernet (PoE) companies who do provide direct low-voltage power to all low-voltage DC devices. Most of these PoE options are designed for larger commercial buildings. They provide innovative, practical solutions that not only provide the precise amount of power needed, but because these systems use the networked PoE switches, it can tie the entire lighting system to the building’s network. Doing this provides a great deal of real-time information about the building's use for the owners and managers. We work closely with these companies to help our clients find the best solutions for their new buildings.
But what about homeowners who are looking to build? Is there a low-voltage solution out there for them? YES! There is a company that we have found that has a fantastic system for homes and smaller commercial buildings. While they use PoE, it is not powered by network switches, but rather by a single controller. This is a very practical and efficient system that is perfect for new construction and major retrofits. We are so excited about this system that we have signed up as the New England and New York representatives for them.
While not everyone may believe they are ready for low-voltage powered lighting we totally believe in it. More and more of our devices use DC power at home and at work. Why are we converting it from AC to DC, sometimes several times along the way before it reaches that device? This is much less efficient than using DC directly to the end device and low-voltage is inherently safer.
We want to be part of the DC power revolution. Using low-voltage whenever possible makes sense. This is a case where practical makes perfect.