The global (Power over Ethernet) PoE market is expected to offer significant growth over the coming years as widespread adoption of IP communication, WiFi connectivity, and increasing demand for network security cameras are projected to drive the industry demand.

PoE devices are now encompassing VoIP phones, IP security cameras, wireless access points, proximity sensors, door locks, and new applications such as displays, panel PCs, LED lighting, audio speakers, and POS terminals using the latest PoE++ standard, as well as other IoT devices.

Tobie van Schalkwyk, product manager for Netgear switch solutions at Duxbury Networking, says that it is anticipated that the global PoE market could show a growth of approximately 500% over the next five years.

“We are seeing more focus on PoE LED lighting systems. There are definite customer benefits to using LED lights with PoE to transmit power and data, as it opens up opportunities to leverage LiFi,” says Van Schalkwyk.

Harald Haas, professor of mobile communication at the University of Edinburgh, unveiled LiFi, or Light Fidelity for the first time in 2011.

Li-Fi is a category of optical wireless communication using the same visible spectrum as used for architectural illumination. As LEDs are semi-conductor devices, the current and the optical output can be modulated at extremely high speeds, which is imperceptible to our eyes.

“The data spectrum for visible light is 1 000 times greater than the RF spectrum so there’s more capacity to drive bigger bandwidths and higher data rates. LiFi developers have already demonstrated speeds of 224Gbps in laboratory conditions and expect 1Gbps or above. This is approximately 100 times faster than conventional Wi-Fi,” says Van Schalkwyk.

“LiFi comes into its own with the increasing consumer need for more energy-efficient lighting systems. LiFi technology allows ease of use and ease of control of lighting system, all at an attractively lower price range. We are expecting these benefits to drive the growth of this market in a number of industries.”

Van Schalkwyk says these areas include: hotels and hospitality; hospitals and medical facilities; private homes; commercial (retail shops and industrial facilities); traffic management (traffic lights with LED); educational (schools and tertiary education facilities); corporate buildings; and government.

Netgear has an extensive range of PoE switches that leverages this trend.