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Cree Announces SmartCast PoE with Cisco

LED lighting platform makes Cisco Digital Ceiling ready for mass deployment and adoption

Cree has introduced SmartCast Power over Ethernet (PoE), a lighting platform for buildings that provides power and networking for the lights with a standard Ethernet cable, eliminating the need for separate data and high-voltage power connections.

SmartCast PoE is said to be the first LED lighting platform that makes the recently announced Cisco Digital Ceiling framework ready for mass deployment and adoption.  

Cisco's Digital Ceiling framework connects disparate systems into a single IP network to create smart, connected building systems. In the Digital Ceiling, users can converge lighting, heating, cooling, sensors and other actuators. Cree is part of the Digital Ceiling partner community.

"Cree is committed to delivering better light experiences for our customers," said Norbert Hiller, executive vice president of lighting at Cree. "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 percent more savings than standard LED lighting. With Cisco, Cree is taking Intelligent Light far beyond what's possible with traditional lighting solutions."

Cree applied its proven intelligent SmartCast Technology to a PoE infrastructure in order to solve the inherent commissioning complexities of deploying network-powered smart lighting within buildings.

Cree's SmartCast PoE works out of the box, just like the original SmartCast Technology, and enables an entire building to be commissioned at one time with a single stroke. Cree's series of SmartCast lights, light switches and dimmers operates with Cisco's standards-based PoE-powered network architecture.

"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."

Cree SmartCast Technology with PoE can deliver energy savings up to 70 percent greater than LED lighting alone, while making possible new services and experiences. Mobile, Ala. County Public Schools recently deployed the technology in their administrative offices, with plans to implement in classrooms this spring.

"Cree's SmartCast Technology with PoE is transforming the Mobile County School System by blending fundamentally better lighting with truly intuitive technology to personalise learning environments and deliver more value than we'd ever imagined," said David Akridge, Mobile County School System executive manager of information technology.

"Beyond high performance energy efficiency, we now have the ability to tune the colour of our lighting to create custom, comfortable classrooms. Cree's SmartCast Technology with PoE software is also adaptive, allowing for future security enhancements such as signaling a school emergency, so we can continue to offer safer environments." 

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