Why PoE is Great for Outdoors

By: Adam Swimmer

3 Min Read

June 9, 2023

With summer fast approaching, many will soon head to the cottage to relax. While some people like to rough it off the grid, most don’t want the experience to be quite so rustic. For those who want to stay in the 21st century while summering at the lake, Power over Ethernet (PoE) can be the secret to a connected, yet relaxing, summer.

PoE combines power and a wired network signal over the same Ethernet cable, ensuring a stable network, stable power, simplified cable management and easy set up with no electrician needed. With PoE, you can power a device up to 328ft (100m) away from the power source which means the PoE-capable network switch or injector can be inside the cottage but run the cable outside to power devices outdoors. Because it uses low-voltage DC power, it is also a safer option than running an extension cord from an AC power source.

PoE for your outdoor oasis

PoE is an excellent choice for powering areas outside the cottage. If you want to light up your gazebo, for example, it might be difficult to do with a regular power cable as it probably doesn’t have electrical outlets nearby. With PoE, you can run the cable from the cottage to the gazebo to power it and set up timing, or other adjustments thanks to the PoE’s network connection.

Similarly, you can use PoE for other lighting setups in the yard or to provide power and connectivity to a storage shed. Using battery-powered lights may seem simpler than distanced powering, but it can quickly turn into a hassle when their batteries die out. For safety and reliability, you can also use PoE to power surveillance cameras in the yard so they can alert you to the presence of interlopers or wild animals that may wish to disturb your peaceful outdoor oasis.

If you are running Ethernet cable outside, it is recommended to run it through piping to provide extra protection from the ground and elements. This piping also prevents someone from accidentally cutting the cable when digging in the garden or doing landscaping. With the Ethernet cable no longer exposed, you also reduce the risk of pets or wildlife chewing through the wire. If the animal does bite through the cable, it wouldn’t suffer serious harm from the electricity.

PoE by the water

As per safety regulations, you can use low-voltage DC power, such as PoE, near water but you cannot you use AC power there. While both will short out if they get wet, AC is more dangerous as you will be hit with far more current before the breaker trips and the electricity shuts off. Meanwhile PoE operates at a lower voltage, making it the safer option.

This means you can power setups at locations that are close to the lake, such as a dock or boathouse. You can run Ethernet cable down from the cottage and connect it to a PoE product. With LAVA’s Raven PoE Power Adapter, for example, you can create a charging station for your mobile device.

When the full PoE spec is implemented, as LAVA products do, PoE also has a built-in system to ensure the integrity of the connection. PoE will modulate the charge to determine how much power the downstream device can handle and while it’s doing that, it also checks for any faults or shorts along the cable. This makes it safer and more reliable to use.

Powering your summer with PoE

PoE is a great power solution for your summer at the cottage – whether it’s on land, or by the water. To make these ideas a reality, LAVA offers two different types of PoE adapters: SimulCharge adapters, which provide power and data together, and Raven adapters, which split PoE back into separate power and Ethernet signals.

Learn more about our products at LAVA’s website or contact sales by email at sales@lavalink.com or by phone at 1-416-674-5942.

Subscribe to LAVA’s Newsletter and stay up to date on the latest company news, new product releases, and tech industry insights.