Use Superior Essex’s PowerWise Category 5e+ For PoE Lighting


Photo: The yellow cable at the top is a standard Cat5 cable. The smaller of the two blue cables is Superior Essex’s new Cat 5e+. The large blue cable is Cat6. The white wire and connector is what’s used to power a 2×4 PoE LED troffer.

For the past several years I’ve worked with Lighting eco-system suppliers to develop PoE+LED optimized products. I’m excited to announce that Superior Essex launched a new product purpose built for high power networking applications. The product is called “PowerWise Category 5e+” cable. The data sheet notes that PowerWise cables “provide the best performance and overall value for 4-pair Power over Ethernet (4PPoE) applications requiring up to 100W of power and up to 1 Gigabit Ethernet performance.” You read that correctly—UP TO 100W! This cable will support the new IEEE spec for high power PoE.

The data sheet is here:

There are several aspects to this cable design that we really like for PoE+LED lighting.
1. It has a lot of copper for an Ethernet cable: 22 gauge
2. It’s only a little bit bigger than standard Cat5 cable
3. It’s a lot smaller than Cat6a cable.
4. It weighs a lot less than Cat6 cable.
5. It’s easier to run than Cat6.
6. It’s designed and built by people who understand the application!

As the lighting and IT industry moves forward with PoE LED lighting, this is also the perfect time to pick a defacto color standard for lighting cables. I asked the team at Superior Essex what they prefer. They answered: “Purple”. So though I have a photo of Cat5e+ in blue, it comes from a test roll they sent for use with our lights. Moving forward we’ll use the purple cable.