POE (Power over Ethernet) is a technology that allows you to supply power to devices via the LAN cable. Save on double wiring and save space and installation costs.
A switch structure also gives you extended configuration options for the power supply via the network cable. Find out how easy it is to install security cameras with POE yourself.
Suitable for: Beginners
Time required: From 45 minutes (depending on the number of security cameras)
Budget: From about £260
Can be extended with: Additional security cameras
Why is POE worthwhile?
Before describing the project in more detail, lets review the advantages of POE-enabled devices. “Power over Ethernet” means that the power supply of a network-capable device is transmitted via the LAN cable. The data transmission is not affected. So one cable is used for two purposes. This is particularly useful if you need to lay new lines to a device or if you want to attach devices such as cameras to several locations in and around the house that do not have a power outlet in the immediate vicinity.
This saves valuable space (e.g. in narrow cable ducts or under parquet strips). In addition, cable clutter is a thing of the past and you save on installation costs.
Installing POE-enabled security cameras
But how can you use POE? To power a device via the LAN cable, you need a POE adapter. For this how-to we chose a model from Ubiquiti that already contains a suitable adapter. If you are using an IP camera that does not already come with a POE adapter, be careful to choose an adapter that uses the same standard.
The next step is easy. Simply attach the camera to the desired location, connect the LAN cable to the POE adapter and you’re ready to go.
POE adapter versus switch or access point
Another option is to use a POE switch or access point instead of the adapter. The advantage here is that a single switch can supply several devices with data and power. This option is particularly useful when installing more than one camera.
In this guide we’ve used the ubiquity switch which automatically detects POE-enabled devices and supplies them with power without any steps. View statistics for individual devices or adjust the settings for individual ports through the switch app.
As with the adapter, it is important to ensure that the same standards are used. In this case both camera and switch work with IEEE 802.3af.
If you wish to power several devices, take care to buy a switch with sufficient power to supply all the devices you plan to use. Take a closer look at the data sheets of the cameras and the switch to find this information.
The LAN cable: What to keep in mind
Which cable is suitable for POE installations? Basically, any CAT5 or higher LAN cable can be used. The length of a cable depends on the power required. Ideally, you should use a high-quality cable for maximum transmission performance.
You can find out more about the technical background, standards and cable types, performance classes and more in this guide.
When installing outdoors, choose a network cable that is suitable for use in all weather conditions. Special outdoor network cables have a weatherproof covering that protects against harmful UV rays. Damaged cables can become a serious hazard, so you should not compromise when choosing cables.