Power Over Ethernet Specifier's Guide

A Rapid Reference Guide for Technical Sales and Design Professionals

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How to Use This Planning Guide

You can follow along online using this guide to gather and process the information you need to specify your PoE application.  Or you can download our handy PDF guide that follows the same process.  Our goal is to get your PoE identified and specified as quickly and conveniently as possible.


Select the Type of Project You Have

I need to install . . . 

  • Non-PoE Device like a Tablet, Signage, or Computer Display
  • Automated Lighting or Blinds
  • IP Cameras
  • IP Phones
  • Wifi Access Points
  • Other

Next, and this is the HARDEST PART, pick the product or device you’d like to use.  So many options!  Then, once you know, collect the datasheet for the product.  Trust us, you’ll want it.

Reading the Datasheets

Once you have your trusty datasheet handy, we’ve highlighted the specs your looking for in these two examples:

  1. Data rate
  2. Input port type – you do need RJ-45 or LAN ports
  3. PoE type


Select the Right Type of Power Over Ethernet for the Project

Let’s confirm a few details to make sure you’re picking the right Power Over Ethernet for Your Application.

Let’s check your end product datasheet to find out what you need in terms of data throughput.  Can’t find it?  Here are some tips for you.

10/100 (Half Duplex)

If it’s not called out on your spec sheet, PoE Lighting, kiosks, IP phones, IP cameras, and non-PoE applications typically work fine with 10/100 or Fast Ethernet.

Gigabit (Full Duplex)

Protocols like Newtek’s NDI, streaming cameras, Dante, data transmission like Wifi, or other high bandwidth applications usually require gigabit data rates.


Wireless communication rates will depend on your device.  Any more most IEEE 802.3ac device are gigabit. 

We will also check your device for the type of PoE you need.  If it’s not clearly specified, you can use the tips below as a rough guide:

IEEE 802.3af - PoE

Requires 12.9 watts of power or less:

10″ Tablets and smaller – iPad 10.2, iPad Mini, Amazon Fire

IP Cameras that are not Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ)

IP Phones

Raspberry Pi – unless you’re really using the Raspberry Pi 4 hard

IEEE 802.3at - PoE+

Requires 25.5 watt of power or less:

Any tablet with a USB-C port using our GAT-USBC-PD or GAT-USBC converters

iPad Pro 12.9″, Surface Go, Samsung Tab

Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) cameras or cameras with some heaters

Dual radio Wifi Access Points

Smaller Point to Point Radios

IEEE 802.3bt - PoE++ or 4PairPoE

This breaks into two categories:

Type 3 – 60 watts or less

Type 4 – 72 watts or less

Signage including most Intel NUC’s

Lighting or Automation

30″ Displays and Above

Long Distance Extenders

Passive PoE - 24 or 56 Volt

You know if you fall into this category if you’re working with Point-to-Point or Point-to-Multipoint Wireless Radio Communication.  Are you a WISP?  Then you need to know whether your device requires passive PoE.

What do the PoE Standards Mean?


Once you know the PoE type, now you can can pick the power sourcing equipment (PSE)

In general, you have two options when selecting PoE Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE): PoE switch or PoE midspan. The decision really comes down to three key factors.

Why a PoE Switch?
  • You have a new installation where you can set it up from scratch
  • You don’t require any “non-standard” features from the switch
  • You can afford the higher prices for the higher PoE standards
Why a PoE Midspan?
  • You have an existing installation with settings you don’t want to change
  • You require special networking features that drive up the cost of the switch and PoE combined
  • You need a more cost effective approach to the higher PoE standards


If your device has integrated PoE, you can skip this section.  Otherwise, we should talk about connectors to make non-PoE devices PoE powered.

This usually can be solved by the type of connector your device has, which will be a surprisingly important feature. You use the connector type to select the PoE splitter or adapter for your application.

PoE Total Power Budget

Now you need to calculate to total power budget for your poe switch or midspan.

Isn’t there a calculator for things like this?

Why, yes, there is.

Download our free PoE Calculator app from the App or Google Play Store by clicking the links below.

Or visit us online at:



You already have all the information you need to select and source your PoE devices, these next steps are just some best practices we hope you will find helpful.


Now that you’ve answered a lot of questions, you’re ready to prepare your Bill of Materials to help you source all of your products!


While you’re at it, don’t forget to make sure you have all the tools you’ll need for the installation. There’s nothing worse than having to go back for more tools!



We pride ourselves in the level of customer support we’re able to offer our customers. If you’d like more support on your project, feel free to contact us to speak with a PoE expert who can help you build your project.


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