Looking for recommendation for 8 port POE switch for lighting network...unmanaged?....managed?

brucek

Active Member
Looking for recommendation for 8 port POE switch for lighting network...unmanaged?....managed?
I'm also wondering how necessary a managed switch still is? Technology has changed a lot since I started building lighting networks. Used to be about broadcast and DOS protection conflicts with unmanaged ones.
I'm looking for a small 8 port POE switch for a small network ( under 5 devices). 1/2 rack space wide or smaller. DIN mount even better.

Any pointers anyone? Anything I should avoid? Being back-to-school season, I'm noticing some supply issues, at least locally, for networking hardware.

Thanks
 

jtweigandt

Well-Known Member
I just installed a couple Netgear POE unamanaged 8 port for a camera network at our vet emergency clinic. Only a few months in, but have been solid.
Gotta watch the total wattage they are rated for. Some have 8 ports but abysmal total wattage.

I put our new artnet nodes on a regular unamanaged switch, and plugged them into a UPS. I kept them in an accessable location and ran the final runs to our fixed electrics (no fly space here)
I have one extra hung and since it's button configurable rather than web interface, we could hot swap on the fly if necessary.. cant do that when it's 14 feet in the air.

I think managed is more likely to screw with your artnet traffic than unmanaged. unless you really know how to config. read about why and promptly forgot.. only room in my head to retain the new rule of thumb.
 
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Jay Ashworth

Well-Known Member
IME, if it's an isolated network for one function, you can get by with unmanaged, though I tend to prefer the midrange things they call Smart Switches, or semi-managed.

I concur with JT: managed switches are power tools; expect to have to learn how they work to get them to work right for you: specifically -- if you don't configure them from dry, they may not work as well as a semi- or un-managed switch, in some circumstances.

I'm sort of getting bit by that now on some Cisco 350s that won't stack the way I want.
 

Jay Ashworth

Well-Known Member
And on point: I've rarely if ever had a bad experience with Netgear metal-box switches; the production core switch in my main house is an [edit:]FS728TLP PoE. Only one time in 5 years have I even had to reboot it, or even log into it.
 
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Lextech

Well-Known Member
Well I was going to say that Cisco SG350 switches are entertainment industry standard in a lot of places, used for lighting, audio and control systems. It seems they are nearing end of manufacturing life and being replaced by Cisco Business 350 series. These are managed switches that run right out of the box without programming, yet if you need something special can be programmed. Cisco POE is available in different power levels so you can buy what you need. I have them in Dante and ETC net 3 systems, stacked and distributed and have never had an issue. I will note that I do not mix networks. I am a very paranoid person and will not run sound, lighting and or video on a shared network. This way if one network has a hiccup I don't lose my whole show.
 

danTt

Well-Known Member
Well I was going to say that Cisco SG350 switches are entertainment industry standard in a lot of places, used for lighting, audio and control systems. It seems they are nearing end of manufacturing life and being replaced by Cisco Business 350 series. These are managed switches that run right out of the box without programming, yet if you need something special can be programmed. Cisco POE is available in different power levels so you can buy what you need. I have them in Dante and ETC net 3 systems, stacked and distributed and have never had an issue. I will note that I do not mix networks. I am a very paranoid person and will not run sound, lighting and or video on a shared network. This way if one network has a hiccup I don't lose my whole show.
Cisco switches are super overkill for almost all lighting needs. They end up in lots of building networks and are specced by ETC because they're industry standard for networking professionals, but there's no need for them for only a few devices.

I'd go with unmanaged until things start misbehaving. KISS principle, and save the money. GS108PP or similar.
 

Lextech

Well-Known Member
Cisco switches are super overkill for almost all lighting needs. They end up in lots of building networks and are specced by ETC because they're industry standard for networking professionals, but there's no need for them for only a few devices.

I'd go with unmanaged until things start misbehaving. KISS principle, and save the money. GS108PP or similar.
Sorry to disagree. As I said before, I'm paranoid and have a zero tolerance for failure. If I am relying on a something to run a show, I am not going to cheap out. Saving a few bucks in the short run by buying consumer level gear is, in my opinion, silly. I spec and buy good quality gear, when I started in the business I had crap gear and learned my lesson. The other advantage with these switches is in the event one does go bad, and no matter what anyone buys, stuff happens and nothing is immune to failure, I can literally drop in a replacement and go. I used to have a job where my events were being sent out live by multiple TV trucks on numerous occasions. I never want to be the one the fingers point at cause the light are out or the sound does not work. If you can, and I wish I could, afford Rob's gear, which is purpose built for our industry, I would suggest buying that. Cheap in this industry is never a good idea. I completely agree with keeping things simple, however, I want reliable gear.
 

jtweigandt

Well-Known Member
Sorry to disagree. As I said before, I'm paranoid and have a zero tolerance for failure. If I am relying on a something to run a show, I am not going to cheap out. Saving a few bucks in the short run by buying consumer level gear is, in my opinion, silly. I spec and buy good quality gear, when I started in the business I had crap gear and learned my lesson. The other advantage with these switches is in the event one does go bad, and no matter what anyone buys, stuff happens and nothing is immune to failure, I can literally drop in a replacement and go. I used to have a job where my events were being sent out live by multiple TV trucks on numerous occasions. I never want to be the one the fingers point at cause the light are out or the sound does not work. If you can, and I wish I could, afford Rob's gear, which is purpose built for our industry, I would suggest buying that. Cheap in this industry is never a good idea. I completely agree with keeping things simple, however, I want reliable gear.
That said, and running home, hobby, 2 businesses, a theater, over the last 20 years or so, have used netgear, tplink, linksys, and hp.. starting with 10/100s and now gigabit replacements, the only hub/switch that ever dropped dead on me was an HP pro curve 24 port managed switch, but even it was about 8 years old at the time. I will admit to replacing a few that got a single port zapped. I even had 2 lightning strikes at my office.. one took out an electronic scale, the other took out my xray machine, but the network switches protected by ups and surge supressor just soldiered on. I'm partial to the netgear.. like the metal box for some reason.
 

danTt

Well-Known Member
Sorry to disagree. As I said before, I'm paranoid and have a zero tolerance for failure. If I am relying on a something to run a show, I am not going to cheap out. Saving a few bucks in the short run by buying consumer level gear is, in my opinion, silly. I spec and buy good quality gear, when I started in the business I had crap gear and learned my lesson. The other advantage with these switches is in the event one does go bad, and no matter what anyone buys, stuff happens and nothing is immune to failure, I can literally drop in a replacement and go. I used to have a job where my events were being sent out live by multiple TV trucks on numerous occasions. I never want to be the one the fingers point at cause the light are out or the sound does not work. If you can, and I wish I could, afford Rob's gear, which is purpose built for our industry, I would suggest buying that. Cheap in this industry is never a good idea. I completely agree with keeping things simple, however, I want reliable gear.
You're going to find it much easier to drop in a GS108 than rapidly reconfiguring a Cisco switch on the fly, and much easier to find one. There's also much less to fail. Having a switch no one know how to use 90% of the features on doesn't make your show any better
 

Judge

Active Member
If you dont know why you need a managed switch, then you probably dont need one.
Just get a good quality unmanaged one.
 

ScottT

Lighting Programmer
though I tend to prefer the midrange things they call Smart Switches, or semi-managed
I would strongly suggest anyone who reads this think twice about using semi-managed switches: these are typically switches that have all the features of a managed switch that you cannot turn off since they are "unmanaged". Buyer beware!
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
A managed switch will let you defeat the "green-friendly" port sleeping. I'll kill the planet to keep my show networks data flowing. Not sure how gracefully sACN or Artnet deal with sleepy ports but most audio/video network protocols get ever so unhappy.
 

Craig Hauber

Active Member
Funny, the only switch I have had die on me was a Netgear. Cisco is easy to find and is plug and play. So I guess we will agree to disagree.
I am with you on the Cisco. What many on this thread fail to realize is that there is a very broad range of products in the Cisco line up and the 350 series is not the same as the Catalyst 9000. I've actually found equivalent capability Netgear and various "AV" type products to be of similar price if not more.
And yes, out of the box the 350's are just plug and play just like an unmanaged product, but if you need something specific then it is available for you to get in there and set things up to your specific needs.
 

RonaldBeal

Well-Known Member
I'm seeing more and more Netgear AV line switches creep into the industry. Netgear is focusing on our sector, and the M4250 line seems to be just what you need:
 

Harrison Hohnholt

Well-Known Member
I'm seeing more and more Netgear AV line switches creep into the industry. Netgear is focusing on our sector, and the M4250 line seems to be just what you need:
How do you feel about it now having EtherCON?
 

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