Power over ethernet switch ( POE switch ) is an excellent device that provides electrical signal over ethernet ports. POE switches add great flexibility to your network. If you are using POE , that means you don’t need any adaptor anymore since your end device supports POE too !
For example, you have an Access Point and you want to place it to somewhere that has no power cable available. If your Access Point supports POE , and if you are using a Power over ethernet switch like Cisco 3750 , 2960 etc. , you don’t need an adaptor to activate the device ! Sounds fantastic in my opinion. When you plug the ethernet cable to your access point, you will see that device will get the electrical signal automatically and it will be turned on.
POE is used for IP Phones too often. There are many Cisco IP Phones that suppport power over ethernet. That is a great solution too, because you use much more ip phones than access points in a network. Perhaps you can use 10 access points but you can use like 1000 ip phones ! If you are using POE, that means you will save 1000 adaptors ! That means flexibility in your network, and flexibility in your budget too also !
Another device that using power over ethernet is IP camera ! As you know, mostly IP cameras used for outside and it is so hard to cable them. If you are using a camera that supports POE, you don’t need an electric cable, it will be enough to use an ethernet for electric and data signals !