Do these LED's light up when a computer is turned on, or do they turn on when they are patched into a switch? If so, does the port need to be PoE?
The answer to all three questions is "no". At least not with the Panduit product that I'm familiar with. The lights on the patch panel are meant to provide direction to a technician so that they know which cable they are looking for when completing a MAC. I think the best thing I can do is direct you to this document: https://www.bemmtel.co.bw/documents/PanView%20System%20Overview.pdf
Is there a specific product that you are thinking about?
Hmmm, interesting, your link gave me the motivation to use normal non-LED style patch panels after seeing that line diagram. I didn't have any product in mind, I just thumbed through the new catalogs mailed to me and saw them but had no clue why they had LED's.
I can't justify buying all that crap when a spreadsheet stapled to the wall can track patch cables a lot easier than all those gizmos and software. It's also a pain to haul in a laptop to the site to maintain cable records when a no.2 and a copier is all you really need. T25 cable staples shot halfway in the backboard makes a small loop which works great as a pencil holder.
and saw them but had no clue why they had LED's.
After looking at Clinton's link I STILL have no idea what those LEDs are supposed to do. :shrug:
I agree with you %100 Mike.
They're a gimmick. They don't offer any functionality hat I can think of. Any proper installation will have the panel and jack numbers on each wallplate and each respective jack.
As I understand it, the light up patch panels are really a small part of a larger physical management system. The system also tracks the MAC address of active equipment so that it can be located, port usage can be tracked, etc. From what I've read, I would agree that most of the benefits can also be achieved with good documentation. To make this worth the cost I think you would need to be a fairly large organization with a low tolerance for down time and a big need for security.
That is what a managed switch is for. Plus they can do a great deal more than just show a MAC. If you are running a network that is large enough to require documentation, then if you are not running managed switches you have no business being a reviled CG much less NG.
To digress slightly -
Does anyone remember a "patch by exception" panel. I seem to remember seeing one years ago. As I recall it bridged Port 1 to Port A (or something similar) but the automatic patching was overriden by inserting a patch cord. It made for a very clean room.
Now that I think about it I was looking into getting them when I was at the Bank (12 years ago!) We had a lot of non-pc equipment that had to be patched and I was considering it for that. Perhaps it wasn't Cat-5?
Sorry for hijacking the thread. The idea of simplicity and neatness in patch panels awakened old brain cells.
Never seen it in Cat-5, but it's very common in Audio, using "normalized patch bays" and 1/4" patch cords.