The Meraki MR34, MR42, MR42E MR52, MR53E, MR53, and MR84 access points require 802.3at power to provide full PoE functionality. Some switches and PoE injectors are not capable of supplying this level of power. If the MR is receiving less power than the 802.3at standard, it will display "running in low power mode".
Since MR24.5+ firmware, MR access points use either LLDP or CDP to negotiate power level. Make sure the switch or other connected device is configured to negotiate power level with LLDP or CDP.
Our documentation covers this configuration with Cisco switches.
MR45, MR46, MR46E, MR55, MR56, and MR86 access points require 802.3at (PoE+) to function properly and do not support low power mode.
MR44 is the only WiFi-6 MR access point that supports low-power mode. For more details refer to the MR44 datasheet.
Impact of Low Power Mode
While in low power mode, the MR will disable its Air Marshal radio as well as one out of three transmit streams on the 2.4 GHz band (leaving two transmit streams still operating). Despite being in low power mode, the device can still supply full 802.11ac capabilities.
Models with a dedicated scanning radio, such as the MR18/32/34/42/52/53/84, don't generate channel_scan events. They rely on the scanning radio to get the neighbor and channel utilization report on an ongoing basis.
In comparison, models without the dedicated scanning radio, such as the MR12/16/20/24/70, scan the whole spectrum every 2 hours when there are no clients associated. When low power mode is enabled the scanning radio function becomes disabled. Thus, not only are there no channel_scan events but AutoRF channel assignment can be negatively impacted.
For more information about MR hardware specifications such as which models include a dedicated scanning radio, please see the MR Family Datasheets.
If the device is running in low power mode, ensure that the power source supports the 802.3at power standard and that it is supplying full power to the device. To identify if the AP is running in low power mode, navigate to the AP details page on the Meraki dashboard, found under Wireless > Monitor > Access Points. Once there, under Status there will be a field that indicates the Power source and if the AP is in low power mode.