3 reasons to use LED lighting in a data center

White paper covering efficient data center lighting cites the TIA-942-A standard when making the case for LEDs over fluorescents.

A white paper offered by CommScope points directly to the ANSI/TIA-942-A standard when stating that light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is a more-efficient option than fluorescent lighting in data centers. The paper is titled “Lighting and the efficient data center: How data centers are using lighting with intelligent sensors to reduce energy consumption and improve operations.” In it, CommScope maps out the reasons why certain LED lighting systems offer the greatest efficiency.

“While lighting only comprises 3 to 5 percent of a data center’s energy load, it’s one of the easiest areas to address,” the paper says, adding, “Lighting has not gone unnoticed by industry experts. The Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers ANSI/TIA-942-A recommends that data center operators implement LED lighting within their facilities.” After building the case for LEDs over fluorescents, the paper says the 942-A standard recommends LEDs for the following reasons.

  1. They consume less electricity
  2. They generate less heat
  3. They are nearly 100-percent dimmable

The five-page paper goes into greater detail on why a “lights-out” data center doesn’t always achieve the lighting efficiency intended, as well as why and how not all LED lights offer the same overall efficiency. Specifically, it explains, “LEDs are direct current (dc) devices. To operate, they need a transformer or driver that converts ac [alternating current] line voltage to dc power. This process of conversion occurs at the driver, which is usually a part of the fixture. When energy is converted, energy is lost and it is transformed into heat. This heat is dissipated from the driver into the surrounding air. For a data center, this means more heat in the facility and greater load on the HVAC. However, there are fixtures available that do not have drivers. These fixtures are connected to a central engine that provides power conversion and control … By performing the conversion at the engine, low-voltage Cat 5e/6/6A cabling can be used to run power to the fixtures, thereby avoiding the expense of deploying ac line voltage cabling.”

The white paper is one of many that CommScope has authored addressing enterprise and data center networking. You can access CommScope’s white paper library here.

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