Understanding fiber jacket color coding

By Robie Szyper

The color of the jacket on fiber optic cable identifies what type of fiber is used in the jacket. This is specified in TIA 598-C.

Orange: OM1 62.5-Micron Multimode
Orange: OM2 50-Micron Multimode
Aqua: OM3 Laser-Optimized 50-Micron Multimode
Aqua/Violet*: OM4 Laser-Optimized 50-Micron Multimode
Yellow: OS1/OS2 Single-mode
Blue: Polarization-maintaining Single-Mode
Black: Outdoor fiber

*OM4 cable is not specified in the standard. Aqua is used for OM3/OM4 cable (and some higher-grade OM2 cable). Violet is used for OM4 cable in Europe and is becoming more common in North America.

Fiber Color CodingMilitary Applications
Slate: 62.5-Micron Multimode
Green: 100-Micron Multimode

If not specified, jacket colors are the same as for non-military applications.

Bare Fiber Color Coding
When multiple, bare fibers are housed in one buffer tube, the fibers are color coded for identification. This enables installers to easily identify the individual fibers on each end of the link.

Fiber Position          Color and Tracer

1                              Blue

2                              Orange

3                              Green

4                              Brown

5                              Slate

6                              White

7                              Red

8                              Black

9                              Yellow

10                            Violet

11                            Rose

12                            Aqua

13                            Blue/Black

14                            Orange/Black

15                            Green/Black

16                            Brown/Black

17                            Slate/Black

18                            White/Black

19                            Red/Black

20                            Black/Yellow

21                            Yellow/Black

22                            Violet/Black

23                            Rose/Black

24                            Aqua/Black

Fiber Connector Color Coding
Fiber connectors and the connector/strain-relief boot are also color coded, although often the boot colors vary by manufacturer. The following colors are listed in TIA 568-C.3.

Fiber Type                               Connector                                Connector/Boot

OM1 62.5-Micron                    Beige/Black/Aqua                     Beige

OM2 50-Micron                       Beige/Black/Aqua                     Black

OM3 50-Micron                       Beige/Black/Aqua                     Aqua

Single-mode                            Blue                                         Blue

Single-mode APC                   Green                                       Green

UPC Polish v. APC PolishIn addition, the fiber connector/strain-relief boots are also color coded to indicate the polish style of the fiber endface. UPC stands for Ultra Physical Contact. APC stands for Angled Physical Contact. The UPC endface is polished at a 0° angle. The APC endface is polished at an 8° angle to prevent light from reflecting and traveling back up the interface. The boot colors may vary by manufacturer.

Connector Boot                       Endface                       Fiber Type

Blue                                         UPC                             Single-mode

Green                                      APC                             Single-mode

Black                                        UPC                             OM2 50-Micron

Grey/Beige                              UPC                             OM1 62.5 Micron

White                                       UPC                             OM3 50-Micron


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s