Choosing Between Black or White Data Centre Cabinets

For more than twenty years, gunmetal grey or a standard black was the colour associated with data centre cabinets. The year 2015 was when the first light grey and white data cabinets became modern alternatives. There has been much controversy regarding light and dark colours for data centre cabinets. Now there is sufficient evidence to prove that lighter shades have a favourable impact on the overall efficiency of the data processing centre.

4 Reasons To Choose White Data Centre Cabinets

Data centre cabinets with dark colours absorb most of the light that falls on them and reflect minimal light. Darker colours absorb most of the heat, this has a direct effect of increasing the cost of maintaining room temperatures within a premises. Even so, a majority of data centres contain black cabinets. Let’s look at the advantages of using lighter colours, here you can view details of other aspects of data centres.

1. Reduced Lighting Expenses

White data centre cabinets assist in maintaining overall lower data centre energy costs. Ambient light reflection from completely white data centre cabinets results in 25% to 30% savings on energy consumption for lighting. Black does not reflect light efficiently, which means higher energy costs for lighting solutions.

According to information from cabinet manufacturers, white cabinets have a light reflectance value (LRV) of 80% in comparison to LRV of black cabinets which is just 5%. To put it in simpler terms, white cabinets provide 16 times more ambient light in comparison to black cabinets. This is why the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) requirements indicate that light coloured cabinets are preferred in comparison to darker colours. The main role of the LEED is to assist data centres to become energy-efficient and eco-friendly.

2. Better Visibility

The most obvious consequence of selecting white cabinets is that they provide better visibility within the cabinet. Workers no longer have to use a flashlight or a headlamp to get a clear view of what is happening inside the cabinet. There are more chances of losing something inside a black cabinet. The data centre does not have to bear the extra costs of customized lighting within the cabinet. 

Workers can easily read labels off of the machines inside white cabinets without opening the door. There is a higher chance of human error in reading the label of a machine inside a black cabinet. A simple error could cost the data centre valuable resources.

3. Better Working Environment

The lighting conditions and overall ambience of a data centre with white cabinets translates into a more productive working environment for the workers. Standard engineering guidelines for luminescence within a workspace are 250 lux. Compare that to the requirement of 2,000 lux (8 times higher) for an office workspace that conducts detailed mechanical work such as that performed in a data centre. There is no doubt that white cabinets surpass black cabinets by far in this category.

4. Cleaner Surroundings

It is hard to distinguish the layer of dust on a black cabinet if it has not been cleaned for a long time. The dust has a negative impact on the efficiency of the electronic equipment in a data centre. Black cabinets can keep dust and other dirt hidden from plain view. Dust is easily visible on white cabinets which can assist the cleaning staff to easily perform their duties. 

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