Facility Lighting Is An Energy Reduction Target

Equipment and cooling are the two big targets for reducing energy consumption in ICT facilities. Operators who really want to drive PUE have to look at all areas of consumption and facility lighting is no exception. Lighting consumes energy directly and produces ambient heat that also increases the cooling load. Here's a look at what facility designers and operators are doing.

One approach to to focus on the kind of lighting one uses. The DCO datacenter in Belgium uses LED lighting as one of its tactics to achieve a 1.10 PUE. Apple's showcase datacenter in North Caroina (USA) also uses LED lighting. Equinix data centers use a combination of CFL and LED. Media facility Hollywood Center Studios is replacing incandescent lighting with LED as broadcasters and other media professionals have become comfortable using LED lighting.

Another approach focuses on when and how the lighting is used. "Restrained use" in data center lighting is a term I first heard following the 2011 Japanese earthquake/tsunami. Apple and Equinix control their lighting with motion detectors. BSkyB's Sky Studios ties its energy-efficient lighting to both motion and solar sensors.

LED lighting is particularly interesting because it meshes well with two other emerging ICT facility technologies.

LED lighting is DC-powered, like most ICT gear, so there is a natural fit with the growing use of intra-facility DC power distribution.

LED also can be powered over Ethernet cable. There is a spec for Power over Ethernet (PoE) and products in the market. Facebook's Prineville data center uses this technology.