What is the color code for the fiber optic cable?

For years, we have been using different types of fiber optic cables for various purposes. From data centers, to telecommunication companies to IT labs, fiber optic cables are used for various essential purposes. However, there is something called fiber optic color code.

With this, it is easy for any field intern or trainee to mix up the different fiber optic color code cables. There are various types of these optic cables ad they are distinguished with various color codes. However, there are reliable systems which can be used to sort out the problems of the color of the cables.

Optical fiber comes in different forms and they are usually deployed in numerous industries, regulations, and applications. Due to the numerous amount of colours that users can choose from, people find it hard to tell the different cables apart.

Thankfully, the fiber optic cable color code is usually used to sort out the optical fiber cable and differentiate the wire from its connector, tube, buffer, jacket, etc. The most recognized system of identifying the optic fire is the EIA/TIA-598. This is the most popular form of recognizing optic cables all over the world.

How to determine the color code for optic fiber cable

What is the color code for fiber optic cable?

Coloured external prints or jackets can be used at the external part of the cables like patch cords, distribution cables, and so on. With the EIA/TIA-598 system of classification, the color code for the fiber is used to identify the various jacket color codes. These are used for all types of fire cables.

This means that for an optical fiber cable that has a single fiber type, this can be selected by the color of its jacket. The external jacket of the cable that has multiple fiber types, comes with printed instructions to help identify all the types and quantities of fibers present in that cable. The following shows the various jacket colours for all types of cables.

Type of fiberColor code
Type of fiberMilitary applicationsNon-Military ApplicationsSuggested print name
Multimode (50/125) (OM2)OrangeOrangeOM2, 50/125
Multimode (50/125) (850 nm laser-optimized) (OM3,OM4)UndefinedAquaOM3 or OM4, 850 LO 50/125
Multimode (50/1250) (850 nm laser-optimized) (OM5)UndefinedLime GreenOM5
Multimode (62.5/125) (OM1)SlateOrangeOM1, 62.5/125
Multimode (100/140)GreenOrange100/140
Single-mode (OS1, OS1a, OS2)YellowYellowOS1, OS1a, OS2. SM/NZDS, SM
Polarization Maintaining single-modeUndefinedBlueUndefined (2)

The organizational fiber optic color code for inner cables

There are multi-fibre cables that have multiple fibers present in them. For such cables, they have individual fibers which follow the fiber optic color code too. They can be identified by the easily distinguished color-coded coats, jackets, tubes, or buffers that come with every fiber.

Based on the EIA/TIA-598 colour-coding system, the internal fibers are coded with colours in a set of 12 fires. They are identified by counting in a clockwise manner.

However, for multi-fiber cables, there are two cases for proper identification:

1). For cables that have many buffer tubes with each having lesser or 12 strands, the tubes will be coloured or numbered concerning the usual color code for fiber cables. This color code for the fiber optics is repeated. Each set of 12 fiber cables have a unique method of identification.

For instance, the 24 strand sets have fiber color codes with repetitive but varied color identifications. For example, the first set of 12 cable strands are identified with solid colours while the second set of strands will be identified with a stripe and a solid color. Some other times, a solid color is used with other identification marks.

This is the color sequence table for the inner fibers

Position of the fiberColor of the jacket
13Blue and black tracer
14Orange and black tracer
15Green and black tracer
16Brown and black tracer
17Slate and black tracer
18White and black tracer
19Red and black tracer
20Black and black tracer
21Yellow and black tracer
22Violet and black tracer
23Rose and black tracer
24Aqua and black tracer

The inner fibers come with a cable that has many separated strands. These strands are composed of individual wires that are inserted into a larger external plastic cabling. There are about 24 separate strands that are loosely produced.

They are then sectioned into wire tubes that are used to hold 12 different cables. Each separate tube has 12 individual strands which are then assigned with a specific color.

The fiber optic color code for the optical fiber runs from 1 through to 12. Its colours are blue, green, orange, aqua, rose, violet, yellow, black, red, white, slate, and brown. Then with cable numbers 13 through to 24, they are identified with the same counting order, except that in this case. These other numbers have black tracer added to their names.

For more information, why not take a look over at BeyondTech

The importance of the fiber optic color code

1). During cable splicing

During the process of splicing of cables by a fiber optic color code engineer, they usually make terminations at the back of the patch panels or they select the patch cords that are used to interconnect the electronic device or the cables. These color codes are used to make the right connections. The color codes uses the TIA standard as a guide. This way the process of splicing the cables are made easier as the technician just has to match up the cables with similar colours.

2). Simplifies installation

With particular colors attached to each fire cable, this means that cable engineers find it a lot easier to install the IT cables. The color code is used to prevent any issue and confusion that might occur in the case of the wrong connections. Furthermore, the colours of the cable jacket make it faster and easier to identify the right type of cable that is present in the bigger fiber jacket.

3). Minimize human error

The extensive application of the color code for the fire optic in the deployment of data centers makes it a lot easier for technicians to efficiently manage cable connections. This system of colour-coding helps to minimize human errors whenever the cables are being connected during any installation.

This means that you do not have to carry out any cumbersome checking process. This means that the technician can easily obtain the fiber information simply by observing the color of the cable. This means that the cable color code is used to save effort ad time.

The consistency of the color codes of the fiber optics makes it a lot easier for the technicians to make use of the right connectors when working with the cables. This means that they do not have to sped their time trying to match up the connectors with the right cables. This means that they can spend their time doing other things.

4). To separate the various ports

The use of fiber optic color codes can also be instrumental in the identification of different network routings based on the internal requirements. As soon as all the patch panel ports are tagged, the network can be managed easily.


Fiber optic cables are usually made up of various multi-colored cables inside a bigger external sleeve jacket. All of these internal cables have specific purposes and functions. There is a unified system that is used to identify individual cables.

The color code system is used to visually identify the various types of cables in the jacket. This color coding is also useful for IT engineers as during the process of splicing, the colorful fibers help them to connect cable of the same colours to ensure continuity with a cable run.

Take a look at some armoured fiber optic cables here with a wikipedia article here