Color coding—Fiber-optic cable

Patch cords

The buffer or jacket on patchcords is often color-coded to indicate the type of fiber used. The strain relief “boot” that protects the fiber from bending at a connector is color-coded to indicate the type of connection. Connectors with a plastic shell (such as SC connectors) typically use a color-coded shell. Standard color codings for jackets (or buffers) and boots (or connector shells) are shown below:

Cord jacket (or buffer) color
Color Meaning
Orange multi-mode optical fiber
Aqua OM3 or OM4 10 G laser-optimized 50/125 µm multi-mode optical fiber
Erika violet
OM4 multi-mode optical fiber (some vendors)
Lime green
OM5 10 G wideband 50/125 µm multi-mode optical fiber
Grey outdated color code for multi-mode optical fiber
Yellow single-mode optical fiber
Blue Sometimes used to designate polarization-maintaining optical fiber
Connector boot (or shell) colors
Color Meaning Comment
Blue Physical contact (PC), 0° mostly used for single mode fibers; some manufacturers use this for polarization-maintaining optical fiber.
Green Angle polished (APC), 8°
Black Physical contact (PC), 0°
Grey Physical contact (PC), 0° multimode fiber connectors
White Physical contact (PC), 0°
Red High optical power. Sometimes used to connect external pump lasers or Raman pumps.

Remark: It is also possible that a small part of a connector is additionally color-coded, e.g. the lever of an E-2000 connector or a frame of an adapter. This additional colour coding indicates the correct port for a patchcord, if many patchcords are installed at one point.

Multi-fiber cables

Individual fibers in a multi-fiber cable are often distinguished from one another by color-coded jackets or buffers on each fiber. The identification scheme used by Corning Cable Systems is based on EIA/TIA-598, “Optical Fiber Cable Color Coding.” EIA/TIA-598 defines identification schemes for fibers, buffered fibers, fiber units, and groups of fiber units within outside plant and premises optical fiber cables. This standard allows for fiber units to be identified by means of a printed legend. This method can be used for identification of fiber ribbons and fiber subunits. The legend will contain a corresponding printed numerical position number or color for use in identification.

EIA598-A Fiber Color Chart
Position Jacket color Position Jacket color
1 Fiber blue.svg
13 Fiber blue black stripe.svg
2 Fiber orange.svg
14 Fiber orange black stripe.svg
3 Fiber green.svg
15 Fiber green black stripe.svg
4 Fiber brown.svg
16 Fiber brown black stripe.svg
5 Fiber gray.svg
17 Fiber gray black stripe.svg
6 Fiber white.svg
18 Fiber white black stripe.svg
7 Fiber red no stripe.svg
19 Fiber red black stripe.svg
8 Fiber black.svg
20 Fiber black yellow stripe.svg
9 Fiber yellow.svg
21 Fiber yellow black stripe.svg
10 Fiber violet.svg
22 Fiber violet black stripe.svg
11 Fiber rose.svg
23 Fiber rose black stripe.svg
12 Fiber aqua.svg
24 Fiber aqua black stripe.svg
Color coding of Premises Fiber Cable
Fiber Type / Class Diameter (µm) Jacket color
Multimode Ia 50/125 Orange
Multimode Ia 62.5/125 Slate
Multimode Ia 85/125 Blue
Multimode Ia 100/140 Green
Singlemode IVa All Yellow
Singlemode IVb All Red

The colour code used above resembles PE copper cables used in standard telephone wiring.

In the UK the colour codes for COF200 and 201 are different. Each 12 fibre bundle or element within a Cable Optical Fibre 200/201 cable is coloured as follows:

  • Blue
  • Orange
  • Green
  • Red
  • Grey
  • Yellow
  • Brown
  • Violet
  • Black
  • White
  • Pink
  • Turquoise

Each element is in a tube within the cable (not a blown fibre tube) The cable elements start with the red tube and are counted around the cable to the green tube. Active elements are in white tubes and yellow fillers or dummies are laid in the cable to fill it out depending on how many fibres and units exists – can be up to 276 fibres or 23 elements for external cable and 144 fibres or 12 elements for internal. The cable has a central strength member normally made from fiberglass or plastic. There is also a copper conductor in external cables.


Post time: Aug-20-2019
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