Data centers are fairly new commodi- ties in the world of facilities manage- ment. Over the past decade, they’ve
become more of an industry in their own
right – but there are still many manufacturers that don’t develop specific products for
data center use.
That’s the challenge that H5 Data Centers,
a privately owned data center operator, was
faced with when it prepared to upgrade
the existing fluorescent lighting products
in a newly purchased Cleveland facility.
The company was looking to reconfigure a
3,500-square-feet data hall with an energy-saving system that improved light quality
and was reliable, easy to install and aesthetically pleasing.
“We work in critical systems that can’t
ever go down,” says Bill Johnson, vice president of colocation and data center operations at H5. “So it becomes very critical that
these areas utilize highly reliable [lighting]
systems. And systems that either generate
very minimal heat or reject the heat that the
servers are generating in the data halls.”
The New Lighting
When looking at what was available in
the market, Johnson says no product quite
matched all their criteria. He explains that
power management company Eaton was
the only provider that agreed to create a
customized product specifically for use in
their data centers.
H5 worked with Eaton and ultimately
came up with a series of very thin, 8-foot
linear LED fixtures with a distributed low-voltage power (DLVP) system, a wiring
system that provides low-voltage power and
control in the same cable. The 27 suspended
fixtures were installed in one day, and Eaton
provided training to H5 employees on how
the fixtures would be installed and how to
service them beyond installation – meaning
they don’t have to contract out the expensive use of an electrician.
“[H5] specifically were interested in being
able to use their own labor and work on
their own timelines,” says Chris Andrews, a
product manager at Eaton.
Low-voltage wiring. The low-voltage wiring gives H5 the option to move the fixtures
“That’s important to us not only from a
cost standpoint, but more from a standpoint
of flexibility and timing,” Johnson says. “We
might have a customer that wants to move
a row of their equipment racks. And they’d
expect that to happen quickly, so we like the
support for that.”
Low energy usage and low heat. Not only
are the lights LED, they are also motion-activated. So when an H5 employee enters
the room, the lights turn on and turn off
when they leave. That results in low energy
usage, since they’re off until they’re needed.
That also results in low heat emission, a crucial benefit for data centers.
Visually appealing. H5 is able to be more
aesthetically creative and softer with their
new fixtures, especially with the LED light
and a built-in dimming option.
“Overall, the light has a visually pleasing finish, unlike most data center lighting,”
Johnson explains. “The addition of the dimming feature, on the aesthetic side, was a
Space efficiency. The new fixtures also
take up less space in the data center.
“Our ceiling has a tendency to get congested with cable racks and cable trays,”
Johnson says. “These lights use a very small
ceiling footprint, so that was a big plus for
Following the success of its Cleveland
facility, H5 has made multiple orders for
more Eaton DLVP fixtures, including for a
recently acquired space in Quincy, WA.
“DLVP gave H5 the best opportunity for
good lighting, the aesthetics they wanted,
along with a faster and simpler installation,”
Andrews says, adding: “This system was
the answer as energy codes become more
and more stringent and [lighting] becomes
more granular in control. For example,
rather than the Empire State Building flip-
ping one switch on the main floor to turn on
the whole building, we’re trying to become
smarter as a society and start controlling
Johnson summarizes, “We know we’ve
made the right choice when customers visit
the Cleveland space and go, ‘Wow.’”
Sarah Kloepple sarah.kloepple@buildings.
com is a staff writer of BUILDINGS.
Lighting Upgrade Breathes New Life into
LOW-VOLTAGE WIRING AND LED LIGHTING MAKES FOR A MORE
ENERGY-EFFICIENT AND VISUALLY APPEALING DATA CENTER IN CLEVELAND
3,500-square-foot data hall energy-efficient, easy to reconfigure and aesthetically
pleasing. The new design wows customers who visit the space in person, according to
the data center's owners.
H 5 BEFORE AFTER