What is Light Fidelity?
Also known as Li-Fi, it’s a system of wireless communication using similar technology to standard LED light bulbs.
It uses Visible Light Communication (VLC), which consists of modulating the intensity of the light emitted by an LED bulb and making it flicker faster than human eyes can detect, sending off different frequencies.
With this system, many devices could be connected without cables or WiFi connections that would interfere with other wireless networks in the area. Although some argue that one of its main problems is how to make it secure for transferring data through these lights.
This technology allows us to use our spectrum more efficiently by getting rid of crowded radio frequencies where TV, mobile phones, and GPS systems use their signals. Its main purpose is to increase the Internet speed and availability of wireless connections because we could reach much higher speeds than WiFi.
This technology has been developed by Harald Haas and other scientists who founded a company called pureLiFi.
The first commercial application of Li-Fi was launched in 2012 at Tallinn airport in Estonia, where they opened the first public trial system that lets you surf the internet through LED light signals.
In 2015 Lucibel, a French company installed this system in an office tower as well as provided the companies employees with internet access throughout their office space.
And soon after several hotels and other organizations followed suit including cruise ships and rail lines. Also, plans for tunnels and various cities have been proposed.
Another advantage of Li-Fi is that it would reduce the radiation and heat produced by normal light bulbs, as well as save electricity since we won’t need to leave our lights on all day. This could be a great option for developing countries where access to the internet isn’t very common, we could also use these as street lights without having to worry about energy consumption as much as with other forms of lighting.
And although current LED technology has an average lifetime of 50 000 hours, this new system would still improve this lifespan. Also, there wouldn’t be any interference among different wireless networks around us since its signal doesn’t travel through walls and other objects like radio waves do.
The frequency range used for this technology is between 5 and 10 Gigahertz which is above the one used by AM and FM radio signals.
But like every new technology, it has its own set of challenges such as high cost, low data rates, and the need for more efficient LEDs to provide sufficient illumination for practical applications. On top of that, we don’t know much about this system’s heat dissipation and safety aspects since it hasn’t been well tested yet.
Also, we’ll have to find a way to make these lights secure for transmitting information between devices so Li-Fi won’t become a great option for cybercriminals. Yet despite all its obstacles, this technology could change our world drastically, allowing us to have wireless internet access without WiFi routers or cables. But until there are more proofs of this system’s benefits and safety we won’t know if it will be a revolution or a flop.
How does light fidelity work?
Light fidelity (LiFi) is a term coined by Professor Harald Haas during his 2011 TED Global Talk on the subject. It uses visible light between 400 and 800 terahertz (THz), which goes up to around 25 times faster than our current Wi-Fi system, transferring data in the process.
It emits green LED light through an LED lamp fitted inside your room’s lighting fixture with fiber optics cables.
This creates one data stream per frequency, allowing us to transfer more data. To give you an example of how fast it is, a standard 4G mobile can do 100 megabits per second (Mbps); A 4G network running LiFi technology will be able to transfer 224 Gbps in the same bandwidth.
This is a very low intensity of light, allowing it to be used in normal lighting fixtures without hampering your vision or being seen by anyone else.
Another advantage is that you won’t have to worry about radio frequencies, unlike Wi-Fi signals which can interfere with wireless medical devices such as pacemakers and may even lead to cancer in the long run.
LiFi technology speed
A startup in the UK is ready to make light bulbs that can send high-speed wireless Internet signals.
The company, pureLiFi, says its first product will be available within months, and it has already announced a deal with an unnamed major European office equipment maker. The device will use LiFi-X technology which can transmit data at speeds of up to 150 megabits per second — that’s 30 times faster than your typical Wi-Fi connection.
PureLiFi points out that other companies are working on LiFi, but they typically require dedicated chips or USB dongles attached to laptops. However, when you plug in one of these devices it becomes “highly noticeable” by others nearby – making them perfect for use in public spaces like airports, cafes, and hospitals.
On the other hand, LiFi-X technology is designed to be compatible with all light fixtures and can blend into environments without attracting attention.
Putting this type of hardware inside a regular light bulb offers another advantage, according to pureLiFi CEO Alistair Banham. “You have a large surface area on a ceiling or wall,” he said in an interview with TechRepublic. “It’s possible for us to put extremely high-speed data communication network right across that surface.”