Wi-Fi is the most common way of connecting to the internet wirelessly, but it is not the only one. There is another wireless technology that promises to be faster, more secure, and more versatile than Wi-Fi. It is called Li-Fi, and it uses light instead of radio waves to transmit data.
In this blog post, we will explain what Li-Fi is, how it works, what are its advantages and disadvantages, and where you can find it.
Li-Fi is short for Light Fidelity and is a communication system that utilizes light, rather than radio waves, to transmit data. A Li-Fi network uses infrared LED lamps to transmit and receive data by modulating the light intensity at very high speeds, beyond the human eye’s perception.
The term Li-Fi was first coined by Professor Harald Haas in his 2011 TED Global talk, where he demonstrated the concept of using light bulbs as wireless routers. Since then, Haas has co-founded a company called pureLiFi, which develops these products and solutions.
Li-Fi works by converting data into binary code (a series of ones and zeros) and then encoding it into light pulses. These light pulses are then sent from a transmitter (such as an LED lamp) to a receiver (such as a photodetector or a camera) that can decode them back into data.
However, this technology has a few limitations. It requires a direct line of sight between the light source and the receiving device, as light cannot pass through obstacles like walls. This restricts its range and makes it more suitable for localized applications. Furthermore, sunlight and other strong sources of light can interfere with the data transmission, affecting its reliability.
The transmitter and receiver can communicate in two ways: either in a one-way or a two-way mode.
In a one-way mode, the transmitter only sends data to the receiver, without receiving any feedback. This is suitable for applications such as broadcasting or streaming.
In a two-way mode, the transmitter and receiver can exchange data in both directions, allowing for interactive communication. This is suitable for applications such as internet access or video conferencing.
The transmitter and receiver can also communicate in different frequency bands: either in the visible light spectrum, the ultraviolet spectrum, or the infrared spectrum. The visible light spectrum is the range of wavelengths that humans can see, from violet to red. The ultraviolet spectrum is the range of wavelengths that are shorter than violet and invisible to humans. The infrared spectrum is the range of wavelengths that are longer than red and invisible to humans.
Read More: WiFi Channels and Channel Width
The choice of frequency band depends on the application and the environment. For example, visible light can be used for indoor applications where there is no natural light interference, such as in offices or homes. Ultraviolet light can be used for outdoor applications where there is no direct sunlight exposure, such as in tunnels or underground. Infrared light can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications where there is no need for illumination, such as in security or military.
Li-Fi has several advantages over Wi-Fi, such as:
Li-Fi also has some disadvantages compared to Wi-Fi, such as:
Li-Fi is still an emerging technology that is not widely available or adopted yet. However, there are some companies and organizations that are developing and testing products and solutions for various applications and markets. Li-Fi has numerous potential applications, including in hospitals, where it could reduce the risk of electromagnetic interference with medical equipment.
Some examples of applications are:
Li-Fi is a wireless communication technology that uses light to transmit data. It offers several benefits over Wi-Fi, such as speed, security, capacity, efficiency, and versatility. However, it also faces some challenges, such as range, compatibility, availability, and cost.
It is still in its early stages of development and adoption, but it has the potential to revolutionize the way we communicate and access information in the future. If you are interested in learning more about Li-Fi or trying it out yourself, you can check out some of the companies and products mentioned in this blog post.