We can’t deny that the internet is a big part of our daily lives these days. We use it to remotely connect with our loved ones, send a business email, go on social media, watch movies, shop online, store important documents in the cloud, catch up on business meetings or classes. live, do some research and the list goes on.
It has transformed and revolutionized communication. We use the internet in almost everything we do. Information technologies have brought about fundamental changes in our society, including business, government, healthcare and education.
We currently use WiFi technology that is independent of radio frequencies and routers.
Imagine a world where every light connects you to the internet. This is what LiFi technology is.
What is Li-Fi?
LiFi stands for Light Fidelity. This new technology is a cousin of the popular WiFi that uses a wireless system. The difference is that LiFi transmits an internet signal and data via a light source. WiFi, on the other hand, uses radio signals.
It is bi-directional and offers extraordinarily advanced benefits. Compared to WiFi, LiFi is cheaper, faster and more secure. It can multiply bandwidth and speed 100 times faster than our current Wi-Fi technology. While it offers a pretty similar user experience, LiFi uses a light spectrum that we know is faster than radio frequency.
LiFi can work both indoors and outdoors. No antennas, radio circuitry, receivers or routers are needed for it to work.
It also enables secure wireless communication because light cannot travel through walls. Even in the absence of encryption or security features, unlike radio frequency, LiFi is easy to contain and locate.
This technology falls under the huge umbrella of: Visible light communication (VLC).
“The Father of LiFi”
LiFi was pioneered by German physicist/professor Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh, which has been called the ‘father of LiFi’. The origins of VLC go back to Graham Bell’s Photophone in 1880. Haas coined the term LiFi and described a future where billions of light bulbs could become wireless hotspots for everyone.
He believes that in the future we can have a safer, faster and more secure connection that depends only on incandescent light bulbs deployed around the world. No more radio frequency dependent connection and the costs are also lower.
How exactly does LiFi work?
While LiFi is still under research and development, it works just like the currently prevalent Wi-Fi technology minus the use of radio waves to transmit information. It is new and promising with the aim of providing both above-ground lighting and internet connectivity.
LiFi uses visible light to transfer data. Visible Light Communication (VLC) system aids in the transmission.
There are two qualifying components of VLC and that includes at least one device with a photodiode for receiving light signals and a light source. The light source must have a signal processing unit for signal transmission.
It can be a fluorescent light or a LED-lighting. However, LED is the most optimal and efficient VLC light source.
High light outputs are required for a robust system and LED can provide these. It also acts as a semiconductor which can amplify the intensity. It can emit light in a very narrow band of wavelengths.
The device has a receiver that receives light signals and a transmitter sends these signals back to the light source or lamp with infrared light.
It can even work with car lights, televisions and street lights.
During the day when natural light comes in, we usually turn off our lights, but LiFi bulbs can be scaled down to appear to the human eye, but they are still on and working.
The benefits of the new LiFi technology
LiFi is ready to compete with Wi-Fi and also has many advantages.
efficiency. Because LiFi works on a visible light source, data transmission is very accessible everywhere. Homes and offices are already lit with LED lamps, which means that LiFi is not only cost effective, but also energy efficient. It is also simple and inexpensive to implement.
Safety. Unlike Wi-Fi which uses radio frequency, light cannot travel through the walls, which means that the data transfer cannot be easily interrupted. It cannot pass through opaque structures and is only available to users in a room or building.
Connections that rely on radio waves are very sensitive to sniffing, electromagnetic interference or power attacks.
High speed. One of the most essential goals of LiFi innovation is the ability to transmit information at high speeds. The light range has a transmission capacity that is several times greater than the radio range.
Radio frequency spectrum saving. The LiFi technology uses an optical spectrum, avoiding the already oversaturated RF spectrum. The traffic for wireless connections is constantly increasing and since Wi-Fi relies on radio frequency for data transmission, we can only expect interference and the speed will most likely suffer. LiFi can maintain connection speed despite high density transmission.