Li-Fi Technology | High-Speed Internet Through LED Lights

Li-Fi Technology is wireless optical networking technology useful for data transmission Through LED Lights. This technology usesful for wireless communication between devices using light to transmit data. In this decade only LED lights can be used for the transmission of visible light. It provides high data rate capability.

Advantages of Li-Fi technology include:

> Efficiency:
Li-Fi works on visible light technology. As homes as all as offices using LED bulbs for lighting purposes, so that same source of light can be used for the transmission of data. So it will be effictive in terms of costs and energy.

> Availability:
Light bulbs are available on everywhere like in homes, offices, malls, shops it means that high-speed data transmission could be available everywhere. Wherever there is a light source, there can be Internet.

> Security:
One main advantage of Li-Fi is security. Since light cannot pass through opaque structures, Li-Fi Internet is available only to the users within a room and cannot be breached by users in other rooms or buildings.

Disadvantages of Li-Fi technology include:

> Internet cannot be used without a light source. This could limit the locations and situations in which Li-Fi could be used.

> Because it uses visible light, and light cannot penetrate walls, the signal’s range is limited by physical barriers.

> Other sources of light may interfere with the signal. One of the biggest potential drawbacks is the interception of signals outdoors. Sunlight will interfere the signals, resulting in interrupted Internet.

> A whole new infrastructure for Li-Fi would need to be constructed.

There are just six companies in the world working on Li-Fi technology, including one in India, three in Europe and two in the USA. A global association is likely to be formed to develop standards for it. The association includes members from handset makers, lighting companies and Li-Fi technology providers.

Here are some characteristics of Li-Fi technology that is going to change the way people access internet on their devices.

*At the moment, Li-Fi devices are trying to establish the proof of concept. The devices are bulky and require cables to build connectivity. For instance, Velmenni’s Li-Fi access points converts generic LED light into an internet hotspot enabling data access through Li-Fi USB dongle in smart devices. In future, Li-Fi tech can be reduced to ICs (integrated circuits) – one each in mobile and LED lighting – to access high-speed internet.

*The cost of making ICs at a mass scale is likely to cost less than a dollar per IC, experts say. The devices – laptops and mobiles, LED lights – will come pre-equipped with ICs that will enable users to access internet wherever there are smart LED lights.

*Lighting companies in India and abroad are working to build smart LED lightning (LED lights equipped with ICs). Wipro Lighting, for instance, has recently joined hands with Scotland-based pure LiFi to design smart lighting hardware.

*The application of Li-Fi is not just restricted to accessing internet in a closed environment (like rooms, halls etc.), it can be used to transmit high quantities of data between two cellular towers. Right now, telecom operators use optical fibre cables and microwave radio links for backhaul. Optical fibres are the best way for backhaul but it’s not easy to lay down fibre in India due to regulatory and cost implications. LED lights can easily replace microwave. Microwave don’t support high-speed data transmission, and are good with voice services only. Li-Fi can use existing infrastructure for wireless backhaul.

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