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January 2, 2018

Li-Fi - The Next Big Thing in the world of LED Lights

Today, in this age of information, everything has gone digital and entirely revolves around the internet. There is a paradigm shift in the 21st century, and technology has evolved and managed to penetrate everyday life in ways previously unimagined. Being a digital age, where everything happens over the internet, it has become necessary to accommodate the rising demands. Wireless data has become an essential commodity in our daily life and exploring new avenues such as Li-Fi will only add for a better and exciting tomorrow.

What is Li-Fi?

The term Li-Fi stands for ‘Light Fidelity’. It is a technology for wireless communication using LED lights to transmit data between devices. Li-Fi comprises of multiple LED lights that form the basis of the wireless network. It is like Wi-Fi, except that it uses light spectrum and is 1000 times faster.

How Does Li-Fi Work?

Li-Fi allows data to be transmitted by modulating the intensity of light from an LED source which is then received by a photo-sensitive detector. Once received, this light signal is then demodulated into electronic form. LED lights can be switched on and off at a fast rate which is not perceptible to the human eye, making wireless communication possible.

Simply put, when LED lights turn on and off rapidly, the human eye can only perceive a constant light and can never see the flicker. When the light source is ‘on’, it is a positive signal and is known as 1 in binary terms. When the light source is ‘off’, it is equated as a negative signal and 0 in binary terms. This ability to turn on and off rapidly allows streaming of data.

LED lights are semiconductor devices, which enable current and eventually illumination (photons) to be modulated to extremely high speeds. This modulation of light can then be detected by a device such as a photo-detector, which enables high-speed communication between devices.

Applications of Li-Fi

The use-cases of Li-Fi are limitless. To put simply, anywhere where there is a LED light, there can be data and scope for wireless communication. The applications are endless, but let’s look at where this technology can be implemented in the present scenario.

1. Healthcare Facilities and EMI Sensitive Environments

Li-Fi offers feasible opportunities for connectivity within hospitals and electromagnetic interference (EMI) sensitive environments. Today, internet connectivity is limited in hospitals and is prohibited inside an operation theatre as Wi-Fi emits electromagnetic signals which can interfere with the medical equipment. Since Li-Fi uses light to transmit data; it can be successfully used in place of Wi-Fi. It can also be used effectively inside an airplane for wireless communication.

2. Educational Facilities

Li-Fi can completely replace Wi-Fi in educational facilities and can serve as a means to transfer data at a much higher speed. The Internet is a need for students, and when powered with Li-Fi it will allow faster operations.

3. Smart Cities

With IoT (Internet of Things) already on a rise and a foundation for smart cities, Li-Fi only increases the possibilities. Li-Fi can genuinely enable and take forward the concept of smart cities by allowing communication on a much larger scale. Imagine LED lights on streets, buildings, vehicles being able to provide a framework that will enable communication. Public Li-Fi spots will change the face of the internet and how people communicate.

4. Security and Sensitive Data Communication

Li-Fi enables several security advantages for wireless communication. It allows organisations to enhance security for their wireless networks as Li-Fi can be strictly used to define a communication area. By enabling precise partition of the office environment, communication inside specific office spaces can be saved from prying eyes.

Li-Fi is an emerging technology and is no more just an abstract concept. The research is active, and there are new areas of applications that are being explored. It offers numerous benefits over Wi-Fi and is likely to be the future of wireless communication. As one of the most innovative and reliable LED light manufacturers, we at Wipro Lighting believe in the endless possibilities that can be achieved with LED lights. Our entire range of LED lights is powered by superior LED drivers that enable a host of applications and are equipped to serve for an innovative future.

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