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What is Li-Fi? What are its Pros, Cons & Applications?

What is Li-Fi?

Li-Fi is the wireless transfer of data utilizing visible light as a communication channel. Also known as Light Fidelity, Li-Fi transmits data from the transmitter to the receiver via minute changes in LED light. In order to encode the data, the LED light is turned on and off at an undetectable rate, producing minute changes that are unnoticeable to the naked eye. These fluctuations generate binary codes, which are then communicated to the receiver, who decodes the data back into its original digital form.

There are two main components of a Li-Fi system:

  • A transmitter that is often a high-brightness LED light 
  • A Photodiode-equipped receiver that converts the light back into digital data

Li-fi technology is significantly faster than conventional Wi-Fi technology. It can transmit data at speeds up to 100 Mbps. In rare instances, more than 10 Gbps of data can be delivered via parallel transmission. This implies that 1080p high-definition videos can be downloaded in only seconds.

LiFi is a classification of optical wireless communications (OWC). In addition to visible light, OWC encompasses infrared and ultraviolet communications. LiFi is exceptional in that the same light energy utilized for illumination can also be used for communication.

How does Li-Fi work:

By altering the intensity of light, LiFi enables the transmission of data, which is subsequently received by a photosensitive detector. The light signal is then converted to an electrical signal. This modulation is carried out in a manner imperceptible to human sight.

LiFi can operate indoors, and outdoors, with the lights dimmed, and is not limited to line-of-sight. pureLiFi’s technology is also LED-agnostic, meaning it works with a variety of commercially available LEDs. The operation of LiFi is simple but effective. When a continuous current is delivered to an LED light bulb, the bulb emits a constant stream of photons that are perceived as lighting.

LED bulbs are semiconducting devices, therefore the current and consequently the illumination may be adjusted at extremely rapid rates, which can be detected by a photodetector. This method enables LED light bulbs to exchange information at a rapid rate.

Radiofrequency communication needs radio circuits, antennas, and complicated receivers, whereas LiFi uses direct modulation methods similar to those found in inexpensive infrared communication devices, such as remote control units. Due to their high intensities, LED light bulbs can attain extremely high data transfer rates.

History of Li-Fi:

Professor Harald Haas, chair of Mobile Communications at the University of Edinburgh, spoke at TED Global Talk in 2011 about Li-Fi. This technology is regarded to have been founded by Professor Haas. His company released the world’s first commercially available Li-Fi technology in September 2013.

Li-1st is the first commercially accessible Li-Fi technology in the world.

Li-Flame is the first Li-Fi gadget that enables mobile wireless connections; it was unveiled in February 2015.

PureLiFi and Lucibel: The world’s first industrialized Li-Fi solution is introduced by a French lighting business and installed in several locations, including the Paris headquarters of Microsoft.

The LiFi-XC system was introduced in October 2017. It is a plug-and-play USB system that can be implemented into future laptops, tablets, and smart appliances.

How it is different from Wi-Fi?

The major distinction between Wi-Fi and Li-Fi is the media used for data transmission. Using radio waves, Wi-Fi sends data wirelessly through modems. Li-Fi transmits and receives data using visible light over LED light bulbs.

Applications & Benefits of Li-Fi:

LiFi uses are virtually unlimited. Wherever there is an LED light, data can be stored. LiFi is a platform technology that will expand the reach of wireless communications to locations beyond our imagination.

LiFi currently has uses and benefits in the real world. LiFi enables safe wireless communications and networking in RF hostile situations, such as hospitals and petrochemical facilities. LiFi also provides enterprise environments with high-speed, dense, and dependable networks, paving the way for smart buildings, transportation, cities, and nations.

  • Security

The inherent security benefits of employing light for wireless communications enable businesses to greatly improve the security of wireless networks. The ability to precisely specify the communication region of a LiFi access point permits the partitioning of an office space with precision. In addition, proprietary gear is required before anyone can access the system.

  • Smart Lighting

Anywhere an LED lighting infrastructure exists, a wireless LiFi communication network is possible. This LiFi network can bring additional value by enhancing efficiency and command. Each LiFi access point (LED Light) in a LiFi network has its own IP address, enabling facility and IT managers to harness the power of a small cell network.

  • Hospitals & Healthcare

LiFi presents an unprecedented opportunity for hospital and healthcare facility connections. LiFi does not emit electromagnetic interference and, hence, does not interfere with medical instruments like MRI scanners.

  • Smart Transport

LiFi can not only provide high-speed, secure, and reliable wireless communications for users of transport, LiFi can also enable the vehicle to vehicle communications.

  • Smart Cities

LiFi can not only give users of transportation with high-speed, secure, and dependable wireless connections but also enable vehicle-to-vehicle communications.

  • Smart Home & Lifestyle

LiFi will provide simple, secure, dependable, and strong wireless communications in the home. LiFi can allow data aggregation and wireless offloading, similar to the enterprise environment. Smart homes can be fully wireless, and by observing the light, users can intuitively determine the optimal coverage areas. Home users no longer need to be concerned about “man in the middle” assaults, as they can simply close their doors and curtains to safeguard their LiFi networks.

Pros of Li-Fi:

  • Secure

Light is containable. Since light cannot pass through barriers, a LiFi signal can be contained within a physical space. As data may be directed from one device to another, pureLiFi’s technology also allows for extra control. Users can view the destination of data.

  • No Interference

Wi-Fi technology is susceptible to interference from a broad variety of devices, including cordless phones, microwaves, and other Wi-Fi networks. LiFi signals can be characterised by the area of light, making it much easier to avoid and even eliminate interference. This also enables the usage of LiFi in RF-hostile environments, such as hospitals, power plants, and airplanes.

  • Data Density

Data density enhances the user experience by reducing the requirement for users to share wireless bandwidth. LiFi may attain a data density nearly one thousand times that of Wi-Fi, providing more data per square meter. This is a crucial aspect of wireless efficiency.

  • Location Services

LiFi systems are completely networked, and each LiFi-enabled lamp has its own IP address, enabling the simple deployment of complex geofencing in a LiFi network.

  • Efficiency

As it utilizes the same infrastructure, LiFi enables the repurposing of light for communications. LED lights are already prevalently efficient, and LiFi adds connectivity to them.

6. Smart Lighting

The same communications infrastructure can be used to monitor and manage lighting and data for both private and public lighting, including street lamps.

Cons of Li-Fi:

1. Reliance on Light Sources

With Li-Fi, light must be accessible at all times. The light cannot be turned off; dimming it is the only option for ongoing data transfer. This severely restricts the areas and circumstances where Li-Fi can be utilized.

2. Limited Range

This range for Li-Fi limited because the light signal cannot pass through barriers. While this makes Li-Fi more secure, the limited range can be an inconvenience for some.

Conclusion

Hope this blog helps you to understand What is Li-Fi? What are its Pros, Cons & Applications? We, MATHA ELECTRONICS will come back with more informative blogs.

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