Li-Fi is the latest light-powered data transmission technology that is ready to strengthen the existing wireless ecosystem along with Wi-Fi. Li-Fi (a technology that uses light radiation as a channel) provides a wireless method of transmitting information using VLC technology (a technology that allows a light source to transmit information using a light signal) and can be almost 100 times faster than a Wi-Fi connection.
What is Li-Fi?
The term Li-Fi comes from Wi-Fi – there is certainly a similarity between them since both are wireless connections, but instead of transmitting data using radio waves, Li-Fi can establish a connection using LEDs. This means that you can connect to the Internet by simply flipping the switch and turning on the light. Using all the LED lights in the room, the user will be able to download a huge file very quickly or watch a movie online.
The Li-Fi version is currently being developed by several companies. It has been proven that it does not create obstacles in places prone to frequent radio interference, for example, in aircraft cabins. Li-Fi can easily become an extension of the digital future and exceed the supply of existing technologies such as Wi-Fi and LTE.
How does Li-Fi work?
Wireless data transmission from any light bulb in the world: these are promising prospects that can be obtained with the help of Li-Fi. But how exactly does it work? Li-Fi is an example of a VLC communication system that uses visible light emitted by LED lamps to transmit data to various devices.
This LED light changes its intensity billions of times per second, too fast for the human eye. Such ultrafast intensity changes are converted into digital signals that can transmit data from the Internet to the device and back. There is no need to sit or stand directly under the LED lamp to ensure a reliable Li-Fi connection. Moving on the street from lamp to lamp, the Li-Fi connection will not be lost.
Advantages of Li-Fi
The use of light as a means of communication has many advantages. Here are the most important ones:
The spectrum of light is almost 10,000 times the spectrum occupied by radio waves, so it carries more information than Wi-Fi. The data transfer capability is 224 GB/s.
More efficient and cheaper
Li-Fi is more efficient and cheaper than Wi-Fi due to the nature of LED lamps. This technology will save costs in homes and workplaces, since it can work without electronic devices such as routers, modems, etc.
Radio waves can be intercepted by intruders outside the local network since the signal can pass through walls, which jeopardizes the security of personal data. However, opaque objects can delay light, which makes Li-Fi safe.
With the help of Li-Fi, all light sources will be able to provide an Internet connection. When the technology becomes available to the general public, it can be accessed through street lights, building lighting, etc.
Disadvantages of Li-Fi
Of course, there are some disadvantages, because of which this technology still has to be used only to support existing Wi-Fi.
The main disadvantage is the limited range. Since light cannot pass through thick obstacles, this is good from a safety point of view, but bad because of the limited range. Therefore, Li-Fi can be used effectively only in closed rooms.
It should also be noted that currently, Li-Fi is not compatible because the technology is new.
Some of the possible applications of Li-Fi:
- It can be used in airlines, because it will not interfere with aviation equipment operating on radio waves, for example, radar.
- It can also be used in underwater research – light can pass through water.
- Another possible application is in hospital operating rooms since light waves have little effect on medical instruments.
- Finally, in offices and at home for data transmission and internet browsing.
The future of Li-Fi
Wireless data consumption increases by 60% from year to year. This means that the radio frequency space becomes saturated and can lead to a narrowing of the spectrum. Currently, there is already a shortage of sufficient wireless frequencies to support the growth of the number of consumers, which can negatively affect the speed of the Internet.
Li-Fi can be used both in traffic control systems using car headlights, and in chemical industries where radio frequencies are too dangerous.
Li-Fi will also be in demand to support Wi-Fi networks in conditions of increased demand for data and in places where radio waves do not reach.
Moreover, Li-Fi can work without devices such as routers, modems, signal repeaters, wave amplifiers, and antennas, therefore it will not require additional costs.
Although Li-Fi cannot completely replace Wi-Fi as a communication source, with the growing consumer base and increasing demand for fast internet access, the technology is expected to be available in 2023-24, allowing it to be present in homes and buildings of the future.
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