LiFi – Let’s speed things up!

Nikhil
Nikhil January 13, 2022
Updated 2022/04/15 at 12:39 PM

Our lives now heavily depend on the internet. Therefore, a good network connection is an important requisite now, and an area where we are too fixated! Considering this evolving world, it is not a surprise that we have found an interesting way of increasing our connection speeds and evolving to a new method of data transfer – Light-Fidelity

Li-Fi

Li-Fi Wi-Fi Visual Comparision

Li-Fi is a wireless optical networking (communication) technology, which uses the visible spectrum (light)or infrared to transmit data, rather than radio waves which are employed in Wi-Fi.

Standard LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs are used to transmit data, where these bulbs are equipped with chips, that modulate the light for transmission, which are then received by photoreceptors.

Diving into a little physics, LED bulbs are semiconductor devices, so the brightness of the light can be varied at extremely high speeds, through which signals can be sent by varying light at different rates.

For example, when light is glowing with minimum intensity, it transmits 0 and when light is glowing with maximum intensity, it transmits 1. Since this happens at very high speeds, it is not visible to naked eyes, just like Wi-Fi.

Using these techniques, data can be sent back and forth between connected devices at very high speeds.

Needs for Li-Fi

Li-Fi Architecture

The major known reason for the development of Li-Fi is that the speed of transmission is much greater than the speeds achieved using Wi-Fi. But there are other reasons too.

We know that Wi-Fi uses a Radio wave spectrum. Since the range of the spectrum is small, increased usage may lead to Spectrum Crunch, which refers to the lack of wireless frequency spectrum required to support the devices that use the radiofrequency.

Currently, this phenomenon is prevented by restricting particular devices to use a particular frequency range. For example, in the United States, the band from 495 kHz to 505 kHz is reserved for mobile distress and calling.

Advantages

Since LiFi uses Visible Light Spectrum (VLS), it offers a capacity that is 10,000 times larger than the entire radio frequency spectrum and hence, reduces the pressure of leading towards Spectrum Crunch.

Another big advantage is the speed. Since LiFi uses light, it offers greater transmission speeds than the current Wi-Fi. Some lab tests were able to achieve 100Gbps speeds using Li-Fi.

VLS cannot penetrate walls, which is kind of an advantage and disadvantage. The advantage is that, since these can’t go through walls, they are secure and can’t be hacked from a nearby room.

LiFi doesn’t interfere with radio signals. This is a great advantage for the 3 major fields…

In Hospitals, where important data like patient info, medical records, and so on are continuously being transferred, WiFi makes them vulnerable. LiFi can be implied here, and also in operating important devices!!

We all know how awful WiFi speeds at plane travel could be. Upgrading them to higher speeds are expensive as they need to be handled carefully in a machine like a plane. Therefore, with a large number of lights available, LiFi could provide a more reliable connection.

Radio waves are pretty terrible underwater, as they get absorbed quickly. So, many militaries use low-frequency radio waves to communicate between their submarines which is also expensive. Therefore, using LiFi will be an ideal way for comms!

Disadvantages

One main disadvantage of Li-Fi is that it can’t be used outdoors in direct sunlight as it would interfere with its signal, and because of this, Li-Fi is mainly to be used within buildings.

Since Li-Fi can’t penetrate walls, it can’t be used like Wi-Fi, which is a disadvantage considering this case. Li-Fi essentially requires a direct line of sight, although light reflecting off walls and other objects can also be used, but at a lower rate of communication.

Currently, there are very few brands intended to exclusively work on LiFi products like PureLiFi and so on. But in the future, this will be a huge success and we’ll be there to witness it!!!

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