LiFi technology, Everything you need to know

Lifi

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LiFi technology uses light to transmit data between one device to another device. The speed and security provided by the LiFi technology has attracted everyone using Wifi to try it. In this post we are going to dicuss the things that are to be known about the LiFi technology.

What is LiFi technology?

Light Fidelity(Li-Fi) is a bi-directional high-speed wireless transmission system that uses visible light for communication.

How does Lifi work?

Why are we using Wi-Fi, not Lifi?

Lifi and Wi-Fi both come under wireless transmission only. WIFI uses radio waves while Lifi uses light.We are used to Wi-Fi over all these years and it has its own networking standards. Lifi though offers some advantages, it still needs time to take over Wi-Fi.

Lifi vs Wi-Fi

The following are some of the differences between Lifi and Wi-Fi

1.Speed:

The speed of Lifi is very fast compared to that of Wi-Fi. Studies have shown that the speed of Lifi is over 100 times faster than WiFi.The maximum speed obtained by Lifi is 224 GBps.

2.Frequency:

The frequency spectrum of visible light is 10,000 times larger than the radio waves. The range of frequencies for Lifi transmission is more and hence more data can be transmitted with more number of users without any interference.

3.Signal Coverage  Range:

The coverage of the Wi-Fi signal is around 30 meters where the Lifi range is about 10 meters only.

4.Privacy:

Lifi is more secure compared to Wi-Fi. Light signals can be contained in the area where the data has to be secured. Hence privacy and security can be achieved through Lifi.

5.DataDensity:

With Lifi there is no need to share the bandwidth with the other users and hence provides the data density which is 1000 times higher than that of Wi-Fi.

6.Low power consumption:

Lifi is highly energy efficient compared to Wi-Fi. It consumes less power and saves electricity bills.

7.Low maintenance costs:

It is easy to set up Lifi and is easy to maintain also. Lifi has a wide range of applications in underwater exploration and in hospitals.

Why can’t Lifi replace Wi-Fi?

Though Lifi offers high-speed data transmission with high security, it suffers from some drawbacks, these are some of them,

1.Obstacles:

Lifi is prone to obstacles, it can not pass through them. Buffering and frequent connection dropouts because of obstacles is actually frustrating. 

2.Interference from other light sources:

Lifi often suffers from light signals emerging from other sources like sunlight or bulbs or other light-medium. The transmission may not occur properly because of such interference.

3.Line of sight:

The receiver has to be in the direct line of the photon source. Change of orientation loses the signal.

4.Range limitation:

The range is Lifi is limited, it works well indoors. You can not move across the rooms and still use Lifi like that of Wi-Fi.

5.Doesnot Work in dark:

Lifi needs a light source to work and it can work in dark outdoors. You have to switch on your lights at night to work.

 

Why are LED bulbs used in LiFi?

So when we talk about LiFi, the main advantage of Lifi over Wi-Fi is underwater communication. The main component of the LiFi transmission system is the light source or photon source.

Laser light diodes or commonly known as Lasers and LEDs re the common photon sources used in LiFi.

Components of LiFi system

The main components of the LiFi system are

1.Transmitter.

2.Reciever.

3.Photon source.

The communication happens when the transmitter focuses the light beam towards the receiver. The light beam is generated by the photon source.

Transmitter has a circuit and photon source which converts the electrical signals into light signals and transmits the data.

The receiver has the photon detector which upon receiving the optical signals converts them back to electrical signals.

Laser Vs LED

As we have discussed the main part of optical transmission is the selection of the light source. The main light sources are Laser and LED. Let us see some of the differences between these two,

Lasers have a convergent light beam while LEDs have divergent light beam. They transmit over longer distances.

Lasers have high energy output and are faster compared to LEDs.

Lasers are expensive than LEDs

LEDs are small in size, less cost and have long life. They are reliable and are not coherent.

LEDs require very less power for operation compared to Laser.

LEDs are not directional, the light is scattered while Lasers are highly directional.

Both Laser and LEDs have their advantages and drawbacks. In general, the application where LiFi is used can only determine the photon source.

LEDs are preferred mainly because of their energy efficiency, they are economical, and are low in power consumption.

Also if the receptor position and alignment are shifted the laser may not work efficiently, which is not the case with LEDs where the light beam has fully diverged.

Also, the simple to use and less complex nature of LEDs are also to be considered. 

Where do we use LiFi?

Lifi signals can not cause electromagnetic interference and hence can be safely used inside mines and other hazardous environments. Light signals can penetrate through water which makes them useful in ocean beds. Here are some of the uses of Lifi,

Under water:

Underwater communication is really a challenge as the radio waves get absorbed by the water.

LiFi transmission can occur underwater also. Lifi can be helpful for the divers to pass information between one another. They are also used for various rig operations and military operations.

Aircraft carriers:

Lifi offers high-speed data transfers to aircraft travelers enabling them to enjoy high-speed connectivity with data security.

Airline passengers onboard can now avail of the internet facility without any interference from their fellow passengers with a high level of bandwidth with Lifi LED lights at their seats.

Petrochemical Plants:

Radio waves and cellular signals can be dangerous to work within petrol and chemical stations as they can lead to explosions generated from the electrical sparks generated by them. In such areas, it is a better option to use Lifi.

Lifi in such environments provides safe and better connectivity and high-speed internet.

Hospitals:

Radio waves in hospitals may interfere with other medical equipment, Lifi offers high-speed connectivity without any interference. Now patients and caregivers can safely access the internet, browse news, and social media without worrying about interference.

There are many applications of Lifi in the health care industry from geo-fencing where highly sensitive data can be accessed across the health care professionals to Lifi based surgical robots.

Smart Lighting:

Lifi can be used as an internet hotspot, come under the Lifi light and download your data and enjoy the live audio and video streams.

Lifi can be also be used as an access pass to identify users and access privileges.

Traffic lights:

Lifi can be used effectively in traffic signals and can reduce accidents communicating with the Lifi enabled headlights in the automobiles.

The traffic lights also work as an access point allowing the pedestrians’ high-speed connectivity to access the data.

Other areas:

Lifi has many applications in the retail industry helping customers with sales information.

Lifi is used in smart wearables like rings and smart clothes. Lifi has a vast application in the IoT industry and in smart home device connectivity.

Conclusion

Lifi can be summarised as the wireless connectivity offering

1.Full Duplex data transmission,

2.High speed and high-security data transfers,

3.with no electromagnetic interference, 

4.Low implementation and low maintenance costs,

5.Higly energy efficient and very economical to use and

6.Improved indoor connectivity with no health risks.

 

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