What is LiFi Technology: How it Works & How it’s better than WiFi

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Technology is one of the rapidly growing concepts in the world, inventing new things making things easier for humans. Li-Fi is one the lesser-known wireless technology likely to be used in future against Wi-fi for faster data transfer with many advantages.

What is LiFi Technology?

LiFi, which stands for Light Fidelity, is a wireless communications technology that uses visible light to transmit data in real time. It’s up to 100 times faster than standard WiFi. While it’s yet to reach broad use in the market, LiFi has the potential to hugely impact technology and software development, especially for IoT solutions, across sectors. 

In technical terms, Li-Fi is a light communication system that is capable of transmitting data at high speeds over the visible light, ultraviolet, and infrared spectrums. In its present state, only LED lamps can be used for the transmission of data in visible light.

How LiFi Technology Works?

LiFi is high speed bidirectional networked and mobile communication of data using light. LiFi comprises of multiple light bulbs that form a wireless network.

When an electrical current is applied to a LED light bulb a stream of light (photons) is emitted from the bulb. LED bulbs are semiconductor devices, which means that the brightness of the light flowing through them can be changed at extremely high speeds. This allows us to send a signal by modulating the light at different rates. The signal can then be received by a detector that interprets the changes in light intensity (the signal) as data.

The intensity modulation cannot be seen by the human eye, and thus communication is just as seamless as other radio systems, allowing the users to be connected where there is LiFi enabled light. Using this technique, data can be transmitted from a LED light bulb at high speeds.

Applications for LiFi:

  • Traffic Management & Road Safety
  • Medical Applications
  • Aviation
  • Communication Underwater
  • Elegant Lighting
  • Interior map-reading system for blind people
  • In dangerous Environments or In Sensitive regions
  • Transportations
  • Industrial Areas

Differences between Li-Fi & Wi-Fi:

  • The Bandwidth Expansion of Wi-Fi technology is limited and exceptional for Li-Fi
  • The Speed of the Wi-Fi is150 Mbps and >10 Gbps for Li-Fi
  • The Data Density of Wi-Fi technology is low and high for Li-Fi
  • The Range of Wi-Fi is medium and low for Li-Fi
  • The Security of Wi-Fi is medium and excellent for Li-Fi
  • The power availability of Wi-Fi is low and high for Li-Fi
  • The ecological impact of Wi-Fi is medium and low for Li-Fi
  • The cost of the Wi-Fi is medium and low for Li-Fi
  • The network topologies of Li-Fi and Wi-Fi technologies is a point to point

Advantages of Li-Fi:

  • Speed-The speed of the Li-Fi is very high, and we can watch the videos without buffering.
  • Security- The light of the Li-Fi doesn’t run through the partition, therefore, it is more protected and hacking is not possible.
  • Risk-free-Li-Fi utilizes light waves which are harmless.
  • Consistent- The data transfer is more protected.

How LiFi is better than WiFi?

LiFi technology is much better than Wi-Fi in terms of speed, cost and security. Althoughit has many advantages that are discussed below.

Faster Speed

The current speed of WiFi oscillates between 11 and 300 Mbit/s, while that of LiFi is also highly variable according to the last studies carried out.

The most widely accepted speed is 10 Gbit/s, but it has been proven that it could reach 224 Gbit/s and that a 1.5 Gbit film could be downloaded in thousandths of a second.

Cost-Effective & Sustainable

It is up to 10 times cheaper than wifi, requires fewer components and uses less energy. All you have to do is turn on a light!

Accessible with No interference 

Any light fitting can easily be converted into an internet connection point, as only a simple LiFi emitter needs to be fitted. Moreover, electronic light does not interfere with radio communications, interact with other systems or compromise transmissions from aircraft, ships, etc.

Secure & Reliable

Light does not pass through walls like radio waves do, and this prevents intruders from intercepting LiFi communications through a wireless network. LiFi transmits its signal without interruptions, making communication more stable than with wifi.

More bandwidth with No Saturation

The light spectrum is 10,000 times wider than the radio spectrum, which increases the volume of data it can carry and transmit per second. Though, internet connection via light could prevent the collapse of the radio spectrum which, according to LiFi’s inventor Harald Haas, could take place by 2025.

Wireless and invisible

LiFi takes advantage of lights and dispenses with the router, so it works without the need for cables. In addition, it can operate with infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye, or with visible LED light at very low intensity so as to avoid disturbance.

Is There Really a Need to Replace WiFi?

Considering the vast applications of the internet on modern technology (and almost all basic government and daily functions cease to exist without it), perhaps there really is a need to come up with improvements to the existing WiFi technology.

This is due to the various limitations in its usage of radio frequencies as a data transfer medium. These limitations include its limited coverage, security concerns over connectivity, restriction of use due to frequency interference, and congestion of networks.

With the emergence and development of LiFi technology, many foreshadow the obsolescence of wifi and other wireless networks. We will have to wait a few more years to see if streetlights, in addition to illuminating our streets, will connect us to the internet at the speed of light.

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