In this article, we will learn about a new technology the Li-Fi technology. The abbreviation Li-Fi really denotes the term Light Fidelity.
In easy terms, we can say that this Li-Fi technology is nothing but light based wi-fi technology.
And as we know, this Wi-Fi is fully networked, bi-directional wireless communication technology. Where data is being transmitted using the radio waves.
While in the case of Li-Fi technology, the data is transmitted in the form of visible light using the LED light source.
This house hold LED bulbs and LED lamps which are used as a light source can also be used to transmit the data.
First of all, let’s understand how this Li-Fi technology works.
HOW LI-FI TECHNOLOGY WORKS
If you see any LED light source, and you provide the constant current to this LED bulb, it provides the constant illumination or constant brightness.
As we change the current that is flowing through the LED bulb, the illumination or brightness of this bulb will change accordingly.
This principle is used for transmitting the data wirelessly using this Li-Fi technology.
So, if no current or minimum current is flowing through this LED bulb then, the brightness of this LED source will be minimum.
And that will be treated as digital 0. So, digital 0 will be transmitted at the receiver side.
In the same way, when the light bulb is ON, or we can say that if the maximum amount of current is flowing through this LED bulb then the illumination or brightness of the LED bulb will be maximum. And that will be treated as digital 1.
Whenever the LED is ON, it will be taken as digital 1 and will be transmitted at the receiver side.
So, in this way, by flickering the LED light source very rapidly we can transmit the data in the form of 1’s and 0’s to the receiver.
If this flickering is happening at million times per second then we can not see this flickering by our naked eyes.
And we can treat this LED bulb source as normal regular bulb source.
Now let’s see the schematic of Li-Fi transmitter and receiver system.
So, as you can see, the data which is coming from the web server or the internet first it will go to the MODEM, which provides the necessary modulation to the incoming data stream.
Then this modulated data is fed to the LED driver, which changes the driving current for this LED bulb according to the incoming streaming data.
At the receiver end, if you see, the optically received data is first converted into the electrical signal using the photo receiver or photo diode.
And after the signal conditioning, this data is being fed to the computer or laptop.
So, to receive this incoming data, at the receiver side we require the Li-Fi dongle, which consists of photo receiver as well as IR transmitter.
Now this infrared transmitter can be used to transmit the uplink data back to the LED source.
Now, one such company which provides the complete Li-Fi solution is Pure LiFi. It generally makes these Li-Fi dongles.
As we know, how this Li-Fi technology works, now let’s see the advantages of this Li-Fi technology over the other wireless communication technologies.
ADVANTAGES OF Li-Fi
Some of the advantages of the Li-Fi technology over the other wireless communication technologies are as follows:
let’s start with speed of Li-Fi technology.
So far the researchers have achieved the speed up to the 10 Gbps in the lab scale prototype models.
And this speed can further be enhanced by using the array of LED source or by using the multiple colours of LEDs like RGB LEDs, where each LED source is able to transmit the data up to the 10 Gbps.
Using such technologies, the researchers have achieved the maximum speed up to the 100 Gbps.
If we compare its speed with other wireless communication technologies it is far more advanced.
If we compare it with 4G/LTE or mainly the LET advanced, the maximum achievable speed under this LTE advanced is 1 Gbps for the stationary user and 100 Mbps for the mobile user.
But all these speeds are the theoretically achievable maximum speed. But actual speed may be much lesser compared to this theoretically achievable maximum speed.
So, if you see the countries which provide the fastest internet in the world, the average 4G/LTE speed in such countries is in the range of 40-50 Mbps, which is much lesser compared to the speed which is provided by the Li-Fi.
Now we will compare the speed of Li-Fi with Wi-Fi.
In case of Wi-Fi, if you see the standard IEEE 802.11.ac, the maximum speed which can be supported by this standard is 1.3 Gbps.
And that is in the 5 GHz band, which is almost 100 times lesser compared to the speed which is supported by the Li-Fi.
If you see the another Wi-Fi standard, which is not commercially available yet, that is IEEE 802.11.ad, the maximum speed which can be supported by this standard is 7 Gbps.
And all the speeds which are mentioned over here are the theoretically achievable maximum speeds.
But the actual speeds may be quite lesser compared to the theoretically achievable maximum speeds.
And still, if we consider the maximum speed which is supported by this Wi-Fi technology, the Li-Fi technology is still 10 times faster compared to this Wi-Fi technology.
In current era of Internet, the speed which is provided by the Wi-Fi technology is sufficient for our day to day life.
But as we are moving in the era of Internet of Things, where each device is able to communicate with each other, soon you will find that the speed which is provided by the Wi-Fi technology is insufficient.
And you will require the insane speed like10 to 100 Gbps, which as of now looks like a dream.
If you see the electromagnetic spectrum, the bandwidth of the radio wave is up to 300 GHz.
But if you see the bandwidth of this visible spectrum alone, the bandwidth of this visible spectrum is around 300 THz.
So we can see that the bandwidth of Visible spectrum is 1000 times more compared to the bandwidth of the radio waves.
So, not only you can achieve the higher speed but also you will not find any kind of electromagnetic radio interference.
In the case of Li-Fi, as we are using the visible light source, the visible light source cannot cross the walls.
But in case of Wi-Fi, the radio waves are able to transmit across the walls.
Hence Li-Fi technology provides the one more layer of security than the Wi-Fi technology.
This gives it a precision of surrounding security with additional user authentication facility.
Li-Fi technology is virtual interference free. Like other internet routers for which speed is interfered due to other surrounding effects and disturbance.
But in Li-Fi technology you will get interference free connectivity all the time.
These are the advantages of this Li-Fi technology over the other wireless communication technologies.
APPLICATIONS OF Li-Fi TECHNOLOGY:
Let’s have a glance on the different applications of this Li-Fi technology.
(1) This Li-Fi technology can be used in the hospitals. As this Li-Fi technology is providing very high-speed internet communication, so the real time health monitoring of the patient will be possible.
(2) Apart from that this Li-Fi technology can be used for the underwater communication systems.
(3) By using this technology, the vehicles can communicate with each other using the front and the rear lights and LED sensors.
(4) By using this technology, we can prevent the accidents on Road, Rail, Air and water transpors.
(5) This can be used in the aeroplanes to provide the internet to the passengers.
(6) This technology is fitted into our street lights, then even our street lights can provide us high-speed internet.
These are the some of the applications in which this Li-Fi technology can be used.
Apart from all, this Li-Fi technology is the futuristic technology.
That means, the commercially there are no products which are available which provides the insane speed up to the 10 Gbps or 100Gbps.
In the upcoming years, we might see the technologies or devices which support this Li-Fi technology.
At present we are seeing the free Wi-fi Zone in the cafeteria, in future we might see free Li-Fi zone in the cafeteria and markets.
After reading all these points one question might strike in your brain. If Li-Fi is the future of internet then what about the already existing wireless technologies.
The answer is that change is the principle of existence. So definitely this technology will lead and all the existing technologies will diminish by time and use.
And rather this Li-Fi technology will complement all the existing technologies. Because this Li-Fi is short range communication technology.
So, for covering large areas we need other technology which can work along with Li-Fi.
Generally we can say, when you require large coverage, we will still prefer Wi-Fi and 4G/LTE but in short coverage, like in the case of our room or hotel or even offices, we can prefer this Li-Fi technology.
I hope in this article, you understood all about this Li-Fi technology thoroughly.
Have a great day.