Lifi: Definition and operation of this technology

Lifi (or Li-Fi), Although this very recent technology in principle is not yet very widespread, you have undoubtedly already heard about it in recent months. To summarize, Li-fi is a technology for transmitting data wirelessly and which relies on light as a transmission channel. If you are curious to know more about this technology which is likely to emerge in power, the rest of this article may be of great interest to you.

Lifi: Wifi at the speed of light

Under the acronym Lifi (or Li-Fi), hides a technology called most simply, Light Fidelity. To put it simply, Li-Fi uses the lighting of household LED bulbs and their ability to vary their light intensity to connect devices together and allow data such as documents, photographs and videos to be transmitted to them.

What are the differences with WiFi?

Where Wi-Fi uses radio waves to transmit data wirelessly, Li-Fi uses the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, aka, the optical spectrum. The idea of ​​Li-Fi in itself is not to replace Wi-Fi but to supplement it by offering an alternative solution for data transfer.

Here are some advantages of Li-Fi:

  • This technology uses the light of LED bulbs to transmit its data flow, the number of potential access points within a single home (or building) are numerous.
  • The installation of a large-scale Li-Fi network does not require the installation of specific terminals, LED bulbs take care of this role, the savings made can be significant because it pools the cost of the installation of simple lighting.
  • The advantage of light is that it stops at the walls of your home. This makes it more complicated for a hacker to access your local network from outside your home. Additional and significant security.
  • The data rate would be much higher via Li-Fi than through its counterpart, Wi-Fi. We are talking about a speed which would be around 10 times faster than Wifi, around GB /s, enough to calmly consider a high speed internet by light at his home !
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how does lifi work how does lifi work

The disadvantages are also to be considered : The use of Li-Fi requires its users to be in the immediate vicinity of a light source and for the latter to be turned on. External light sources, even natural ones like the sun, can cause problems and create induced interference. And finally, last and not the least drawback, Li-Fi is a so-called unidirectional technology. Although it allows data to be transmitted, it does not allow data to be received and therefore strongly limits its scope of use.

Who is Li-Fi intended for?

Since its marketing in 2019, Li-Fi has attracted primarily private companies but also communities. In France, Li-Fi has mainly been used for specific purposes, such as guided tours, exhibitions, in train stations, for example to find your train, but also in supermarkets, where it will be possible to broadcast targeted advertisements. to consumers when they are in a specific aisle or in front of a product.

This type of data flow will also undoubtedly be developed in the hospital environment where sensitive devices can be disrupted by radio waves from Wi-Fi in particular.

Today, Li-Fi is still in full development and is primarily intended, as we have seen together, for professionals and specific uses. However, given the enthusiasm generated by this technology, in the coming years, or even the coming months, new applications, this time intended for the general public, are likely to see the light of day. To be continued !