Defeating WiFi – The new LiFi is here – All you need to know about LiFi


Ever imagined light will become data? Yes, LiFi, abbreviation used for Light Fidelity, is a simple but powerful technology. Let’s get to know what else is there in LiFi along with lower cost of implementation and higher data transmission speeds.

What is LiFi and How LiFi Works?

We all know that a LED light bulb, which emits visible light takes constant electric current in order to produce constant illuminated visible light. Yes, same bulbs are there in our homes as well.

In case of LED Bulbs, we can modulate the input electric current at very high speeds in order to control the incident light. The output visible light can be detected by a photodetector placed in a device kept in the proximity of visible light. The light can be converted again into electricity in this way.

This was about how Li Fi actually works. Let’s catch the important points below.

  • Full-Form of LiFi: Light Fidelity
  • Communication Type: VLC (Visible Light Communication)
  • Derivative of: OWC (Optical Wireless Communications)
  • Data Transmission Medium: Visible Light
  • Transmitter: LED Bulb (Paired with Modulator or Controller)
  • Receiver: Photodetector (i.e. Photodiode)

Speed of LiFi

As speed to light is very fast, the Li-Fi had already achieved 100Gb/s speed practically, in an experiment. However, theoretical speeds of LiFi are told to be 224Gb/s.

Advantages of LiFi over WiFi

no wifi
LiFi is more secure than WiFi

LiFi does not use any radio frequency that can be emitted through walls. As a result of it, only the devices and persons which are in proximity of LiFi’s visible light can intercept in your Local Area Network.

Can be easily used in Medical Field

Radio Frequencies can interfere with other RF-based machines whereas there is no chance of interference between visible light of LiFi and RF-based devices.

High Data Density

As WiFi signals are spread in a circle and cannot incident on a specific point, some signals are going waste in that case. Li Fi makes use of visible light which can be incident on a point. No signals are going waste anymore and thus provides high data density.

Lower Implementation Cost

No need to purchase router and all, just a LED Bulb along with the controller. In the beginning, the prices might be a little high but will be lowered along with increasing popularity. Also on the receiver side, a photodetector is enough for sensing visible light which is very economical to be manufactured.

Can be used underwater

WiFi operating with the help of Radio Frequency cannot operate in water whereas light can and therefore Li Fi can be operational underwater as well. This makes LiFi more useful for Underwater Armed Forces like Navy.

No Radio Frequency

Li-Fi is 100% secure to be used in electrochemical plants, mines and hospitals etc. as it works with visible light. Where WiFi uses radiations of RF which can be harmful in such areas.

Amazing Applications of LiFi

li-fi applications
Can be used in Vehicles for Next Level Security

This is one of my favorite applications of LiFi. Why shouldn’t we replace normal LED tail lights, brake lights and headlights of vehicles to LiFi enabled LEDs? One vehicle can get information that another vehicle is coming from front or back with this much speed. It can be used to give collision warning and can even be used in smart automatic braking systems in smart driving cars. This will stop 80% of the road accidents to happen.

On the other hand, street and road lights, traffic lights will be able to provide many more useful information about road conditions and traffic.

Aviation Sector

The usage of LiFi in airplanes will not affect other communications. Other communications rely on radio waves. Visible light will not interfere with RF to disturb the signals. Every reading light above each individual seat in flight can also give high-speed internet access along with the light.

Smart Advertisements

Just think about the time when you are passing by a store and amazing deals and offers pops up on your mobile screen for that shop. Yes, LiFi can make is easily possible. Shopkeepers will be able to use LiFi enabled LED Bulbs that will emit a static message continuously.

Underwater Applications

As most of the remote-controlled underwater vehicles or ROVs are operated with the help of wired connections, there is always a limitation of range and other potential factors. The cables are also costly. LiFi can be used there to provide an economic and efficient solution. This is because light can travel under the water.

Common Myths Busted

lifi myths
  • You can download movies within a second with the help of Li-Fi – Absolutely No! The internet download speeds totally depends on your ISP and Web Server. No server till date is that much fast that it can give any movie within a single second to every user. However, you can have this much high speed within your local network.
  • LiFi is 100% faster than WiFi – Speed of the latest WiFi standard (i.e. IEEE 802.11 ax or WiFi 6) is 10GBps (theoretical) whereas the theoretical speed of LiFi is 224GBps. So, it is only 22.4% faster than WiFi.
  • LiFi is based on brand new technology – We are using light to transmit data since long. Yes, the older TV remotes used to have an IR transmitter on the top which transmits a very small amount of data for the receiver on TV, in the form of invisible IR Light.

Drawbacks or Disadvantages of LiFi

Low Coverage Range

LiFi depends on visible light which cannot pass through walls. It puts a limitation on Li-Fi access through a physical barrier.

Chances of Signal Disturbance

Other sources of visible light may interfere with the signals of LiFi as it completely works with visible light.

Infrastructure Costs

To adopt and make use of Li-Fi, we have to replace existing Light Bulbs with LiFi enabled LED Bulbs. This may be costly. The devices like mobiles, tablets, laptops etc also need to have a sensor inside them.

To Sum Things Up

Li Fi is a bidirectional data transfer technology which makes use of visible light to transfer data. It is very simple but powerful technology. The costs of implementation are low. We can expect the local transfer speeds up to 10GB/s. LiFi will be a big change in the era of wireless communications. There are a lot of interesting and useful applications of Li Fi. In short, LiFi is going to make our lives very much easier and secure as well. For me, i am very excited to have this technology applied in daily lives.

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned on techshala for more such interesting tech stuffs. You can also get these interesting posts right in your inbox by subscribing our mailing list.

Must Read: About WiFi – 2.4GHz, 5GHz, a,b,g,n,ac,ax? What is WiFi 6?

Related: How Remotes Works? Tech Behind Them.

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Author: Prateek

Technology Enthusiast, Computer Science Student

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