While LED lights have many different uses, there’s one you might not know about … yet. On the horizon and approaching quickly is the ability to use LED lights to connect to the Internet. Yes, it’s LiFi – a new way to connect to the web and get access to the cloud. Not a lot of people know about this technology right now, but that’s changing quickly. We’re going to go over the basics so you know more about it as well as when it might arrive for the masses.
What is LiFi?
The term Li-Fi was originally coined by Professor Harald Haas from Edinburgh University during a TED talk he gave back in 2011. Since that time, scientists and researchers around the globe have been working on perfecting the technology, which uses light waves instead of radio waves to transmit data. And as you know, light travels really quickly. The LED lights need to be kept on in order to transmit data, but this doesn’t take up a lot of power at all really.
Why LiFi Would be Useful
Next, let’s take a look at some of the specific reasons that people might want to use LiFi instead of normal Internet connections.
- High Speed – UK scientists have reported transmission speeds of 10Gbit per second, which is a lot faster than some of today’s fastest broadband connections. This came after scientists in China were able to produce speeds of 5Gbits a second earlier in 2013.
- Existing Lights – The really great news is that existing LED lights could be turned into Internet hot spots all over the world. This wouldn’t require new equipment being installed, which is a very cost effective way of giving Internet access to a large number of people.
- Reduced Costs – Additionally, because it’s based on existing technology that is relatively easy to produce and maintain, the costs of LiFi networks are going to be a lot less than the WiFi towers that are in operation today.
- More Reliable – In addition to being cheaper, LiFi is also going to be more reliable once all the bugs are worked out and it’s rolled out around the world. This is good because it’s going to keep the costs down even more.
As you can see, LiFi has the potential of changing the mobile Internet in a very positive way, making it easier and cheaper for people all over the world to connect to the Internet. If you’ve experimented with LiFi before, be sure to leave us a comment and let us know what you’ve done with the technology so far and what you want to do in the future – which is very bright indeed. And if you’re interested in trying out the technology for yourself, leave a comment as well so we can get a good conversation going.
Written by: Heather Johnson likes LED lighting because it doesn’t take a lot of energy and can add up to a lot of savings over the course of a year.
Photo credits: Jared Tarbell