What is LiFi? How does LiFi work? WiFi vs LiFi -Light Fidelity or LiFi is a Visible Light Communications (VLC) system running wireless communications travelling at very high speeds.

WiFi vs LiFi -What is LiFi? How does LiFi work?

  • Light Fidelity or LiFi is a Visible Light Communications (VLC) system running wireless communications travelling at very high speeds.
  • LiFi uses common household LED (light emitting diodes) light bulbs to enable data transfer, boasting speeds of up to 224 gigabits per second.
  • The term LiFi was coined by University of Edinburgh Professor Harald Haas during a TED Talk in 2011. Haas envisioned light bulbs that could act as wireless routers.
  • Subsequently, in 2012 after four years of research, Haas set up company pureLiFi with the aim ‘to be the world leader in Visible Light Communications technology’.

How it works -WiFi vs LiFi -What is LiFi? How does LiFi work?

  • LiFi and Wi-Fi are quite similar as both transmit data electromagnetically. However, Wi-Fi uses radio waves while LiFi runs on visible light.
  • As we now know, Li-Fi is a Visible Light Communications (VLC) system. This means that it accommodates a photo-detector to receive light signals and a signal processing element to convert the data into ‘stream-able’ content.
  • An LED lightbulb is a semi-conductor light source meaning that the constant current of electricity supplied to an LED lightbulb can be dipped and dimmed, up and down at extremely high speeds, without being visible to the human eye.
  • For example, data is fed into an LED light bulb (with signal processing technology), it then sends data (embedded in its beam) at rapid speeds to the photo-detector (photodiode).
  • The tiny changes in the rapid dimming of LED bulbs is then converted by the ‘receiver’ into electrical signal.
  • The signal is then converted back into a binary data stream that we would recognise as web, video and audio applications that run on internet enables devices.

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LiFi vs WiFi –LiFi vs WiFi-Basic difference between LiFi and WiFi

Features LIFI Wifi
Full form Light Fidelity Wireless Fidelity
Operation LiFi transmits data using light with the help of LED bulbs. WiFi transmits data using radio waves with the help of WiFi router.
Interference Do not have any interference issues similar to radio frequency waves. Will have interference issues from nearby access points(routers
Technology Present IrDA compliant devices WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ad standard compliant devices
Applications
  • Used in airlines
  • undersea explorations
  • operation theaters in the hospitals
  • office and home premises for data transfer and internet browsing
  • Used for internet browsing with the help of wifi kiosks or wifi hotspots
Merits(advantages)
  • Interference is less
  • can pass through salty sea water
  • works in dense region
  • Interference is more, can not pass through sea water
  • works in less dense region
Privacy In LiFi, light is blocked by the walls and hence will provide more secure data transfer In WiFi, RF signal can not be blocked by the walls and hence need to employ techniques to achieve secure data transfer.
Data transfer speed About 1 Gbps WLAN-11n offers 150Mbps, About 1-2 Gbps can be achieved using WiGig/Giga-IR
Frequency of operation 10 thousand times frequency spectrum of the radio 2.4GHz, 4.9GHz and 5GHz
Data density Works in high dense environment Works in less dense environment due to interference related issues
Coverage distance About 10 meters About 32 meters (WLAN 802.11b/11g), vary based on transmit power and antenna type
System components Lamp driver, LED bulb(lamp) and photo detector will make up complete LiFi system. Requires routers to be installed, subscriber devices(laptops,PDAs,desktops) are referred as stations

 

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