“Let there be Light” – Light fidelity(Lifi): The Game-Changing Technology for IOT

Light fidelity in short Li-Fi, a term coined by Prof Harald Haas and introduced during a 2011 TEDGlobal talk in Edinburgh.[1] Lifi is a wireless communication technology, which utilizes light to transmit data at high speed over the light spectrums. Just imagine, through this technology, the bulbs at home and offices will not only be able to light up and illuminate the environment but be able to transmit data wirelessly at high speed.

Based on a recent study conducted by P.J. Winzer at el , it is reported that “ compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of wireless traffic has been 60% during the last 10 years. The industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) RF band for Wifi is already becoming saturated. If this growth is sustained for the next 20 years, which is a reasonable assumption due to the advent of Internet-of-Things(IoT) and machine type communication (MTC), this would mean a demand of 12,000 times the current bandwidth assuming the same spectrum efficiency” [1].

In 20 years from now, the bandwidth demand is estimated to be 6 THz [2]. In other words, the current Wifi will not be able to cope with this huge surge in demand for bandwidth hence the need to tap into new spectrum resources like the light spectrum.

The table below provides a quick summary and comparison between Wifi and Lifi technology.

Lifi has the ability to support much high data transmission speed, provide higher security and privacy to users, much higher bandwidth (capacity)and free spectrum of operation, lower cost and it is suitable to use even in applications that sensitive to radio wave such as Hospital, planes, oil rigs…etc

In addition, there is also increasing talks by some community to highlight the possible health concern should we expose under prolonged and strong radio wave. In contrast to radio wave , Lifi uses light as a medium of transmission and low power devices such as LED bulb as a transmission source hence it is believed to help provide a healthier and greener environment for users.