What is Li-Fi? – Everything You Need to Know about Li-Fi

Technologies change over the years and people tend to use what’s newest, fastest and the best, when financially applicable. Oh, and it helps if the infrastructure is there. Otherwise, you get a faulty service or device, which is never good, especially if you pay a lot of money for it.

That is why consumers often wait for the technology to be there before purchasing something new, because nobody wants to have a hassle with a company, not get their refunds and end up with more trouble than worth.

WiFi is great, but it can be really unstable. Anybody playing online multiplayer games will know what a bad WiFi connection can do to you. Getting jitter and packet loss is not what you want, and seeing how unstable WiFi can be, there have been people working on something relatively new, called LiFi or light fidelity. What is LiFi and will it replace WiFi one day?

Light Fidelity – New Wireless Options

With how limiting WiFi can be, due to it using radio waves to transmit data, anything from storms, airplanes and metal can block signals. What this means is that you need another way of transmitting signals wirelessly. This is where light comes into action. Fiber optic cables have been around a while and people use fiber internet nowadays, for much faster and better connections. A cable connection was always better and more stable, yet there is a large limit which a basic copper wire has. Light doesn’t have those limits and can transfer much more data than a basic wire can, with much fewer limitations.

LiFi began its journey in 2011 when professor Haralnd Haas coined the term during his TED Talk. LiFi can use anything from visible light to infrared and ultraviolet light. It uses optical LEDs to transmit light, and it is mostly not visible to the human eye because the diodes turn on and off at a very fast pace. It was supposed to take off, and it was planned for, but it never took off.

Will We Be Seeing More LiFi? – Probably (not)

The pun is that most LiFi will not be visible to the naked eye, but that it will be adopted. Industrial usage is most likely to be first, as it often is. BMW had a test in 2018 and LiFi passed it. Gerhard Kleinpeter, a project manager, said that in order to find more usage in cars and the automotive industry, the LEDs need to become smaller. There were tests and speeds up to 10GB/s, which is really, really fast, especially for a wireless connection. It does have its faults, needing reflective surfaces or a direct visible connection (it doesn’t go through walls, which is also a safety feature). The current faults are also short range and high initial costs (it’s bleeding edge technology), as well as low reliability.

LiFi is looking to be a part of our modern world, as soon as the technology becomes cheaper and a range solution is found. Meanwhile, WiFi will have to suffice for most wireless internet users.