What is Li-Fi and How Does It Work?

What is Li-Fi and How Does It Work?

Li-fi is bidirectional, high speed and fully networked wireless communications similar to Wi-fi.
Li-fi is a subset of optical wireless communication (OWC) and can be a complement to RF communication (Wi-fi or cellular network), or a replacement in contexts of data broadcasting. It works in the visible spectrum.
How does Li-Fi work?
LiFi, which is an emerging technology for the future. Li-Fi claims to be 100 times faster than standard Wi-Fi. How does it work? What is Li-Fi? Light Fidelity or Li-Fi is a form of Visible Light Communications (VLC) system, which transmits data wirelessly at very high speeds. Li-Fi uses common LED (light-emitting diodes) light bulbs to transfer data at a speed up to 224 gigabits per second. Working with Li-Fi and Wi-Fi are quite similar to both transmit data electromagnetically. However, Wi-Fi uses radio waves while the Li-Fi runs on visible light. Li-Fi uses a photo-detector to receive light signals and a signal processing element to convert the data into a ‘stream-able’ content. An LED light bulb is a semiconductor light source meaning that the constant current of electricity supplied to an LED light bulb can be modulated at very 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 which is embedded in its beam at very high speeds to the photo-detector. The tiny changes in the rapid dimming of LED bulbs are then converted by the ‘receiver’ into an electrical signal. The signal is then converted back into a binary data stream that we would recognize as web, video and audio applications that run on the internet enables devices. Li-Fi features benefits to the capacity, energy efficiency, safety and security of a wireless system with a number of key benefits over Wi-Fi. But it’s worth mention that Li-Fi is not aiming to be a direct replacement for Wi-Fi and cellular networks, it’s a complementary technology that will work well in certain situations. Professor Harald Haas, the person who coined the term Li-Fi, expect Li-Fi to unlock the third industrial revolution. The technology seems promising and many major key players are considering it. LiFi technology does offer numerous benefits, but there are still important challenges that must be overcome before it becomes an essential part of everyday wireless communications.

Application of Li-Fi

When developed fully. Li-Fi offers potentially mind-boggling applications, riding on the rapid growth in the use of LED across the world. Li-Fi founder Professor Harald Haas once said, “In the future, we will not only have 14 billion light bulbs, we may have 14 billion Li-Fi is deployed worldwide for a cleaner, greener, and even brighter future.”

Some of its potential benefits are:

  • Freeing up spectrum: Audio, video, live-streaming makes heavy demand on the radio spectrum. If that traffic is diverted to Li-Fi (whatever available), already clogged cellular networks will be relieved of their burden.
  • Hospitals: Li-Fi does not result in any electromagnetic interference and will not interfere with medical equipment.
  • Smart Lighting: Streetlamps can be used to provide Li-Fi hotspots.
  • Transportation: Headlights and tail lights in vehicles are moving to LED and so are street lights. Li-Fi can be used for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-roadside communications for road safety and traffic management.
  • Mobile connectivity: Electronic devices such as Laptops, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices can interconnect directly using Li-Fi.


  • Light cannot pass through objects.
  • Li-Fi cannot be achieved without a light source.
  • The high installation cost of the VLC systems

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