The LiFi specification has been published, enabling widespread adoption of light-based wireless internet. With the accepted IEEE 802.11bb standard, LiFi will be 100 times faster than traditional Wi-Fi.
Many companies have been working on LiFi technology, which stands for Light Fidelity, for years, and IEEE has recently taken an important step towards standardization. The adopted IEEE 802.11bb standard, or LiFi for short, will not replace the wireless communication format WiFi or 5G, but it will clearly have the advantage and high speed of both in certain environments.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has officially adopted 802.11bb as a light-based wireless communication standard. It is underlined that this development will accelerate the implementation and adoption of Li-Fi technology. The new standard paves the way for different manufacturers to produce compatible LiFi devices. However, we should not expect WiFi and ethernet to disappear anytime soon.
It stands out with its ability to offer faster and more reliable wireless communication by providing unmatched security compared to traditional technologies such as Li-Fi, Wi-Fi and 5G.
How does LiFi work? How fast is it on wifi?
Instead of radio waves, Light Fidelity (LiFi) transmits data via flickering light from common LED bulbs to receivers that can detect photons and convert them back into information. Humans cannot notice the flicker in the light because it occurs at frequencies above 60Hz, which is too fast for the human eye to detect. What’s more, LiFi signals can be 100 times faster than WiFi, potentially reaching astonishing speeds of 224GB/s.
Where will LiFi be used?
Companies working on this technology, such as PureLiFi, Fraunhofer HHI and Philips, integrate the technology into their lighting systems so that devices can receive internet through ceiling lights in homes or offices. Fraunhofer HHI proposes using LiFi to improve transportation by transmitting using streetlights, taillights and vehicle headlights, potentially enabling vehicle-to-vehicle communication. An example scenario would be: You have high speed internet in your home, but the Wifi signal does not reach every room. As an alternative to wifi booster products, a LiFi lighting product connected to the home internet can be purchased.
Light-based internet has several distinct advantages over WiFi or 5G, besides higher speeds. Because LiFi does not use any radio waves, it can be useful where the radio wave spectrum is already congested. In addition, LiFi can provide a strong signal in environments where other wireless technologies often struggle, such as in tunnels. LiFi is also much safer as it does not penetrate opaque objects. This prevents anyone from tracking, scrambling, or hijacking networks through walls or out of the reach of a light source.
Wi-Fi, 5G and Li-Fi will be used together
The biggest downside is the range. Therefore, it will likely complement, rather than replace, existing wireless technologies. It’s important to remember that Li-Fi won’t replace Wi-Fi, 5G or wired networks. Radio waves still have a distinct advantage in long-distance transmission over the atmosphere and solid objects. Instead, focus should be placed on leveraging the strengths of each technology for specific use cases, making the most of Li-Fi’s unique advantages.
We can say that the integration of Li-Fi technology will accelerate with the official standardization of IEEE. With the release of the IEEE 802.11bb standard, manufacturers will now be able to safely integrate Li-Fi technology into their devices where appropriate. Leading Li-Fi company pureLiFi supplies manufacturers with the Light Antenna ONE module, a compact 14.5mm long component. However, by the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February, we can expect the emergence of a wide range of Li-Fi network devices and user devices that support the standard.