Light Based Internet Faster, More Secure

A company in France is providing wi-fi through lighting. Philips Lighting has introduced Light Fidelity (LiFi), which uses light waves to deliver a broadband internet connection. Philips is the first lighting company in the world to offer LiFi through its current lineup of products.

“LiFi has enormous potential for today’s digital age and as the world’s leading lighting company we are proud to pioneer new and innovative services for our customers,” said Olivia Qiu, Chief Innovation Officer, Philips Lighting, in a press release.

“While radio frequencies are becoming congested, the visible light spectrum is an untapped resource with a large bandwidth suitable for the stable simultaneous connection of a vast array of IOT devices. Being a lighting company, we ensure that our customers benefit from the finest quality energy efficient light along with state-of-the-art connectivity,” she added.

LiFi uses light waves instead of radio waves to transmit data. Philips Lighting’s broadband connection provides a speed of 30 Mb per second (Mb/s) while ensuring the integrity of the lighting itself. LiFi users can stream multiple HD quality videos at once while participating in video calls.

French real estate company Icade is the first to incorporate LiFi in its offices in La Devense. “LiFi has the potential to be a real game-changer in offices. As the leader in our market we wanted to explore the possibilities of this technology for existing and future clients,” said Emmanuelle Baboulin, head of the Commercial Property Investment Division at Icade.

Why would a business choose LiFi over wi-fi? In some spots, such as hospitals, radio frequencies interfere with equipment. Wi-fi signals may also be sluggish underground, so LiFi is a good alternative. In addition, LiFi provides more security than wi-fi as it cannot pass through solid walls, making it beneficial for the government or financial institutions.

According to Philips Lighting, each of their luminaires contain built-in modems that modulate the light “at speeds imperceptible to the human eye.” Users access the LiFi through a USB key/dongle inserted into their laptops or tablets, which transmits data via an infrared link. The connection is highly secure, and Philips claims that it has “10,000 times the spectrum of WiFi.”