Record data transmission using LED lights

8 April 2014
By Tereza Pultarova
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Li-Fi is hailed for its potential to increase data transfer capacity

Li-Fi is hailed for its potential to increase data transfer capacity [Credit: pureLiFi]

Scottish researchers have managed to transmit 1.1GB of data over a distance of ten metres using LED lights.

The achievement marks an important milestone in the development of visible light communication systems. Using similar principles to Wi-Fi, the innovative system, also known as Li-Fi, for Light Fidelity, uses light instead of radio waves.

It is believed to have the potential to increase data transfer efficiency as it enables transmitting more data at once.

”Li-Fi is revolutionising wireless communications and showing that Li-Fi can be the enabler of the emerging Internet of Everything,” said Harald Haas, Professor at the University of Edinburgh and co-founder of pureLifi, the company behind the latest breakthrough.  

“By transmitting data at speeds above 1Gbps and record distances of 10 metres at a fraction of the power of typical LED bulbs, we continue to make the technological leaps and bounds that make Li-Fi a technology that could transform the way we use the Internet in the near future.”

The transmission was carried out using micro LED lights and required less than 0.5W of power, only ten per cent of the usual power consumption of a 10W LED bulb. This proves the point that lights can be dimmed down while maintaining the high data rates and coverage.

Moreover, the distance at which 1Gbps can be achieved with a single-colour LED is 10 times larger than what has been reported previously.

Earlier this year, pureLifi unveiled the world’s first commercial LiFi product - a high-speed, bidirectional optical wireless system that can operate with a range of commercially available LED lights. It provides an IP-enabled ceiling unit and a desktop device that can be connected via USB to client devices.

The research was funded by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council and conducted in partnership with the Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde, the University of Glasgow and the University of Oxford.

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