What is LiFi technology?

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WiFi has become an essential part of our lives, as it is the number one thing that people cannot live without, according to a recent survey by Direct Line conducted by Opinium Research online. However, internet connectivity issues are still prevalent worldwide.

Enter LiFi, a revolutionary wireless connection that can be up to 100 times faster than WiFi.

Imagine being able to connect to high-speed internet just by flicking a light switch. LiFi is a wireless optical networking technology that uses LEDs to transmit data. Essentially, LiFi is a light-based WiFi that employs light, rather than radio waves, to transmit information. This approach provides several benefits, such as the ability to work in areas vulnerable to electromagnetic interference, such as hospitals and airplane cabins, and the ability to operate over higher bandwidth while delivering faster transmission speeds.

Numerous organizations worldwide are currently developing LiFi technology.


How does LiFi work?

LiFi, short for “Light Fidelity,” is a Visible Light Communications system that transmits wireless internet communications at incredibly high speeds. The technology works by using LED light bulbs to emit light pulses that are invisible to the human eye. Within those pulses, data can travel to and from receivers. Once received, the data is collected and interpreted by the receivers. This process is similar to decoding Morse code, but it operates at a much faster rate – millions of times per second.

With LiFi, transmission speeds can exceed 100 Gbps, making it over 14 times faster than WiGig, also known as the world’s fastest WiFi. This breakthrough in wireless connectivity can revolutionize how we access and use the internet, enabling faster and more efficient communication for a wide range of applications.

Unlike WiFi technology, which uses radio waves to transfer data, LiFi takes a revolutionary step in wireless communication by embedding and transmitting data in visible light beams. This approach enables LiFi to take full advantage of the vastly greater bandwidth capacity of the light spectrum, resulting in faster and more secure wireless communication.

LiFi works by capturing data in modulated light frequencies of a solid-state LED light source, which is then transmitted and received by LiFi-enabled devices. A photosensitive detector demodulates the light frequency signal and converts it back into an electronic data stream, allowing for faster-than-ever, bi-directional wireless communication. This process is incredibly secure since light waves can’t penetrate walls or objects, making it difficult for unauthorized parties to intercept the data stream.

Overall, LiFi’s unique approach to wireless communication can offer a significant improvement over traditional radio wave-based technology. With faster transmission speeds, greater security, and the potential to revolutionize how we interact with technology, LiFi is a promising innovation that could transform the way we connect to the internet.

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WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) vs. LiFi (Light Fidelity)


WiFi: More interference, cannot pass through seawater, works in less dense regions

LiFi: Less interference, can pass through salty sea water, works in dense region


WiFi: Used for internet browsing with the help of WiFi hotspots

LiFi: Used in airlines, undersea explorations, operation theaters in the hospitals, office and home premises for data transfer and internet browsing

Coverage distance

WiFi: About 32 meters (WLAN 802.11b/11g), varies based on transmit power and antenna type

LiFi: About 10 meters

Data density

WiFi: Works in less dense environments due to interference related issues
LiFi: Works in high-density environments


WiFi: Several sources of radio interference can disrupt the function of a WiFi network
LiFi: Does not have any interference issues similar to radio frequency waves.


WiFi: WiFi transmits data using radio waves with the help of WiFi router
LiFi: LiFi transmits data using light sources (presently LED bulbs)


WiFi: WiFi is less secure because the signal cannot be blocked by walls and most objects
LiFi: With LiFi, light is blocked by the walls and hence will provide more secure data transfer

Looking at the data above, the biggest disadvantage of LiFi technology is its coverage distance. Since light can’t pass through walls, the signal’s range is limited by physical barriers.

LiFi is probably not the replacement of WiFi technology anytime soon. Instead, it is an incredible companion for it. By positioning LiFi as a complementary technology to WiFi, this promising technology will take wireless connectivity to new heights.

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What does LiFi mean for everyone?

LiFi technology is poised to revolutionize wireless communication, providing faster and more secure data transfer than traditional WiFi. Although it functions similarly to WiFi, using light instead of radio waves to transmit data, LiFi boasts vastly greater bandwidth capacity, making it ideal for use in densely populated urban areas. In fact, street lamps could soon be used to provide data to everything from pedestrians to vehicles, improving the functionality of city infrastructure. While currently mainly used in industrial settings, LiFi is predicted to make its way into smart homes and become an integral part of future building automation. With its speed and security advantages, LiFi is set to be a game changer in the world of wireless communication.


Why is LiFi important?

Consumption of wireless data increases by 60% every year. That means that the radio-frequency space is slowly becoming saturated which can lead to a phenomenon called a spectrum crunch. Spectrum crunch refers to the potential lack of sufficient wireless frequency spectrum needed to support a growing number of consumer devices, along with various government and private sector uses of radio frequencies within a broad spectrum allocated for different types of wireless communications. This poses challenges with wireless networks because it would negatively affect the speed of our internet usage.

Eventually, WiFi will not be able to keep up with the demand for data.


A Brief History of LiFi

LiFi technology, which stands for light fidelity, was introduced by Professor Harald Haas in his 2011 TED Global talk. Haas, who is the Chair of Mobile Communications at the University of Edinburgh, co-founded pureLiFi, a company that produces LiFi products for integration with LED-lighting systems.

In 2013, pureLiFi released the world’s first commercially available LiFi technology, the Li-1st. This marked a groundbreaking milestone in wireless communication technology. Two years later, pureLiFi partnered with French lighting company Lucibel to launch the world’s first industrialized LiFi solution, which has been deployed in multiple locations, including Microsoft’s Paris headquarters.

The LiFi-XC system, released in 2017, is a certified plug-and-play system that works with USB devices and can be integrated into laptops, tablets, and smart appliances. In June 2018, pureLiFi offered LiFi starter kits to academic researchers and launched a channel program for IT resellers to add LiFi to their portfolio.

LiFi technology provides numerous benefits, including faster internet speed and increased security, particularly in areas where radio frequencies may be unsafe or unavailable. With its rapid growth and expansion, LiFi technology is sure to revolutionize wireless communication in the years to come.

The history of LiFi has been marked by various milestones since Professor Haas introduced the technology in 2011. Since then, pureLiFi has been at the forefront of developing and commercializing LiFi products. Many other companies have also started working on LiFi products and solutions, and the market is growing rapidly. The global Li-Fi market is projected to reach $4.5 billion by 2035, with a compound annual growth rate of approximately 65%, according to a Research Nester report.

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LiFi sustainability

LiFi technology is not only fast, but it is also environmentally sustainable. One of the main advantages of LiFi technology is that it eliminates the need for electronic devices such as routers, modems, signal repeaters, wave amplifiers, and antennas, which consume energy 24/7. Since LiFi is connected to LED bulbs, it does not require additional power consumption, thus reducing costs in homes and workplaces.

Furthermore, LiFi technology has the potential to use solar energy to transmit data, making it possible for people without internet access or with limited electricity resources to connect wirelessly to the web. With LiFi, there is a great opportunity to bring internet access to remote and underdeveloped regions, which can help bridge the digital divide.

As more and more companies are working on LiFi products, and many LiFi products and solutions have been created since, the global Li-Fi market is growing fast.


How close are we to using LiFi?

LiFi technology has been in development for over a decade, and many LiFi products have been created since its inception. Companies across various industries such as defense, healthcare, lighting, IT infrastructure, telcos, and device integrators are working on LiFi solutions for various use cases.

More and more companies are realizing the potential of LiFi and investing resources in research and product development. While it is not yet widely available to the general public, the technology is steadily advancing, and it is only a matter of time before it becomes more prevalent in our daily lives.


The future of LiFi

Right now, LiFi cannot fully replace WiFi as a connectivity source, however, there are several LiFi companies that are working hard on developing LiFi products and marketing LiFi as the primary wireless technology. The demand for fast internet access is increasing every day and light fidelity could be the technology to meet this demand.

Many LiFi products have been created and are in development, and more companies are utilizing LiFi solutions for various use cases. The future of the internet looks bright with the potential of LiFi technology.

Are you ready for the LiFi revolution?

Read our eBook to learn more about the endless possibilities of LiFi.

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