IT Support 101: What is LiFi?

We have all heard of WiFI but have you heard of LiFi? What is it and how does it work?

IT Support 101: What is LiFi?

Did you know WiFi is short for wireless fidelity? And using that same logic, we can explain to you better, what 'Light Fidelity' or LiFi actually is.


In 2011, a new technology revealed, the transmission of light to send internet signals as opposed to WiFi. And this new technology, named LiFi, was set to revolutionize IT infrastructure technology. Surprisingly, it has been a decade since but we don't seem to see LiFi adopted in mass. You would imagine a faster technology would quickly take over a slower one, especially when it comes to computers and internet technology. But before we explore that, let's explore how the technology works.

IT Support 101: What is LiFi?

How does LiFi work?

What is LiFi?


If you have an LED light bulb at home, and depending on the brand of light bulb you have purchased, you may have two or more LED 'filament' in your light bulb. Theoretically, each of these LED inside your bulb can blink at a very high speed, effectively sending a signal. These signals would be so fast that our human eyes won't pick them up. So while you only see a stable light coming from your light bulb, your light bulb could be transmitting information, at lights speed. If your computer can sense the LiFi from your light bulb, it would be able to explore the internet from that signal alone. Of course, your laptop requires the ability to respond with a reciprocal signal for it to work genuinely, but that is how LiFi works at a quantum level.

IT Support 101: What is LiFi?

LiFi vs WiFi

What is LiFi?


A crucial difference between WiFi and LiFi is range. While it may seem that LiFi should be able to send signals faster than WiFi, that is not correct from a physics point of view. Light particles and radio waves may be different, but they are both effectively moving at the speed of light. So saying one is faster than the other in terms of raw speed is deplorably inaccurate. The great thing about WiFi signals is its ability to penetrate walls and cover the entire house, but this does very little for internet security. Which is why it is believed, in the future, many locations that require a high level of security would rely on LiFi for wireless internet connectivity since the light contained within each room, there is no risk of anyone outside of the premises attempting to jump on to your wireless signal and penetrate your local area network.

IT Support 101: What is LiFi?

LiFi applications

What is LiFi?


Aviation and Medical applications, where LiFi only enabled infrastructure, would prevent any risk of signal interference with essential pieces of equipment with critical functions. Driverless vehicles of the future could communicate with one another via headlights and tail lights. They were informing one another of when to stop, brake and accelerate. And with mass adoption and LiFi enabled light devices, countries that cannot afford expensive IT infrastructure pieces of equipment can provide wireless internet connectivity within classrooms on the cheap.


It is challenging to predict if LiFi can implement or if at all in the future. While LiFi is still under development, and some computer peripherals do have LiFi enabled, only time can tell. WiFi is still ever-evolving, 5G is still in the process of being implemented, and so far, LiFi is not part of the 5G infrastructure. It also does seem that to implement LiFi; it would require a complete overhaul of an IT infrastructure, which could mean it is expensive for any organization with an infrastructure already in place to implement it and would only be feasible for new infrastructural development to adopt. Which is also a large 'maybe'.


Overall, it is too early to tell. At the current trajectory, if LiFi is the only other candidate to WiFi, the future will most likely be LiFi enabled.



Thank you for reading 'IT Support 101: What is LiFi?' by IT Block. IT Block is an IT support services provider based in Singapore and a registered Google News source. #lifi #wifi #tech #diode #light #internet #connectivity #infrastructure #IT #support #singapore #services



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