The next generation of wireless Internet, says the British newspaper, The Independent, could use converted LED light bulbs to transmit data. Researchers in Germany and China have tested the technology, known as “li fi,” and have reached speeds of up to 3 Gbps and 150 mbps, respectively. Researchers in Britain have achieved speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

 


What is Li Fi?


 

Li fi is transmits data using the light wave spectrum, rather than the radio wave spectrum wifi uses. Instead of radio transmitters, li fi uses LED light bulbs. Because the light spectrum is much, much broader the radio frequency spectrum, we can expect li fi to be faster and cheaper – up to 250 times faster than today’s superfast broadband, says the Belfast Telegraph.co.uk.

 


How Does Li Fi Work?


 

Dr. Chi Nan of Fudan University in China created a li fi system on display at the China International Industry Fair in Shanghai. She built the system using only off the shelf parts. According to NetworkWorld, this li fi system uses “a small number” of single-watt LEDs bulbs to send and receive Internet data. The BBC notes that British researchers have used a micro-LED light bulb to transmit 3.5 Gbps using red, green, blue light, which make up white light. This means over 10Gbit/s is possible.

 


Does Li Fi Have Any Drawbacks?


 

Li fi cannot connect without light…so you folks who like to work in the dark may be out of luck when it comes to li fi. And for now, li fi cannot go through walls. So don’t expect li fi connectivity at your local coffee shop just yet!