Chinese Researchers Invent Wi-Fi Transmitting Lightbulbs

The new technology, called Li-Fi, involves LED lightbulbs that emit Wi-Fi signals to nearby computers. This is definitely a game-changer in the world of computer networks, especially since it’s based on an unexpected element.

Wi-Fi LED light bulbs that can be controlled via a smartphone are not a novelty. However, LED light bulbs capable of emitting Wi-Fi signals on their own are definitely something unheard of. Researchers from Shanghai’s Fudan University came up with the ingenious idea of using LED lighbulbs for Internet connections, and the prototype is not only functional, but it provides a connection that is better than the average wireless connection in China.

Having seen recently a map that puts my country at the top of the list in terms of Internet connection speeds, I should be ignorant not to admit that Li-Fi is a fantastic invention for the developing countries. The Li-Fi technology involves an LED light bulb equipped with a microchip that emits signals to nearby computers. It should be noted that this technology relies on various light frequencies, rather than on the traditional radio waves.

Once such a Li-Fi light bulb is turned on, it can provide an Internet connection to up to four computers placed in its vicinity. The speed of the Internet connection gets up to 150 mbps, which is quite impressive. Of course, in order to reach such speeds, the computers need to be equipped with adequate hardware (an SSD and a Gigabit network interface card, among others). Also, the computers should be connected to a wireless router capable of handling such speeds.

The Chinese scientists who invented this ground-breaking technology will exhibit 10 such Li-Fi kits at the International Industry Fair in Shanghai. The transition from traditional Wi-Fi to Li-Fi should not take long, as Chinese people are adopting LED light bulbs at an incredible speed, probably mostly because such appliances are mainly made in their country. The low cost of this technology is yet one more reason Li-Fi has great chances of penetrating the market. Still, this does not mean that the newly-invented technology is not without problems. Obstructing the light bulb or turning it off would terminate the Internet connection, so whoever wants to try out this technology should prepare for an always-on regime.

If you liked this post, please check this homemade G36 coilgun that blasts light bulbs into oblivion, and these smartphone control Wi-Fi enabled LED light bulbs.