Micro-LED Li-Fi

Illustra LightingThis is a guest post by Cassandra Allen of Illustra Lighting

Li-Fi is no longer a concept or an idea but a proven technology, albeit still at its infancy. Already, several experts in the field of communication have attested that Li-Fi technology would soon become a standard adjunct to Wi-Fi. That is, until its inherent limitations could be overcome.

Since it is light-based, its major drawback is that it won’t be able to penetrate solid objects such as walls. Though it could also mean privacy for the personal user, it also questions its use for large-scale delivery of data transmissions.

But despite its drawbacks researchers all over the world have been going all-out in further developing this new technology. A research was initiated by a consortium of universities that includes the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, St. Andrews and Strathclyde in Scotland. It is led by Professors Martin Dawson, from the Institute of Photonics, and Harald Haas, from the University of Edinburgh. The goal of the consortium is to eventually make every illuminated device, such as televisions, lamps, road signs, and commercial ad boxes, transmit data to gadgets such as mobile phones.

At the University of Strathclyde, researchers have begun earnest efforts at bringing this new technology to market. Their biggest accomplishment to date is the development of LEDs that are a thousand times smaller than the smallest commercial LED. Dubbed micro-LED or micron-sized LEDs, these newer models are merely 1um2 (square micrometres) in size. This means that 1,000 more lights could be fit into the same space as a typical LED.

In addition to its size, micro-LEDs can flicker 1,000 times faster than commercial LED. Thus, in theory, a bank of 1,000 micro-LEDs flashing 1,000 times faster could transmit data a million times faster thanthat of an average LED.

At the moment, the potential advantage of micro-LEDs for Li-Fi use is staggering. While Li-Fi technology by itself is already incredible, having increased its data transfer speed that is comparable to fibre optics is what makes this new technology a major issue.

Imagine having a light source that not only provides light but also networking capability at astonishing speeds. Or a home television that communicates with every other gadget around, including the ability to project your smart phone’s display onto it for easy presentation to large groups. Or highways lighted by Li-Fi, providing motorists with real-time traffic and weather news as well as internet access to all devices inside.

The possibilities seem endless, and the potential is much broader than at first thought. With all the support pouring in, it won’t be long now before Li-Fi becomes an everyday technology.

About the author:

Cassandra Allen , Marketing Director of www.IllustraLighting.com

Cassandra is a marketing professional with over 15 years of extensive experience leading corporate marketing and internal communications for multi-national companies in diverse industries.

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