Philips Announces Li-Fi Lamp That Transmits Internet Through Light

LED Lighting with Li-Fi, a technology that transmits the Internet through the light, is the new bet of Philips Lighting announced on Monday (19). It looks like science fiction, but it’s a reality: Luminaires use light waves to connect to broadband and allow data to be transferred between devices. It is worth mentioning that the Li-Fi can be up to 100 times faster than Wi-Fi, according to researchers.

The manufacturer also took advantage of Light + Building, the world’s largest lighting fair in Frankfurt, Germany, to comment on the company’s name change for Signify. Other releases include differentiated designs for smart Hue lamps. Check out the following lines for how Li-Fi and other Philips products work.

Li-Fi Lamps: The Future of Wireless Connection?

Philips Lighting is the first global company to market luminaires with Li-Fi technology. Unlike Wi-Fi, which uses radio frequencies, the feature uses light waves to propagate the signal. In this way, the connection has the promise of being more stable and fast. According to the manufacturer, the speed would reach 30 Mb /s  without compromising lighting. The user can stream multiple HD-quality videos while still making video calls.

In terms of comparison, Li-Fi has some advantages over Wi-Fi. According to the manufacturer, the new technology is mainly indicated for places where there is equipment that can not be subject to interference from radio frequencies, such as hospitals. Another possible use would be in places where the Wi-Fi signal cannot reach or is weak, such as in underground and underwater environments.

Its application is also suggested in areas that require high security, such as in government services or financial institutions. Philips explains that the Li-Fi guarantees an extra layer of safety, since the light can not overcome walls and other obstacles. Currently, the technology is being tested in the offices of a French real estate investment company.

How do Li-Fi lamps work?

The company offers two luminaires with the technology: Philips PowerBalance gen2 and Philips LuxSpace. The models are indicated for use in offices/schools and hospitals, respectively. The lamps are equipped with a modem that modulates the LED light with intensity and very high frequencies – and imperceptible to the human eye. It is worth mentioning that for the Internet to function, the luminaire must be lit – even if the lighting is not at its maximum level.

The main “disadvantage” is that the user needs to connect an external device (dongle) to the USB port of their notebook or tablet to perform data transfer. The Li-Fi dongle detects light from the luminaire and returns the data to the lamp via an infrared link.

In the future, it is expected that technology will be incorporated natively into devices. That way, the connection would be possible without the use of an external dongle – just like with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, for example.

Name change and Hue lamps

Philips Lighting also took advantage of the event to announce the name change for Signify. According to the brand, the choice has to do with the connection with people and the transmission of meanings and sensations. Despite this, the company continues to use the Philips brand under license with RoyalPhilips.

Hue lamps have won models with different styles and colors. Philips’ partnership with European lighting companies, called the Friends of Hue, has given rise to new designs for its smart luminaires. It is still possible to control the devices through the Philips Hue application, which is available for Android or iPhone (iOS) phones. The user can also use voice commands from Siri (Apple), Wizard (Google), and Alexa (Amazon) to turn on, erase, and change the light colors of the lamps.

Another novelty is in the Hue line dedicated to outdoor seating in white and colorful colors. The promise is to improve the safety of the house, as well as offering practicality and tranquility to the environment – all at the touch of a button. There is no forecast of launch and price of products in Brazil.