Latest Li-fi Research News

The latest Li-Fi Research and Development News from Professor Harald Haas.

How fast can LiFi be?

LiFi could transmit up to 100 Gbps and possibly higher, but this would require a change in lighting technology.

Recent news report that LiFi is 100 times faster than WiFi. The assumption was that the average WiFi speeds are 10 Mbps, and that LiFi can be as fast as 1 Gbps. It is important to highlight that 1 Gbps transmission speeds from an off-the-shelf commercial LED light bulb have not been demonstrated, yet. In this discussion, it is important to compare like-for-like. The facts are:

  • The visible light spectrum is 1,000 times larger than the entire 300 GHz of radio, micro wave and mm wave radio spectrum, so there is a big untapped reservoir of resources for wireless systems.
  • The current and future growth of wireless data traffic will mean that the radio frequency spectrum will not provide sufficient resources by 2025.
  • Phosophor coated white LEDs which are mostly used in all commercial lighting devices can deliver up to about 100 Mbps
  • More expensive red, green, blue (RGB) LEDs can deliver up to about 5 Gbps, and allow control of colour.
  • Laser based white LEDs with a diffuser to create a broad light beam could transmit up to 100 Gbps ( and
  • The fastest WiFi in the 60 GHz frequency band, WiGig, can achieve a maximum data rate of 7 Gbps
  • The experienced data rate in a network where multiple users must share the bandwidth is significantly lower than the maximum headline data rate in WiFi systems.

Therefore, a more important metric is the data rate per square meter, or area data rate.

The area data rate of a LiFi network can be 1,000 times higher than the area data rate of a WiFi network. Please download this paper if you want to see the science behind this: ECOC 2015, invited. The main reason for this massive improvement is that, while there can only be one WiFi router in a room as interference would destroy the bandwidth, there can be tens and more light bulbs in a room as interference behaves entirely different when using light to carry data.

LiFi 'speed roadmap' based on lighting technologies

What is LiFi?

Light-Fidelity (LiFi) takes visible light communication (VLC) further by using light emitting diodes (LEDs) to realise fully networked wireless systems.

New results on Hybrid LiFi/WiFi networks

WiFi / LiFi throughput

Our latest research on load balancing in hybrid WiFi/LiFi networks has shown an interesting result: There is a direct relationship between WiFi throughput and LiFi throughput. Specifically, as the LiFi throughput increases, so does the WiFi throughput, and vice versa.

IEEE Jack Neubauer Memorial Award

Jack Neubauer Memorial Award of IEEE Vehicular Technology Society, September 2015

We have received the Jack Neubauer Memorial Award for our paper "Bit Error Probability of SM-MIMO Over Generalized Fading Channels",  as the Best System paper, published in the IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology in March 2012.

How Li-Fi is different from RF wireless

Edinburgh Balmoral Clock Tower

Based on Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetics, the light and radio propagation follow the same rules of physics. However, the optical waves have significantly smaller wavelength compared to radio waves. This is particularly important when an approximation of Maxwell’s theory is required.

Optical Wireless Communication: The rebirth of an ancient technology


When you pack a survival kit for disaster and emergency situations, what kind of tools would you include? I bet flashlight is one of them. Besides its obvious use, a flashlight can be toggled on and off to send Morse coded signals for requesting help and rescue.


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