Running head: The World Connected Through Light

The World Connected Through Light

David De Sousa Jr

DeVry University

Li-Fi Technology Research

Table Of Contents

Page 3 Introduction

Page 4-6Historical Timeline

Page 7-10 Impact Analysis

· Social

· Cultural

· Political

· Economic

· Environmental

Page 11-12 Ethical Implications

Page 12 Conclusions

Page 13 – 15 References

Page 16 Peer Evaluations


One new emerging new technology that will have an impact in today’s society is Li-Fi or light fidelity. Li-Fi is a wireless communication through light something very similar to Wi-Fi except Wi-Fi uses wireless bandwidth signals to send information compare to Li-Fi uses the light system in most building to send information so you are able to connect your devices to the internet. Li-Fi is beneficial to society in a way that it can be more efficient in terms of security, energy, and eliminates health concerns. Just imagine if every street light is equip with Li-Fi then the internet access will be limitless and would need to rely on cell towers for internet and it can help relieve the stress the it can cause on some networks.

Li-Fi is categorized as a Visual Light Communication. Visual Light Communication is a light source that can send information but the light must be visible in order to be considered Visual Light Communication. Originally Visual Light was achieve with sunlight but now that the fact the LEDs Lights are becoming more common Visual Light Communication is easier to achieve then before.

Historical Timeline

Photo of Alexander Graham Bell

The concept of Visible Light Communication or VLC for short has been around for over a hundred years now. It started in the 1880’s with a man name Alexander Graham Bell who was experimenting to see if there was a possibility to send information through light. He experimented on the though and what he was able to accomplish was the photophone. The photophone was the very first instance of Visible Light Communication. Alexander Graham Bell was able to transmit and audio sounds through a beam of light in this case sunlight.

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:q9:mj5j2j_93b3cr6zbjjh59ym00000gn:T:TemporaryItems:220px-Photophone_transmitter_4074931746_9f996df841_b.jpg Photo on how the Photophone works

The next instance of Visible Light Communication is more recent. In 2003 at Nakagawa Laboratory in Japan, they decide to use LED’s instead of sunlight. Because of theresearch, it led to a more attention to Visible Light Communication that allowed many projects to take off such as D-Light Project, COWA, and more. These projects are moving along much better now because LED’s lights are starting to become more common and edging out the old incandescent and fluorescent lights bulbs. On top of that, they last much longer and more energy efficient and cost is starting to come down on them.

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:q9:mj5j2j_93b3cr6zbjjh59ym00000gn:T:TemporaryItems:best-led-bulbs.jpg

Graph of different bulbs being compared

In 2010, a company called Siemens use the progress already made with Visual Light Communication and expanded on it with a concept of transmitting 500Mbits of information at a distance. With this new development it made it possible to establish anInternet connection with Visual Light Communication which where the name Li-Fi came about. This began the research and advancement of Li-Fi with current speeds up to 224Gbits. The advancements also allowed a high definition video to be transmitted with Li-Fi.

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:q9:mj5j2j_93b3cr6zbjjh59ym00000gn:T:TemporaryItems:How_VLC_works.png

A graph on how Li-Fi works


When it comes to Li-Fi technology, it is relevantly new so there is not many people know about it however, in the tech world people are getting excited. It is something new and sort of out the realm of possibilities. In addition, any new technology opens the door for even more possibilities when it comes to implementing with other technologies. It is heavily favored because the other alternative to Li-Fi is Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi has some weakness because it works with radio frequencies. The frequencies can weaken with distortion and lose signal strength through the floors and walls of your house and/or business. Li-Fi on the other hand can travel through wall but there is a light source in every room so it will maintain its Internet strength unlike Wi-Fi.

Not many people know about this technology because on how new it is but because of having so many benefits to it I can just imagine it to be positive and from what people who do know about it seem to be nothing but positive. This is widely supportive because it is more environmentally friendly because the LEDs bulbs save energy and last much longer so Li-Fi is very low when it comes to energy consumption. Another benefit is that it is excellent for security purposes because Wi-Fi inly sends one signal throughout the room and someone will be able to get into your computer that way, however Li-Fi uses light and sends multiple signals to may different computers in a room making it harder to track.

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:q9:mj5j2j_93b3cr6zbjjh59ym00000gn:T:TemporaryItems:lifi-market.png

Li-Fi Market Size


One cultural effect Li-Fi has is that it can replace Wi-Fi and change on how we use the internet. It will no longer have to be slow internet and how we use the internet in todays modern society. Li-Fi has a significant higher speed then Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi in not consider a reliable connects so wired connections is always preferred if available compare to Li-Fi. Li-Fi can do away with even wired LAN connections especially with technology efficiency are always top priority. It will also save on wired because they will be less of them and wires are made out of copper and other medals. Just how wireless became Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi will become Li-Fi. There is a greater demand for connected devices and Li-Fi can help deliver that because of how it can be implemented. The demand for the internet is going to increase and will networks be able to carry the heavy traffic. With Li-Fi it can make things easier since there are light bulbs everywhere you go so image that being a internet access.

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:q9:mj5j2j_93b3cr6zbjjh59ym00000gn:T:TemporaryItems:IoT Graph.png

Graph on data transmitted over communication networks


This is a new technology so it will not affect the government or any businesses anytime soon. The only thing that comes to mind is that older incandescent bulbs are going away every year because the government made legislation that a certain period of time incandescent bulbs will start to fade away for the CFL bulbs. Every a different wattage incandescent bulb is gone for example the 35W bulbs are to stop production in 2012 while the 40W will stop production in 2013. It is slowing going away on the market to make room for the new more efficient and environmentally safe bulbs.


As of right now it is too early but the economic impact can be tremendous because there is a demand for high speed internet and Wi-Fi can only get you so far. When it comes to efficiency, it is much better compare to Wi-Fi. The consumers will take notice and be attracted to the concept. In addition, having internet in every room helps maintain the fast speeds compare to having a router in a corner of your house and has weak signals in some parts of your home. The only thing that can keep people away is that keep people away because of the cost of the bulbs. An average cost of a LED bulb is a round 45 dollars compare to the CFL bulbs being around 4 dollars. The cost of LED bulbs will have to drop in order for it to attract customers but with every new technology, the first initial cost is usual high, when the technology becomes more available the price will drop significantly.


When it come to an environmental impact Li-Fi is a significant improvement because of the require LED bulbs. LED bulbs are more energy efficient compare to standard incandescent bulbs and last three time more then regular bulbs. If every house and business were fitted with LED’s because of Li-Fi then a significantly less power would be use across The United States. Less power usages less stress on the power grid.

Ethical Implications

Li-Fi can be many things to society, for good and for bad. Despise having many good aspect it does not mean it does not have any weakness as well. Li-Fi is technology that can replace Wi-Fi because of the range and the speed it can provide over conventional Wi-Fi. Li-Fi can also improve the environment in many ways.

Even though it has much strength, it also has many weaknesses. For one it cannot travels through walls because it only works where there is light. That also means you cannot cover up the receiver as well because no data will pass through. This can seem problematic because if you are not in direct contact of light you will not receive any internet. This is still one major issue with Li-Fi that still needs to resolve, yes there is light in every room but when it is late night and you want to be on your computer you cannot unless the light is on. Some solution were thrown around like have a nightlight were so it can produce some light and another solution was a hybrid system were when the lights are off the Wi-Fi router would turn on but there is not any definitive solution as of yet. Only one solution has come forward and that is using infrared, which can use in the dark however it will restrict bandwidth and speed.

One benefit to Li-Fi would be it speed. Compare to traditional Wi-Fi with a speed of 1Gbps to Li-Fi speed of 224Gbps, which is 224 times faster. Not only is it fast it is reliable too when it come to light you are guarantee a signal unlike Wi-Fi that uses a radio signal to transmit data which at times can weaken because distortions or some sort of interference. Another strength of Li-Fi is of it security so when you are making online payments and such you have nothing to worry about. Each light bulb has its own network so the hacker has to sit under the same light source as you in order to access your information unlike Wi-Fi were it is a signal throughout the room and the hacker as access of everyone’s computers who is on the same network. You are twice as likely to get your personal information stole while shopping online. This can help with the problem that is currently going on where people are getting their identity stolen and/or their credit card information stolen.

Another benefit is that it is environmentally friendly. Li-Fi uses LED bulbs instead of conventional bulbs so it can help cut down cost of electricity while at the same time going a greener route. Not only will this help the environment but also cut down on electricity cost and the LED bulbs last much longer so your will be purchasing less bulbs to replace when they die which in terms means less bulbs less recyclable waste.


In conclusion, Li-Fi can revolutionize society if implemented correctly. It helps with the environment while reducing electricity costs. It has the speed, security, strength, reliability, coverage, and efficiency over conventional competitors. Li-Fi is an old concept but a new technology that has yet to reach the market but can brings a completely new way we connect to the internet.


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