Wireless technology is one of the defining features of the 21st Century. Zigbee, cellular internet, and Bluetooth are three very common forms of wireless technology in use. But perhaps the most popular form of wireless technology in everyday life is Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is used in virtually every business and home that has access to an internet connection. Unlike cellular data networks, Wi-Fi depends on your internet service provider and can stop working if there is an internet outage.
However, there is also another form of wireless technology quickly rising through the ranks known as Li-Fi. This blog compares both in detail.
Comparing Li-Fi to Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi and Li-Fi are both ways for devices to transmit data using an internet connection. However, the way they work is very different from each other. While Wi-Fi is more popular and generally accepted, as evidenced by residential and public Wi-Fi use, Li-Fi is advancing rapidly as well. This blog explores the following:
- Wi-Fi and How it Works
- Li-Fi and How it Works
- Technology Maturity
- Range of Transmission Frequencies
- Signal Strength
- Network Range and Capacity
Read on for a closer look at these areas.
1. Wi-Fi and How it Works
Wi-Fi stands for wireless fidelity. It works by transmitting data over radio signals that operate between 2.4 or 5 GHz. Usually, a Wi-Fi router receives a signal from the internet over your internet modem. While you can connect multiple devices directly to the modem via cable, there are limits to how many devices you can connect.
The router allows you to connect multiple devices to the same network without using an Ethernet cable. Instead, the router acts as a bridge between your internet connection and your wireless devices. It does so by transmitting data over a range of radio wave channels.
2. Li-Fi and How it Works
Li-Fi stands for light fidelity. Li-Fi networks transmit data over light, as opposed to electromagnetic waves. Li-Fi is popular in areas with a high user density. This is because light waves do not interfere with each other as radio waves do. Li-Fi uses special LED lamps to transmit data over the network. The lamp driver sends digital signals to each LED lamp. The receiving end consists of a signal amplifier and a photodetector that allows the devices on the network to receive the data in a usable form.
3. Technology Maturity
Wi-Fi is a far more mature technology than Li-Fi, which is fairly recent in terms of wireless data transmission. Wi-Fi has established itself as a popular form of technology. Wi-Fi is one of the most common things in virtually every home with a cable or fiber internet connection. The technology is also fairly regulated and well-governed. That means there are many more products that are built with Wi-Fi compatibility as opposed to Li-Fi compatibility.
There is also usually an established customer care or support function in case you encounter problems.
4. Range of Transmission Frequencies
Li-Fi transmits data using light beams, which has a range of around 500,000 GHz. On the other hand, Wi-Fi only uses a limited frequency band, with a range of 2.4 to 5 GHz. Li-Fi has a much larger range of frequencies available to transmit data. That means it can absorb a much larger density of users than Wi-Fi, which can get congested with too many connected devices.
5. Signal Strength
Wi-Fi and Li-Fi signals are very different in terms of strength and penetration. Solid walls allow radio waves to pass through, whereas they block light waves completely. This makes Home Wi-Fi a better option than Li-Fi. However, this can also act as a security measure, especially f you want to restrict Li-Fi signal coverage to a limited area. Light waves do pass through water which allows for many applications in military and industrial use.
6. Network Range and Capacity
A single Li-Fi network has a range of around 10 meters. However, this range can be extended by additional LED lamps connected to the lamp driver circuit. A Wi-Fi router has an average range of 30 meters, which you can extend using several Wi-Fi extenders. In terms of speed, both Li-Fi and Wi-Fi have transmission capacities of around 1GB per second.
However, both have the capacity to exceed a standard internet speed test many times over in the future. Li-Fi may easily become the technology of the future. But it still has a long way to go.