Signify, the company formerly known as Philips Lighting, has announced a new range of internet-transmitting Li-Fi lights called Truelifi.
The range leverages existing and future professional luminaires. Instead of using radio signals (such as WiFi, 4G/5G, Bluetooth, etc.), Trulifi uses light waves to enable reliable, secure two-way wireless communications at speeds far above most conventional workplace wireless technologies.
Trulifi uses optical wireless transceiver technology built, or retrofitted, into Philips luminaires. This means it works with existing lighting infrastructure. Trulifi overcomes the increasing congestion of the radio spectrum and is has been designed to work in areas where radio frequencies don’t work well, or at all, or are not permitted.
In technical terms, Li-Fi is a light communication system that is capable of transmitting data at high speeds over the visible light, ultraviolet, and infrared spectrums. In its present state, only LED lamps can be used for the transmission of visible light.
Although Li-Fi LEDs would have to be kept on to transmit data, they could be dimmed to below human visibility while still emitting enough light to carry data. The light waves cannot penetrate walls which makes a much shorter range, though more secure from hacking, relative to Wi-Fi. Direct line of sight is not necessary for Li-Fi to transmit a signal.
Li-Fi has almost no limitations on capacity. The visible light spectrum is 10,000 times larger than the entire radio frequency spectrum.
Signify's new range comprises Trulifi-enabled luminaires providing wireless connectivity at speeds up to 150 Megabits per second (Mbps) over large spaces, such as meeting rooms and office floors. There is seamless handover between each Trulifi-enabled luminaire enabling users to roam around. The speed is fast enough to stream simultaneously 30 1080p HDTV movies. A USB-access key, plugged into a laptop, is needed to receive the LiFi signal and acts as an emitter to send data back to the luminaire.
The Trulifi range also includes a fixed point-to-point system, up to 250 Mbps speed, which acts like a wireless cable, designed for connecting devices. Potential applications include connecting robots or machines in radio frequency (RF) harsh environments like industrial plants, or hospitals where RF communications may not be permitted, or where there’s a need to send and receive large data files securely and quickly.