Bio Electromagnetic Research Initiative

Visible light illuminates a new approach for wireless comms

EE Times, 6 July 2010

With preparations well under way for a societal shift to solid-state lighting based on high-output LEDs, a proverbial light bulb has appeared above the heads of some forward-looking engineers. Their proposal: Why not switch the LEDs on and off so fast the eye cannot tell, in order to use them to transmit data too?

 

With enough advance work, every new LED light fixture could also be wired into the network backbone, accomplishing ubiquitous wireless communications to any device in a room without burdening the already crowded radio-frequency bands. Visible light communications (VLC) is being refined by industry, standards groups and well-funded government initiatives. And the stakes are enormous, since the traditional lighting market is measured in trillions of dollars and the transition to solid-state has already begun.

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