Li-Fi firms gather to unveil first lights at LuxLive

THE WORLD'S leading companies specialising the Li-Fi technology – the delivery of the internet via visible LED lighting – are set to gather at next month’s LuxLive exhibition in London and are promising a series of ground-breaking products.

Innovations from the top three firms PureLiFi, Linmore and Lucibel – including, for the first time, Li-Fi-enabled battens and downlights – will be unveiled at the event, marking LiFi’s global commercial debut.

PureLiFi and Lucibel will introduce their joint-venture Ores luminaire, which embeds all the necessary Li-Fi components in an LED downlight. It is able to support between eight to 16 users at once, and deliver data at rates of 45 megabits per second.

Meanwhile US firm Linmore is launching the first-ever Li-Fi battens, designed as a retrofit for fluorescent luminaires. These light fittings deliver data speeds of up to 43 Megabits-per-second (Mbps) up and down.

The luminaires will all be demonstrated in the Li-Fi Experience at LuxLive 2017, which takes place at London ExCeL on Wednesday 15 November and Thursday 16 November 2017.

‘Businesses want more from an LED upgrade than just lighting,’ Linmore CEO Paul Chamberlain told Lux.  ‘Using an existing part of a building’s infrastructure such as lighting opens up endless possibilities for many other technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), RFID, product and people movement systems, facility maintenance, and a host of other technologies are taken to the next level with LiFi available throughout a facility.’

Among the expected early adopters of the technology are those that need greater security of data transmission than is possible with Wi-Fi.  For this reason, initial interest at LuxLive is expected to come from representatives of the banking, financial, government, healthcare and defence sectors.

Li-Fi is a far more secure form of data transmission than Wi-Fi because a receiving device must be directly within the cone of light to receive a broadcasted signal.  Visible light, including near-infrared wavelengths, cannot penetrate opaque objects such as walls, which means that the wireless signal is constrained to within a strictly defined area of illumination.

Wi-Fi, on the other hand, uses radio waves that are widely broadcast even outside a building where it can be easily intercepted for malicious purposes.

In so-called ‘man-in-the-middle’ hacking attacks, the attacker must be able to intercept all relevant messages passing between the two victims and inject new ones. This is straightforward in many circumstances; for example, an attacker within reception range of an unencrypted wireless access point (Wi-Fi).

But because visible light is easily containable within a space, it can eliminate these attacks where eavesdroppers located outside an area are able to intercept communications from radio waves emanating outside building.

File access is permitted only if a device is connected to the LiFi network. Once a user connects to the LiFi network, they can download and modify certain files.  It is also impossible for a nearby employee to intercept information sent to the server/network by another employee, since the uplink communication is on a different frequency from the downlink.

 

LUX EXCLUSIVE: SEE INSIDE THE WORLD'S FIRST LI-FI OFFICE

 

  • See the Li-Fi fittings and technology for yourself in the Li-Fi Experience zone at LuxLive 2017. LuxLive 2017 takes place at ExCeL London on Wednesday 15 November and Thursday 16 November. Entry is free if you pre-register HERE.