First sight: Li-Fi office gets data ‘at speed of light’

Lux Review speaks to Christoph Ruys, Business Development Manager of Claerhout Communication Campus in Ghent, Belgium, and one of the first users of Signify’s Trulifi 6002 system.

From top: Christoph Ruys of Claerhout Communication Campus; the Trulifi luminaire transceiver; and the two ‘backchannel’ transceivers for laptops and other devices

Earlier this week Signify unveiled its latest Li-Fi platform, which increased the maximum speed of its light-based connectivity products by a factor of more than eight.

The Trulifi transceiver consists of a small black-fronted box sitting on the surface of the luminaire.

Rather than encoding data in the same white light emitted by a luminaire to light a room, one of the new products uses infrared, while the other uses visible red, blue or green light from a dedicated source to provide a point-to-point connection.

We speak to one of the first users, Christoph Ruys:

Why was Li-Fi attractive for your business?

Speed and security were the two main drivers. One of the main problems we have is that it’s not always possible to send the large files that we work with when designing books and magazines very fast.

We wanted good quality energy-efficient lighting and wireless connectivity capable of handling high resolution images, artwork and big data files.

We now have four Li-Fi luminaires in one room, so it can be used by six to eight people at the moment. We’re the first in Benelux to use Li-Fi technology.

So, what’s it like?

We’re really happy with the result of the first tests. In the room where we’ve installed Li-Fi, you really feel the difference in working with each other. You can send a whole magazine to someone else, and in a few seconds it’s downloaded.

It’s very fast. We normally work with an average of 5Mbps, now we now go up to 150Mbps, so it’s a totally different world when you work with large graphic files.

It’s the speed of light! The experience is also very reliable – we have no interference from other radio systems, so it’s very nice to work with.

We work for a lot of stock market agencies, so when the board have their meetings at our practice, they like that it’s very secure.

It’s great that we can tell them that what happens in the room stays in the room, because unlike Wi-Fi, it only works where you can see the lights.

Those were the two aspects we’re really fond of. We are very happy to have this cutting-edge technology because it perfectly fits our profile.

 

What were your requirements for the lighting?

For us, the main question was if we could dim the lights, and that has no effect on the speed of working.

We have also a lot of windows, so it means we can control the lights in response to daylight and it doesn’t affect the Li-Fi.

 

What are your future plans for Li-Fi?

The building is 17 years old, and at the moment the lighting is partly fluorescent and partly LED.

We want to go LED because of energy concerns, so if it’s stable and it keeps working like it has so far, then we’ll take the opportunity to roll out Li-Fi in the whole of the building, for all 120 people, later this year.

 

 

  • Learn more about Li-Fi at the Smart Spaces Arena at the LuxLive 2019 exhibition, taking place at the LuxLive 2019 exhibition at London ExCeL on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November 2019. Entry is free - see the full programme and register for free HERE.