(Sample Material) Study Kit on Current Affairs for UPSC Mains Exam: Science and Technology: Li-Fi

(Sample Material) Study Kit on Current Affairs for UPSC Mains Examination

Science and Technology: Li-Fi

  • Light-Fidelity is a new technology that uses light waves, instead of radio frequency waves, as a medium to carry data. An improvised LED bulb, functions as a router. It can provide internet access 100 times faster than Wi-Fi.
  • An ordinary off-the-shelf LED bulb connected to a device, which in turn is connected to the Internet.
  • The Internet data flows in via the device’ into the bulb, and is carried by light waves.
  • At the other end, light waves carrying the Internet data falls on a receiver or a dongle which is connected to the computer.
  • ‘The technology uses the frequencies’ generated by LED bulbs which flicker on and off imperceptibly thousands of times a second to beam information through the air, leading it to be dubbed the “digital equivalent of Morse Code”.


  • Visible light spectrum lsavailable in plenty, unlicensed and’ free to use
  • Double benefit of a bulb giving us light as well as internet access
  • Low interference leads to very high data speed
  • Li-Fi works under water as well
  • Not harmful, unlike RF that can· interfere with electronic circuitry
  • Light won’t pass through walls, making eavesdropping nearly impossible
  • LED illumination is already efficient and data transmission needs very little additional power.
  • It can achieve about 1,000 times data density of Wi-Fi, since light can be contained in an area


  • A disruptive technology that could transform business models, creates new opportunities, and is poised to be a $113 billion industry by 2022.
  • The use of the light spectrum for Li-Fl overcomes the issues in traditional wireless communication, like the shortage of spectrum and network disruption because of interference as visible light spectrum is much larger than the radio frequency spectrum.
  • In Li-Fi, anyone who has access to light can access the Internet. The system also allows users to move from one light source to another without losing their network connection.


  • Li-fi has a place in hospitals because it does not create interference with medical materials.
  • In supermarkets it could be used to give information about a product, or in museums about a painting, by using lamps placed nearby.
  • It could also be useful on aircraft, in. underground garages and any place where lack of Internet connection is an issue.


  • Though the inability of light rays to pass through walls and similar structures is seen as a major drawback of this technology but restriction by walls provides more security to the network and eliminates the risk of the signal leakage to eavesdropping.
  • Also Li-Fi requires devices be equipped with additional technology such as a card reader, or donqle, to function. This gives it a “cost disadvantage”.

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