Li-Fi gets office install in Philips lighting

Broadband data-over-light, sent through lighting fixtures commonly seen in commercial buildings, moves a step closer to possible mass adoption through an apparently functioning smart-office installation in Paris.

Li-Fi uses light waves for data communications, as opposed to Wi-Fi, which uses microwave radio. Li-Fi has 10,000 times Wi-Fi radio’s RF spectrum, experts say. The pilot installation by Philips is at a French real-estate company’s office.

Philips Lighting, the giant lighting-system maker, says it is now offering Li-Fi modems installed within its existing LED luminaires, such as its downlighters. A luminaire is the building-industry term for a complete lighting fixture.

The Li-Fi-enabled luminaires have 30Mb per second of data throughput for end users, according to the company in a press release. “With 30Mb per second a user can stream, simultaneously, several HD-quality videos while having video calls,” it says. Up to 15 users can be served by one fixture.