Communicating LED lamps

LEDs are used for a long time for all kinds of data communications applications ranging from wireless IR remote controls and IrDA to wired fiber optics communication. There has been many years ago also ideas on optical wireless LANs based on infrared, but they faded quickly. But now when LED lights are becoming very popular this idea could see a second coming.

Ceiling lights in Minn. send coded Internet data article tells about LED lights that will transmit data to specially equipped computers on desks below by flickering faster than the eye can see. The first few light fixtures built by LVX System will be installed in six municipal buildings in the central Minnesota. The LVX system puts clusters of its light-emitting diodes in a standard-sized light fixture. The LEDs transmit coded messages A light on the modem talks back to the fixture overhead, where there is sensor to receive the return signal and transmit the data over the Internet. It works in almost exactly the same way that fiber optic systems do, except the sender and receiver aren’t connected by a cable. Communicating lights are set up using just ordinary power connections. The first generation of the LVX system will transmit data at speeds of about 3 megabits per second. If you are interested check video from Get ElectricTV.


There is another application that also combines wireless communications and LED lights. Finnish article Wlan ohjaa yksittäisiä led-loisteputkia (read English translation) tells about LED light tubes can be controlled by a WLAN connection, even individually. Finnish company Valtavalo has licensed Netled control technology from Yashima Dengyo Co., Ltd. and sells their products. Netled technology is designed to provide means to monitor in electricity consumption in real time and control the various LED light tube groups.


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  2. Tomi says:

    German scientists working at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications (Heinrich Hertz Institute) in Berlin have succeeded in developing an 800Mbps (Megabits per second) capable wireless network (WLAN – Wireless Local Area Network) by using nothing more than normal red, blue, green and white LED (Light-Emitting Diode) light bulbs.

    At present the 800Mbps figure is known to be a world record for VLC technology and was developed as part of the EU’s wider OMEGA Home Gigabit Access project to improve home networking performance.

  3. Tomi says:

    Lightbulbs can be used to broadcast wireless internet

    Physicist Harald Hass said he has developed a technology that can broadcast data through the same connection as a normal lamp.

    Hass claims that ‘LiFi’, or Light Fidelity, could send wireless data from the ‘white space’ in TV spectrum or unused satellite signals.

    This invention, which he calls D-Light, can send data faster than the 10 megabits per second speed of a broadband connection by altering the frequency of the ambient light in the room.

    As Boris said this isn’t new, not only was there an EU project doing this
    but in 2008 boston university was trying it also.
    As for the details of this project Morley asked about, here’s the TED talk of the fellow mentioned in this article:

    BTW, since the EU/US is generally slow on this they should try to get an asian country to trial this, a good place would be in the subway since there it can be hard to get wifi going but there are also always lights on!
    Plus an asian country could quickly mass produce dongles for people’s devices.

  4. Carrol Lipps says:

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    • tomi says:

      Which specific posts did you like?
      Which did you not specifically like?
      If you can give your feedback then I can try to use to improve my blog.

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  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    WTF is… Li-Fi?
    Optical data transfer’s new leading light?

    Forget about Wi-Fi – the future of home wireless networking is, according to boffins, the light bulb.

    So say a number of researchers and technologists who are looking to light to provide the next step in high-speed data networking in the home.

    The principle is simple: turn a light on and off so rapidly that the human eye can’t see the flicker, but a photodetector can nonetheless pick up the stream of 1s and 0s the blinking bulb is transmitting. Compress the data, and you up the throughput even more. Old-style filament bulbs and fluorescent tubes aren’t up to the task, but new, LED-based lighting is.

    The technique is called Visible Light Communications – or VLC, not to be confused with the open source media player of the same name – but the companies springing up to deliver the technology are already branding it “Li-Fi”. The similarity to the name “Wi-Fi” is deliberate: they hope VLC will become as ubiquitous a networking technology as 802.11 has become.

    One of VLC’s key proponents, Harald Haas of the University of Edinburgh, reckons that isn’t hyperbole. With tens of billions of regular lightbulbs installed in homes and offices across the globe, as they’re replaced with LED light sources, Li-Fi can be a communications technology that can be found almost everywhere.

    Li-Fi bulbs will inevitably be more costly than regular LED bulbs, but then the potential volumes will, Haas reckons, push prices right down.

    More to the point, Li-Fi could be used in almost every location where regulations forbid the use of Wi-Fi: aircraft cabins and hospitals, to name but two. And light isn’t affected by the spectrum regulations that govern how radio frequencies can be used.

    Hardly anyone builds IrDA ports into devices these days – USB, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are faster and don’t require line of sight. But the IrDA is looking to VLC to give it a new lease of life.

    At the end of 2011, it pledged to work to define a new standard for 5Gbps and 10Gbps infrared communications, an effort building on the 1Gbps the existing Giga-IR standard supports.

    D-Light delight

    Meanwhile, Haas, together with Ediburgh University colleague Gordon Povey, continues to work with visible light. They and their team at the college’s D-Light – “Data Light” – project have created kit capable of 130Mbps data transfer rights. A lot slower than Fraunhofer’s rig, to be sure, but one delivered by off-the-shelf parts rather than custom lab components. Povey and Haas believe they can push that speed to at least 1Gbps. Other Li-Fi proponents claim 10Gbps will be possible with specially designed LED lightsources.

    Both boffins also run PureVLC, a company founded to commercialise Li-Fi technology on behalf of the University, and this month PureVLC claimed to have sent the first text message send by LED to an unmodified Android handset.

    To be fair, the data rate was a low 2.5Kbps and it requires a special app to control the handset’s cameras and detect the message. But PureVLC’s demo showed that messages can be sent with low-cost kit and that doing so doesn’t register with the human eye.

    PureVLC is also promising to release a “Smart Lighting Development Kit”, a full duplex VLC system that connects to standard LED light fixtures, in Q2 2012.

    PureVLC isn’t the only company working on this. In January, Casio demonstrated its take on the tech: flashing one smartphone screen – a flicker, again, imperceptible to humans – to send photo and message data to a second handset. Again, it was a relatively low-speed trial, but one made using everyday hardware.

    Toshiba, for example, has a pair of maritime binoculars that can pick up a signal beamed from Japan’s lighthouses at up to 2km, beyond the range of Wi-Fi. The signal tells the viewer about sailing conditions in the immediate vicinity of the lighthouse

    But there’s the rub: there are already many technologies that deliver small bursts of data for those willing to accept it. And while the lightbulb may be ubiquitous, so too are wireless networks – and these are generally turned on 24-7, not something you can always say for lights.

  10. Mirna Lepri says:

    Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It if truth be told was a leisure account it. Look complicated to more introduced agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    App-controlled LIFX bulbs reinvent the humble household light

    The LIFX lightbulb (pronounced “life ex”) is a Kickstarter project that seeks to “reinvent” the humble household light. Each LED bulb can be wirelessly connected to a smartphone app which allows a wide range of control over how the bulb works.

    Each bulb screws into standard fittings, and links to the user’s smartphone or tablet over WiFi using a free app. Then the fun begins — apart from the basic dimmer settings, there are also colour and timing options — so, if you want, you can wake up gradually to a shade of white like morning sunlight, but give yourself a more claret-coloured sunset in the evening.

    Each bulb is currently listed as costing a pricey $69 (£43), however, which is roughly ten times the cost of the average compact fluorescent bulb.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    VR pioneer invents ‘illumination-as-a-service’
    VRML man Mark Pesce puts LAMP into lamps that REST at home

    esce moved to Australia, became a teacher, television judge, speaker and, as of now, Kickstarter hopeful with a product today known as Light by Moores Cloud.

    We say today, because yesterday the product was called LightCloud.

    That computer, based on the Bulgarian single board OLinuXino, has been hooked up to 802.11 b/g/n kit, runs the LAMP stack and powers an array of 52 LEDs arrayed in a translucent cube

    There’s also an on-board accelerometer, so that when the cube is handled the LEDs’ colours change into any of the two million colours they can display.

    Each light can be programmed to do ‘most anything. In a demonstration attended by The Register Pesce linked a light to data from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology. When fed data from a cold locations, the lights turned an icy blue. Offered data from the tropics, they emitted a warm yellow.

    That kind of application led Pesce to coin the term “illumination-as-a-service”, which he said caused him “to chuckle for an hour” after uttering it for the first time.

    Operating as an ambient indicator of environmental conditions is one potential application for the devices, at home and in business. In the latter environment Pesce said he has already chatted to an enterprise who has imagined the device could be used to gently indicate when business processes are working well, and when service levels decline.

    Moores Cloud plans to make the software and APIs for the product open, and to release apps that control its lights through the REST interface. Pesce said he hopes a developer community accretes around the device to find more uses for it. Moores Cloud will make money selling lights and creaming revenue from apps.

    That will only happen if its Kickstarter, which opens next week, rakes in $US700,000, a figure Pesce said he is hopeful, but not certain, of achieving.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LEDs might soon be used to deliver Wi-Fi, act as display, and illuminate room simultaneously

    Now that we’ve finally become familiar with LED technology, a group of U.K.-based universities is getting ready to blow the lid off everything we thought we knew about it.

    With funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the group — led by the University of Strathclyde — will spend the next four years expanding an innovative technology referred to as “Li-Fi” — the transmission of internet communications using visible light as opposed to radio waves and microwaves.

    As opposed to continuing to develop LEDs at their standard 1-mm2 size, the group wants to develop smaller, micron-sized LEDs. This offers plenty of advantages, chief among them that the LEDs themselves will be able to flicker on and off at a rate 1,000 times faster than their larger counterparts which, in turn, would allow them to transmit data more quickly.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    German Scientists’ Visible Light Network Hits 3Gbps

    “Scientists working at Berlin’s Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute have developed new components that can turn standard ‘off-the-shelf’ LED room lights into an Optical Wireless Local Area Network (OWLAN) that delivers data transmission rates of up to 3Gbps.”

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Li-Fi in the Real World

    Boston startup ByteLight is developing software and protocols to use data transmitted over LED lighting as a way of pinning down a customer’s exact location within a store.

    A couple of months back we discussed a concept that has been dubbed “Li-Fi,” or data transmitted over visible light. The idea is to modulate the light from an LED at rates above the megahertz range, well beyond what humans can detect. A suitable light detector (which could be a smartphone camera) and software reconstruct the message carried by the modulation. The first widespread public attention to this idea came following a TED talk on the subject by Harald Haas, in August 2011.

    We have mostly seen the Li-Fi idea explored by academic researchers, such as those at the University of Strathclyde in England and Germany’s Heinrich Hertz Institute. But it turns out that a Boston-based startup, ByteLight, has been working on commercial applications of Li-Fi since the spring of 2011.

    ByteLight emerged from its shroud of secrecy last fall, when the company discussed its vision of indoor geolocation with GigaOM. The idea is that each LED light in the ceiling of a retail shop or mall transmits data downward into the area it illuminates. A customer running a ByteLight app on her smartphone can be located within 1 meter based on the particular LED whose signal her app detects. Back-end software in the cloud would be involved to do the heavy lifting. Once the customer is located, the shop can send the app coupons, reviews, a map with “you are here,” exact in-store directions to the item of interest, etc.

    Each LED lamp or luminaire in the shop would need a chip that implements ByteLight’s protocol and orchestrates the modulation of the LED. ByteLight could either manufacture the chips and sell them to luminaire and/or driver makers, or license the chips’ design.

    ByteLight has executed a pivot and introduced a related service it calls “LFC,” in analogy with NFC (near-field communications). The latter is a technology for initiating point-of-sale transactions that requires a particular chip in the smartphone. ByteLight’s LFC uses an inexpensive device the size of a deck of cards, to be placed near the cash register, that modulates an LED’s light for consumption by a smartphone camera. Almost all smartphones have cameras while NFC chips are currently much less common.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smartphone-controlled LED lightbulbs employ Wi-Fi for LAN connectivity

    NliteN has released its dimmable 2D-Lux SLEDD [Smart LED Disk], a 60W-incandescent-replacement LED “smart light bulb” aimed primarily at the consumer market which incorporates an Atmel AVR microcontroller, USB interface, and hardware-expansion pins to the company’s companion 2D-LiteLED Disk system (also recently released). The new device pulls together intelligence, programmability, additional hardware functions, and the ability for consumers to install, and run light bulb apps, including smartphone control, at a very low cost — according to NliteN, the new light bulb product is priced at about the average price of “dumb” (connectivity-incapable) LED bulbs found at most retailers (roughly $25).

    One of the first apps/shield combinations being planned enables remote control of a SLEDD using a standard Android or iPhone mobile device for such functions as on, off, dimming, timed functions, etc. Using a Wi-Fi shield, its LDA and smartphone app, all purchased from NliteN’s online store, SLEDDs can be addressed and controlled individually, or as a group, over an Internet or LAN connection without lowering lumen light output, needing a special bridge device, or limiting the number of LED Disks that can be controlled. A set of basic free apps are also planned for release, enabling the SLEDD to perform simple tasks, such as using the AVR’s on-board timer to turn its LEDs on or off at defined intervals.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Chinese scientists achieve Internet access through lightbulbs

    Successful experiments by Chinese scientists have indicated the possibility of the country’s netizens getting online through signals sent by lightbulbs (LiFi), instead of WiFi.

    A lightbulb with embedded microchips can produce data rates as fast as 150 megabits per second

    Compared with base stations, the number of lightbulbs that can be used is practically limitless. Meanwhile, Chinese people are replacing the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs with LED lightbulbs at a fast pace.

    “Wherever there is an LED lightbulb, there is an Internet signal,” said Chi. “Turn off the light and there is no signal.”

    However, there is still a long way to go to make LiFi a commercial success.

    “If the light is blocked, then the signal will be cut off,” said Chi.

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  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LG Smart Lamp: Lighting, Meet Smartphones

    LG today announced the Smart Lamp, an LED light bulb that can be controlled by Android and iOS smartphones. The bulb offers a number of different functions and promises to change how we think about lighting.

    The LG Smart Lamp uses Bluetooth or WiFi to connect to devices running either Android 4.3 and up or iOS 6.0 and up. A companion application allows smartphone users to perform functions such as turning the bulb on or off and dimming it.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    So you invent a wireless network using LEDs, what do you do next? Add solar panels. Boom
    Edi uni prof to reveal new research this weekend

    Ingenious Scottish boffins have invented a solar-panel-powered version of their data networking kit that uses light to shift bits wirelessly.

    The team, based at the University of Edinburgh, first called its technology D-Light, short for data light

    The tech, dubbed Li-Fi, modulates the output of LEDs

    “Solar-powered Li-Fi could make internet access available in far-flung places”

    Prototypes of the solar transmission system can send data at about 7Mbps
    a few days ago the Li-Fi team announced it can transfer data at 1.1Gbps using light from micro LEDs over a distance of 10 metres, all while using less than 0.5W power

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft proposes LED light positioning system

    The increased use of LEDs for lighting, with the ability to use them at high modulation rates for communication, could also allow LED lights to act as beacons for positioning services.

    A system to do this, called Epsilon, has been developed by researchers from Microsoft Research in Beijing, China, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Ohio State University.

    The system has the advantage that with LED fixtures being installed for the primary purpose of providing light there is little additional cost to provide the beaconing system, unlike the case with radio-frequency beacons or the use of Wi-Fi.

    Guiding consumers to shops and even products are also use cases for the system.

    The authors propose the use of binary frequency shift keying (BFSK) and channel hopping to enable reliable location beaconing from multiple, uncoordinated light sources.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    GE integrates iBeacons in new LED lighting fixtures rolling out in Walmart & other retailers

    Up until now most retailers have been deploying Apple’s iBeacon technology by purchasing small standalone Bluetooth beacons or using iPad terminals that act as beacons. Now, GE is introducing its next-generation LED light fixture that packs in a combo Bluetooth LE/Visual Light Communication chip for iBeacon functionality allowing retailers to cut costs and avoid purchasing standalone beacons from a company like Estimote. It’s already got one massive customer about to roll out the iBeacon lighting fixtures: Walmart announced back in April (before iBeacon support was announced) that it plans to roll out these same new GE lighting fixtures to stores worldwide as part of its switch to LED.

    GE is officially unveiling the new lighting fixture at LIGHTFAIR International 2014 in Las Vegas next week on June 3.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    GE Brings ByteLight-enabled Smart LED Lights to Stores

    Controlling LED light bulbs in your home with a smart phone certainly makes for a cool demo. But lighting companies think they have a more compelling commercial application for smart lighting: retail.

    Next week, General Electric and startup company ByteLight will demonstrate a network-connected lighting system for stores at the LightFair industry conference in Las Vegas.

    GE will embed chips made by ByteLight in its LED-based overhead lights

    The chips will communicate with consumers’ smart phones and use sensors to track the direction a person is moving inside a store.

    Until now, ByteLight only made a chip that communicated via Visual Light Communications (VLC), which uses light pulses to transmit data.

    VLC can accurately locate a person to within less than a meter, but it can’t “talk” to a phone that’s inside a pocket

    The technology demonstrated with GE will include a chip that can communicate via both VLC and Bluetooth Low Energy, or BLE.

    And earlier this year, Phillips introduced its own VLC-based smart LED lighting system and said it is testing it with retailers.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    GE announces $15 connected LED light bulb controlled by Wink app

    The “Internet of things,” the “Connected Home,” the “Smart Home,” whatever you want to call it, it’s just a fancy way of turning your stuff on and off with your smartphone. Now GE has introduced a cheaper way to stay on the couch and control your lights.

    The low-cost connected Link lightbulb from GE will set you back less than $15. The bulb is controlled by the Wink app (available for iOS and Android) from Quirky. In addition to switching lights on and off from anywhere (not just your couch), the app lets you schedule things like on/off times and brightness.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Philips shows off Ethernet-powered LED connected lighting for offices of the future
    Could also be used in retail for more accurate indoor location services

    EINDHOVEN: PHILIPS HAS SHOWN OFF its Ethernet-powered connected lighting for offices of the future, which can transmit data to mobile devices through light via embedded code.

    Arriving in the form of LED “luminaires”, Philips’ connected office lighting will aim to not only save businesses money on energy costs, but also serve as a means of providing information and data about the general running of a building, transmitted through light, to improve the overall efficiency of business infrastructure.

    “Over the light, we can project a code – its number, its IP address, its MAC address – making each fixture unique and recognisable,” Willemse added. “We can also receive that light on our mobile phones, so if you hold the lens of a mobile device under the luminaire, it actually reads the code and makes a connection to it over WiFi.”

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smart LED light bulbs leak wi-fi passwords

    Security experts have demonstrated how easy it is to hack network-enabled LED light bulbs.

    Context Security released details about how it was able to hack into the wi-fi network of one brand of network-enabled bulb, and control the lights remotely.

    The LIFX light bulb, which is available to buy in the UK, has network connectivity to let people turn it on and off with their smartphones.

    The firm behind the bulbs has since fixed the vulnerability.

    “We were able to steal credentials for the wireless network, which in turn meant we could control the lights.”

    The LIFX project started off on crowd-funding website Kickstarter. Billing itself as the “light bulb reinvented”, it brought in over 13 times its original funding target.

    The master bulb receives commands from the smartphone applications and broadcasts them to all the other bulbs over a wireless mesh network

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Forecast: Wireless controller shipments for smart buildings to surge

    According to a new report from Navigant Research, shipments of wireless control nodes for commercial buildings will grow from 12.9 million in 2014 to 57.4 million by 2023.

    The analyst firm contends that, as building automation and information technology converge, wireless technology is providing a range of potential benefits for commercial building owners and managers. While building automation and controls have been used for decades, wireless communication systems are becoming the catalyst for enabling more granular control over building systems, without many of the design and labor challenges involved with running traditional cabling to support communications and/or power, adds Navigant.

    Significantly, a key driver for wireless deployments, according to the report, is intelligent lighting systems. The controllability of LED lighting and the density of devices of lighting systems make wireless an appealing option for control

    “The cost of wireless radios has come down enough that wireless versions of some products are being offered at the same price as wired versions,”

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Light-emitting diodes send high speed data to your mobile

    Li-Fi, or Light Fidelity is emerging as a very potential of high-speed Internet connections importer, for example in small office rooms. Rapid flickering LED lights based on the technology is already bringing in smartphones next year.

    French research center CEA-Leti to develop a solution together Luciom with the company. Research Institute, it is believed that the LiFillä can be brought more than a hundred megabit data connections as early as next year. CEA-Leti and Luciom are now developing a smartphone sitting in a small audio plug in the receiver, which would lifi connections in modern mobile phones.

    Li-Fi technology has been widely studied in recent years, as the LED lights are expected to spread rapidly in all areas. Technology base of the visible light to turn on and off in nanoseconds to what the human eye can not detect. LED lamps must be enabled in order to Li-Fi connection to work (can be though dimmed to very low light level if you want dark environment).

    In the past, LiFi has been demoed with 10 megabit link of three meters.


  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Li-Fi Exploits LEDs to Turn On Internet

    Back in 2011, Professor Harald Haas delivered a groundbreaking TED (technology, entertainment, design) talk about the untapped potential of the visible light spectrum. Haas, chair of Mobile Communications at the University of Edinburgh, demonstrated a way to transmit data through LEDs via the visible light spectrum as opposed to radio frequency (RF) bands. This new method of data communication, cleverly dubbed “Li-Fi,”

    Li-Fi Exploits LEDs to Turn On Internet

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Li-Fi, or Light Fidelity is emerging as a potential high-speed Internet connections.

    Rapid flickering LED lights based on the technology is already bringing in smartphones next year. Now researchers have a demo to the gigabit speeds can transfer data at 10 m distance.

    The matter is the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonics Research Institute IPMS researchers have produced a module that tests one gigabit data link.

    Li-Fi technology to develop a French research center CEA-Leti Luciom, together with the company. The French believe that LiFi can be brought more than a hundred megabit data connections for commercial use as early as next year.

    Li-Fi technology has been widely studied in recent years because of the LED lights is expected to spread rapidly in all areas. The technology base of the visible light to turn on and off in nanoseconds to what the human eye can not detect.


  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Data transfer using the LED lights will become a reality. Technology development Edinburgh PureLiFi has already delivered the first product. The company has also managed to collect from investors for 14 million pounds, and additional funding is sought from a new round of this year.

    Li-Fi, or Light Fidelity is emerging as a very potential of high-speed Internet connections importer, for example in small office rooms. Rapid flickering LED lights based technology data is obtained from the exercise of a gigabit per second to 10 meters range.

    Li-Fi technology is widely regarded as the father of the University of Edinburgh Professor Harald hayrick. PureLiFi, under his leadership, the company that came loose from the University in 2012. Late last year, the company managed to deliveries of the first product: Li-Flame is a ceiling-mounted CPU, which allows laptops provide 10 Mbps infrared link. The connection also requires a unit to install a laptop.

    Market forecasts indicate that lifi product sales will increase by 2020 of up to $ 9 billion.


  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wireless-enabled LED lighting drivers reduce product integration and deployment costs

    The network-enabled LED lighting drivers created by Daintree Networks and LG Innotek make it easier and more cost-effective than ever for fixture manufacturers to add smart lighting capabilities to their LED troffers and retrofit kits.

    Perhaps more important for EDN readers is the fact that that the driver’s wireless transceiver is based on open standards which enables it to co-exist with nearly any ZigBee-based control system, including Daintree’s outstanding ControlScope energy management solution

    The wireless module that LG Innotek is shipping today is based on the ZigBee HA profile, but they expect to support the ZigBee 3.0 universal profile soon after it’s finalized.

    This jointly-developed LED driver is a great move for both Daintree and LG, but the biggest beneficiaries will probably be their customers. While many manufacturers have adopted a “walled garden” strategy which lock their customers into a proprietary network protocol, LG has embraced Daintree’s philosophy of developing excellent control systems which, by supporting open standards, are compatible with a huge large ecosystem of standards-based lighting products.

    The advantages of this approach are evident in the LED drivers which offer simplified integration and installation. With embedded wireless LED drivers, customers can eliminate the cost and installation challenges associated with multi-box wireless implementations that require a separate wireless adapter plus an LED driver for advanced wireless troffers and retrofit kits.

    Note to embedded developers: If you’re currently involved with smart lighting products, there’s probably a market niche waiting for you to occupy within Daintree’s open standards-based ecosystem.

    Daintree is also aligning its open architecture with several other applications, including ZigBee-based plug load controllers, thermostats and smart bulbs, as well as other widely-used network protocols such as Open ADR and BACnet.

    These recent developments are why I’m cautiously optimistic that the Daintree/Innotek partnership which produced these drivers will add momentum to the widespread acceptance of open standards for lighting controls. Without them, smart lighting is probably fated to remain a niche market.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fujitsu Forges Li-Fi-like QR Code Replacement

    Forget about QR codes (if you haven’t already). Fujitsu Laboratories, in Kawasaki, near Tokyo, has come up with a much brighter idea: Its researchers have developed a way to embed identification data in LED lighting that can be projected on any object. Like with a QR code, you’d point your smartphone camera to the object to get more information about it. But in the case of the Fujitsu system, it doesn’t require anything to be physically printed or attached to the object being queried

    The idea is that a department store, for instance, can illuminate a particular product with an LED lamp so that customers within a 2-meter range can point their smartphone cameras at the object and automatically get detailed product information without the store staff needing to be involved.

    Like a kind of limited, one-way version of Li-Fi technology, the embedded ID data is transmitted by the light and received by the camera at a slow 10 bits per second and is invisible to the naked eye. Data transmission is achieved by modulating the intensity of the light emitted by the lamp’s red, green and blue (RGB) LED lights.

    Fujitsu is working to improve the technology’s robustness in the face of interference from other light sources and is carrying out a variety of tests in different environments. Nakagawa says he expects the system to be commercialized by mid-2016.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Optical Tech Can Boost Wi-Fi Systems’ Capacity With LEDs

    Researchers at Oregon State University have invented a new technology that can increase the bandwidth of WiFi systems by 10 times, using LED lights to transmit information. The system can potentially send data at up to 100 megabits per second.

    Innovation boosts Wi-Fi bandwidth tenfold

    Researchers at Oregon State University have invented a new technology that can increase the bandwidth of WiFi systems by 10 times, using LED lights to transmit information.

    The technology could be integrated with existing WiFi systems to reduce bandwidth problems in crowded locations, such as airport terminals or coffee shops, and in homes where several people have multiple WiFi devices.

    Experts say that recent advances in LED technology have made it possible to modulate the LED light more rapidly, opening the possibility of using light for wireless transmission in a “free space” optical communication system.

    “In addition to improving the experience for users, the two big advantages of this system are that it uses inexpensive components, and it integrates with existing WiFi systems,”

    Read more at:

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Oregon State University has developed a technology that allows your Wi-Fi connection speed could increase by as much as 10-fold. WIFO technique is called and the data is transferred via the LED lights.

    Oregon researchers instead make use of the human vision of the spectrum outside of the wavelengths. With LEDs create an invisible, about a meter wide beam, where the bits can be transferred to the user.

    Already been tested WIFO is a hybrid system in which the data connection is changed an existing Wi-Fi and LED transmitters between. The results suggest that individual users can be cone approximately one hundred megabits of data access.

    Multi-link wifi reach for such data speeds, but in the band have to be divided between the different users. WIFO permission of 50-100 Mbps connection to each separate beam, ie for each user.

    Terminal devices need a small, less than a dollar a paying photodiode. The receiver can be connected to existing equipment to the USB port.


  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Daniel Cooper / Engadget:
    French supermarket installs Philips LEDs that communicate with in-store navigation app via front-facing camera

    Philips turns LEDs into an indoor GPS for supermarkets

    Philips believes that the days of endlessly roaming around a store looking for the right kind of balsamic vinegar may soon be at an end. The company’s lighting division has developed an indoor navigation system that enables your smartphone to direct you straight towards the Oils & Vinegars (Specialist) section. In addition, the technology helps to light everything up nice and bright, and save a bucketload of cash in the process.

    Rather than using Bluetooth beacons, which others believe will being reliable indoor navigation for retail outlets, the company has swapped out the traditional lighting for banks of white LEDs above each aisle. Each bulb is equipped with visible light communication (VLC), enabling it to beam out a code that’s imperceptible to the human eye. When a user opens the corresponding smartphone app and holds it horizontally, the forward-facing camera reads the VLC. Once the software knows where you’re located, it’ll follow this overhead breadcrumb trail to get you where you need to go.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Disney’s light-bulb moment: build TCP into LEDs for IoT comms
    It’s going to be the year of Linux in the light socket

    Since lights are everywhere, and LED lamps are The Way of The FutureTM, it makes sense that they be used for communications. Now, boffins working for Disney Research have taken LED-based comms a step further, adding a Linux TCP/IP network stack to a consumer lamp.

    Their work, published here, pushes visible light communication (VLC) beyond research that has focussed on physical- and MAC-layers with a custom-built board the researchers reckon could be cheaply and easily integrated into existing LED lamps.

    Doing so, they write, means integrating the inter-Thing communication with the TCP/IP protocol, and getting the protocol running under a familiar operating system (in this case, Linux).

    To do that, the boffins working at ETH Zurich for Disney Research built a bottom-to-top stack instead of merely demonstrating that ones-and-zeroes sent by one lamp could be received by another. This includes:

    Hardware design to turn a consumer LED light bulb into a Linux host;
    A Linux kernel module that integrates the VLC protocol’s physical and MAC layers into the Linux networking stack; and
    Evaluation of the system using ICMP, UDP, and TCP.

    An 8-bit Atmel controller handles the PHY and MAC layer protocols on the lamp, with an Atheros AR9331 system-on-a-chip running OpenWrt providing the on-lamp Linux environment.

    The advantage of creating a full-stack implementation, the paper says, is that individual lamps are able to route data, rather than merely supporting simple point-to-point links.

    Linux Light Bulbs: Enabling Internet Protocol Connectivity for Light Bulb Networks

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Disney’s Linux Light Bulbs (Not a “Luxo Jr.” Reboot)

    Last week, Disney announced its latest project: Linux Light Bulbs. Although it sounds like an adorable animated feature starring our favorite OS, it’s actually an exciting new networking technology. Of course, Linux plays a central role.

    Linux Light Bulbs uses visible light to communicate between different devices. Integrating the Linux kernel has allowed Disney’s researchers to take advantage of Linux’s IP support to give their network a protocol that can be used by existing software.

    The idea of using light to communicate is not a new one.

    Bandwidth is also a big issue for visual light-based devices. Linux Light Bulbs is able to achieve speeds of 1 KB/second–many thousands of times slower than Wi-Fi.

    so Linux Light Bulbs is not going to replace Wi-Fi or Bluetooth anytime soon.

    What makes Linux Light Bulbs appealing is the way it could piggyback onto existing equipment. Residential and commercial lighting systems are moving toward LED lights, and LEDS are perfect for visible light communications. Taking this into consideration, the cost of adopting this technology could be very low.

    Obviously, visible light communications has some severe limitations.

    However, there are some interesting applications that still could make the technology worthwhile despite these limitations. Disney’s researchers have mentioned streetlights that broadcast emergency messages to passing cars concerning accidents, for instance. Also, industry commentators have pointed out other projects showing that broadband performance could become a reality for visible light devices in the future.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sending The Internet From an LED Lightbulb

    The number of things that can carry Internet traffic is always increasing. Now, you can add LED light bulbs to this list, as engineers in Disney Research have just demonstrated a system that transmits Internet traffic using an LED light bulb. This method of communication isn’t new: Visible Light Communication (VLC) has been demonstrated before by Disney and others, but this project puts it into a standard LED light bulb. This bulb has been modified to include an Atheros AR9331 SoC running OpenWRT and an Atmel ATmega328p that controls the LED elements and sensors that send and receive the data. So, the device is acting as a gateway between a WiFi network and a VLC one.

    Disney builds smart light bulb using MIPS-based Qualcomm Atheros SoC

    Last week, a team of scientists from Disney Research and the ETH Zurich University in Switzerland took the concept of a connected light bulb to a whole new level. In a whitepaper published here, the four IoT pioneers described the architecture of an innovative LED-to-LED communication system that can be implemented inside toys, wearables, mobile devices, and other Wi-Fi connected devices.

    Linux Light Bulbs: Enabling Internet Protocol Connectivity for Light Bulb Networks

    Linux Light Bulbs: Enabling Internet Protocol Connectivity

    Modern light bulbs based on Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
    can be used to create smart indoor environments: LED light
    bulbs provide a foundation for networking using visible light
    as communication medium. With Visible Light Commu-
    nication (VLC), LED light bulbs installed in a room can
    communicate with each other and other VLC devices (e.g.,
    toys, wearables, clothing). The vision of the Internet of
    Things requires that light bulbs and VLC devices communi-
    cate via the Internet Protocol (IP). This paper explores how
    the IP stack and other networking protocols can be hosted
    on Linux-based VLC devices. The VLC link layer for Linux
    consists of a VLC network driver module on top of a previ-
    ously developed VLC Medium Access Control (MAC) and
    Physical (PHY) layers. The network driver provides the
    necessary interfaces to couple the IP networking protocols
    and the VLC layers.

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Will LED-based Wi-Fi work?

    Professor Harald Haas, Edinburgh University chair of mobile communications, is researching using LEDs in the transmission of electronic data. Dubbed LiFi for light fidelity, the process encodes data onto LED bulbs. According to Haas, he has found a way to encode a high-rate bit stream to the changes in light intensity in order to send very high-speed data.

    He is developing LiFi through pureLiFi, the company he co-founded in 2012, claiming 100 Gigabit per second compared with Wi-Fi speeds of 7 Gb, a speed increase of 10-20× with LiFi.

    LiFi is also free wherever people use LED lights. Haas said: “Wherever you see an LED light you need to think of it as a high speed data transmitter – from your kettle, your fridge, from the street light in front of your house, car headlights, traffic lights.”

    Haas is claiming that the transmitters can also be implanted under the skin for medical monitoring applications. He also states that LiFi is more secure than traditional wireless as Li-Fi communications do not go through walls or other barriers. In the US, the Golden State Warriors basketball team in San Francisco is testing the technology for its new stadium, opening in 2018. The draw in this environment is the bandwidth available via LiFi that is unavailable with its Wi-Fi counterpart.

    The technology is based on a CMOS digital to analog converter developed at the University of Edinburgh. The ultra-parallel visible light communications depend on multiple colors of light to supply high-bandwidth communications.

    Members of the consortium created an improved LED that provides a data rate close to 4 Gbps operating on 5 mW of optical output power using high-bandwidth photodiodes at the receiver. So far they can send data 10 meters at up to 1.1 Gbps, and are on their way to 15 Gbps.

    Others are jumping onto the bandwagon. The Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems in Dresden, Germany, for example, demonstrated a LiFi hotspot at Electronica 2014. The hot spot was set to be a point-to-point link with a data rate of up to 1 Gbps.

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:


    pureLiFi, the home of LiFi, is recognised as the leader in the field – the use of the visible light spectrum instead of radio frequencies to enable wireless data communication. pureLiFi provides ubiquitous high-speed wireless access that offers substantially greater security, safety and data densities than Wi-Fi along with inherent properties that eliminate unwanted external network intrusion. In addition, the integration of illumination and data services generates a measurable reduction in both infrastructure complexity and energy consumption.

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A breakthrough new kind of wireless Internet

    What if we could use existing technologies to provide Internet access to the more than 4 billion people living in places where the infrastructure can’t support it? Using off-the-shelf LEDs and solar cells, Harald Haas and his team have pioneered a new technology that transmits data using light, and it may just be the key to bridging the digital divide. Take a look at what the future of the Internet could look like.

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lifi sounds almost scifi: the LEDs flicker could be used to transfer data and even high-speed connections? However, the French developer Lucibel LED lighting solutions for the world’s first planted a data connection to LED lighting.

    Lifi is a technique in which visible light is used to transfer data in small spaces. Led by means of technology has been reached up to 10 Gbps

    Developer lifi technology is Professor Harald Haas, whose team has developed a data transfer based on visible light at Edinburgh University. Lifi-link data is encoded LED to emit light by modulating the LED power output.

    LEDs blink so fast that the human eye to differentiate them. The receiver, however, say, laptops are able to read the signal, and even send data in one direction, that is, the link allows for bi-directional traffic.

    First Lucibel install Harald Haas founded pureLiFi company data connections based on technology Sogeprom company headquarters in Paris’s La Defense

    Commercial use of comprehensive technology is in joining the autumn of 2016.


  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    PureLifi is a Scottish company that Edunburghin University Professor Harald Haas under the direction of the development of data transmission using LED lights. Now, the company has completed its first commercial product. Lifi-X is the world’s first led data communication device that plugs to USB port.

    Li-Fi, or Light Fidelity is emerging as a very potential of high-speed Internet connections importer, for example in small office rooms. rapid flickering LED lights based technology data has been transferred gigabit per second to 10 meters range.

    presented in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress lifi-X is connected to the USB port device, which brings LiFlame router system is connected to a laptop 40 mega bits per second data connection in both directions


  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Home> Community > Blogs > LED Zone
    Introducing intermittent light and data (ILAD)–ILAD-?_mc=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_today_20160707&cid=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_today_20160707&elqTrackId=b094e8bc59e7404e8d32fee687ac679f&elq=670adc8bb7044a7296e78f65b3833195&elqaid=32993&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=28816

    I realized that after three decades hanging around this industry it’s time for me to make an impact. So, I’m coining a name for the concept of using light for data communication, no matter how the technology behind it is achieved; I’m calling it intermittent light and data (ILAD).

    I recently read about an example of ILAD from Disney Research, which is using commercial-grade LEDs to connect IoT devices. According to Markus Gross at the Disney Research Lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, “Interconnecting appliances, sensors, and a wide variety of devices into the Internet of Things has many potential benefits but using radio links to do so threatens to make the radio spectrum an even scarcer resource. Visible light communication networks conserve the radio spectrum, while also making it difficult to eavesdrop for anyone out of line of sight of the network.”

    Recently presented at the IEEE International Conference on Sensing, Communication and Networking (SECON) in London, the Disney research was based on having individual LEDs alternate between sending modulated light signals and serving as receivers of signals to create a network of bulbs that can send messages to each other and connect to devices, while having no discernible effect on room lighting.

    Stefan Schmid, also from Disney Research in ETH Zurich, demonstrated that a visible light communication (VLC) system is a viable way to interconnect devices within a room. “We used commercially available, off-the-shelf LED light bulbs as our starting point,” Schmid said. “They are readily available at low cost and can be used in any lamp with standard sockets. This leads to an easy-to-setup and flexible testbed that can be readily duplicated.”

    For the demonstration, however, an SoC running an embedded version of Linux was added to each bulb, as were photodiodes that enhanced the sensing of incoming signals.

  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Harnessing light for wireless communications

    As part of our connectivity efforts, is working on ways to connect the 4 billion people who are currently offline. Of those 4 billion, we know that 1.6 billion live in sparsely populated areas without broadband wireless infrastructure, and connecting them will require very different technologies than the solutions currently used. The Connectivity Lab team at Facebook is working to solve this problem, and has introduced a number of new technologies aimed at bringing better connectivity to these populations.

    In addition to building new technologies, we are also researching novel ideas to solve connectivity challenges at a more fundamental level. One of our recent efforts is a new type of optical detector that could simplify the technology behind free-space laser communication and enable high-speed connectivity in areas where traditional infrastructure is difficult to build. The results of our research have been published today in the journal Optica.

    Most wireless telecommunications use the radio frequency part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Free-space laser communication operates in the visible and infrared light range, where it benefits from less interference with neighboring communication systems and can potentially provide higher data transmission rates. In addition, this portion of the spectrum is not regulated, allowing for faster deployments and globally applicable solutions. Despite these advantages, however, there are still many challenges that prevent free-space optical (FSO) communications from being widely adopted.

    Achieving gigabit per second data rates requires a photodiode of about 1 mm2 or smaller.

    However, a laser beam expands the farther it travels through space and can often be much larger than 1 mm2 at the receiving end. This limits the range the beam can travel, as the photodiode would detect a smaller fraction of the signal over longer distances. A larger portion of the beam can be captured by using a lens to focus the light on the photodiode, but the larger the aperture of the lens, the more precisely it must be pointing at the laser beam.

    A luminescent detector

    To address these challenges, we developed a new type of optical detector that has both a large active area and a large field of view without sacrificing speed, enabling a much simpler design. We achieve this by using plastic optical fibers doped with organic dye molecules that absorb light at one wavelength (blue) and reemit it into the fiber at a different wavelength (green).

    The speed of the detector is determined by this absorption and re-emission process. It takes just over a nanosecond on average, but the use of tailored modulation techniques (such as orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) allows us to exploit the faster time-scales of the luminescence process to achieve high data rates. In particular, we demonstrate a detector with an active area of 126 cm2 and a data rate of more than 2 Gbps.

    We are currently developing prototypes to demonstrate the advantages of this approach and study its performance in real-world settings. Replacing expensive optics and precise motorized alignment systems with our luminescent detector paves the way for low-cost, rapidly deployable optical point-to-point links.

  47. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The lamp data to two gigabits per second

    Lifi refers to a technique in which visible light is transferred through the data, for example, a laptop. LEDs flicker based technology has almost reached the level of a Wi-Fi data rates, but the latest research is accelerating lifi-speed Gigabit data.

    Situated in the Saudi Arabia KAUST University researchers have developed a new light source, which lifi data rate would increase many times over. The solution is based on the phosphorus-based perovskite nano crystals (instead of traditional phosphors), whose modulation frequency is an unprecedented high at 491 megahertz.

    As a result, lifi transmitter capable of transmitting data up to two gigabits per second.

    The new light source produces white light with color temperature of 3236 Kelvin



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