Li-Fi Technology – Is it Practical?

Li-Fi – does it have potential?

Li-Fi made its first appearance in 2011 at TED presentation that was delivered by Harald Haas.  It works by flashing LED light on specific sensor connected to device.  The flickering gets decoded and transformed into data – a lot of data.  It is clear as day on how this technology works for downloading data and you can learn more on how it works by watching TED conference as this article is not about that.

How about up-link?

Well, it is clear how download link works for devices, but there is no real official information on how the upload link works.  I have no idea why it was not covered by Harald Haas at TED presentation.  It has been awhile since then and this problem was only tackled unofficially.  People speculate that sensors strategically placed around the room would have to detect devices LED blinks in order to receive requests.  This was not explained in the TED conference for some reason.  Maybe, because they are still figuring out how to do it.


  • Li-Fi cannot penetrate walls therefore the best applications for it would be LAN in office environment.  And this could reach speeds of up to 10 Gigabytes per second as it was done in 2014 by Mexican company called Sisoft.
  • Imagine data transfer between smartphones using led chip – it could reach up speeds of around 2 Gigabytes per second.
  • Li-Fi could definitely change NFC -Near Field Communications allowing to transfer more data at higher speeds.  When purchasing goods in stores an encryption could be used to protect people E-wallets from being scanned by someone else.

Is Li-Fi a danger to the Wi-Fi?

Not at all, at least not for now.  And till engineers won’t make Li-Fi practical it won’t hit the marked and our homes or work environment anytime soon.  What I would realistically say that this technology could be embedded in smartphones for fast data exchange.  But even that could not compete with Bluetooth as it has more distance and can penetrate obstacles to a certain level.  Office environment that deals with a lot of data could find it practical and fasten data transfer incredibly.  This technology is great, but it has flaws that needs to be solved in order for it to be practical and have potential as technology for everyday user.