Besides from providing light, LED lights would also be used for data transmittal
UN/DICYT Just as Wi-Fi routers replaced wires, LED light bulbs could replace wireless networks. UNal engineers are working on the possibility of transmitting data through visible light. As his UNal Telecommunications Engineering master’s thesis project, Germán Alfredo Chávarro proposed developing a basic Visible Light Communication (VLC) transmission system. This system would allow transmitting audio information using visible light communication.
In a device designed in his Communications Engineering master’s thesis project, Chávarro receives the light signal and converts it into an electrical pulse, and after processing, the signal is sent to a speaker so it can be heard.
Chávarro explains that for now this is only a basic project as he is only in his first quarter of his graduate degree.
In any case his idea is part of an ambitious initiative of the UNal Telecommunications Engineering Master’s program which hopes to achieve great speeds in data transmission and protocols with transmission error correction.
“This is a research scope where several international experts are currently working and UNal is right there beside. This institution is pioneering research in this field in Colombia,” said Chávarro.
Germán Alfredo says that lately there has been more interest in using LED technology in several applications such as lighting, communications and medicine, amongst other fields.
According to McKinsey & Company data the LED light bulb market will increase 30% per year until 2020, when sales reach US $81.000 billion, which will represent 60% of the total lighting market in the world.
This trend and the benefits such as low energy consumption, immunity to electromagnetic interference, small size, low cost and long useful life have driven interest of researchers who are focusing part of their scientific work in obtaining new applications and uses.
One of the key features of using LED technology is that it is capable of direct modulation to dozens of megahertz, a useful attribute for communications through visible light or VLC.
“Taking advantage of the visible light spectrum can reduce costs in antennas and cooling rooms as they would use conventional LED lamps or lighting posts. Safety also increases as coverage areas are limited by light incidence as it does not pass through walls,” said Chávarro.
Another benefit for transmission is using the visible light spectrum as it has greater bandwidth and speed.
“The visible light spectrum is greater than microwaves and radio waves; in other words, greater simultaneous communication at different wave lengths enables greater transference rates,” he said.
Furthermore it may be used in any place without radiation damages, interference or electromagnetic disturbances in hospitals, aircrafts but also such as the in Colombian case, in remote areas.