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Published on October 8th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz

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LED Lights: The Next Big Thing in Wireless Technology?

October 8th, 2008 by  


smart lighting

LED lights are more than an energy-efficient lighting alternative— they’re also a potential Wi-Fi replacement technology. Researcher at Boston University are working on Smart Lighting, a wireless technology based on visible light instead of radio frequency.


Data is transferred through the Smart Lighting system with LED light, so each light is essentially a Wi-Fi hotspot. Initial speeds of the network will be about 1 to 10 megabits per second, and data transmission will occur over existing electrical wiring.

And since LED bulbs are energy efficient, an LED wireless network will also be efficient—significantly more so than a radio frequency-based network. Additionally, since light doesn’t travel through walls or other opaque objects, chances of eavesdropping are lowered.

BU’s technology is still in the prototype stage, but it could potentially rival radio frequency networks for wireless dominance.

Photo Credit: Boston University 
 
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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



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