Using a light bulb to create wifi

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

The term “li-fi” was originally created by Professor Harald Haas of Edinburgh University.

Turning off the lights just might turn off the internet, because Chinese scientists are working on wifi connections that come from light bulbs! A microchip-equipped bulb can produce speeds of 150 megabits per second, says Chi Nan, an IT professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University.

Although experts are asking for more evidence, especially since there’s no videos or photos backing up the professor’s words, Nan claims that a one-watt LED light bulb could provide internet connection for four computers.

If this li-fi invention is real, the speeds it provides could bring the world wide web very cheaply to the average Chinese citizen.

Because light has 10,000 times more possible reach than radio waves, there’d be nearly unlimited potential in getting wifi to net-less parts of the Earth.

One disadvantage of the tech, however, is that if the light is blocked, then the signal gets lost. That being said, it’s good for security, since no one could hijack your connection without having access to the light in your room basically.

Nan says the technology is still brand new, and her team needs more time to perfect it. She hopes to have sample li-fi kits ready for the China International Industry Fair in Shanghai on November 5.

Featured image courtesy of Markus on Flickr. Image of Professor Harald Haas courtesy of University of Edinburgh.