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Signify: Light fantastic

Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) has announced the commercial launch of a range of LiFi systems that deliver reliable, secure, high-speed wireless communication over a company’s lighting infrastructure.

Instead of using radio signals (e.g. WiFi, 4G/5G, Bluetooth), LiFi uses light to send and receive data between optical wireless transceivers built into Philips luminaires and a USBaccess key plugged into a laptop.

It offers guaranteed speeds of up to 150 megabits per second – that’s fast enough to stream 30 1080p HDTV movies simultaneously – with seamless handover between light points, enabling employees to roam around the office and not lose connectivity.

LiFi has a number of benefits over other wireless technologies:

its spectrum is more than 1,000 times the size of the radio spectrum, making it ideal for busy areas such as multitenancy buildings, stations, airports and public venues;

it can be used in areas where radio frequencies don’t work well or at all (e.g. underground) or where they are not permitted (e.g. in some schools or hospitals);

it is secure, thanks to AES 128 encryption, the need for a USB access key and because light waves cannot penetrate walls; and

there is no interference from other radio communication systems.

The Trulifi by Signify range includes three systems:

1 the Trulifi 6001 (available since 2018), which uses visible light and delivers speeds of up to 30 Mbps;

2 the new Trulifi 6002 series, which uses infrared light and provides two-way wireless connectivity even when lights are off, at speeds of up to 150 Mbps; and

3 the Trulifi 6013, which acts like a wireless cable and delivers speeds of up to 250 Mbps between two fixed points.

Belgian marketing agency Claerhout Communication Campus has retrofitted a Trulifi 6002 system to four Philips LED luminaires in a large meeting room at its office in Ghent.

Its Business Development Manager Christoph Ruys said: “We wanted good quality, energy-efficient lighting and wireless connectivity capable of handling high resolution images, artwork and big data files. We’ve gone from offering our staff and clients 5 Mbps to a blistering 150 Mbps, and we can roam around freely as one light point hands off to another seamlessly. Trulifi adds an extra layer of security as light can’t pass through walls, so what’s in the room, stays in the room. This is truly game changing technology.”

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