IoT and Smart Lighting : using LED-based lighting to transmit data

1) In streets and public places, Wi-Fi connection is not available everywhere, often drops at irregular intervals and creates electromagnetic waves interferences and pollution.


  • Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) is a connected LED lighting solution founded by Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh. OLEDCOMM Lize is a French company that provides smart lighting systems and devices for mobile Internet connexion through LiFi.
  • Li-Fi is a more efficient wireless alternative to Wi-Fi that enables high-speed data transmission (100 times quicker than Wi-Fi, data rate of 10-Gbps) via pulsating light source, transforming any existing private or public light network into wireless communication systems – street lamps, traffic signals, can be used to provide Li-Fi hotspots.
  • OLEDCOMM also produces the routing devices, USB keys as well as Li-Fi compatible smartphones, tablets and laptops.
  • In terms of security, Li-Fi makes hacking almost impossible (data flows circulating through visible light communication) and is useful in electromagnetic sensitive areas such as planes, hospitals, petrochemical plants where it reduces the radio electromagnetic wave pollution.
  • Since 2012, OLEDCOMM partners with the train company SNCF to settle Li-Fi in all French trains and the popular Lyon’s Festival of Light uses the potential of the technology during the event.

3) I work for OLEDCOMM Lize and plan to deploy Li-Fi in NYC subways as an answer to New Yorkers’ demand. The stakeholders that will need to use the technology found are:

  • The MTA
  • The NY DOT
  • The NYC subways’ lighting system providers
  • Mobile, tablets, laptops and other electronic devices developers
  • NYC subway and the wireless Internet users

4) 3 first implementation steps

  • Propose a partnership to the NY DOT and MTA to bring Wi-Fi in NYC subway infrastructure – cars and stations.
  • Review the different NYC subway lighting systems and replace cars’ traditional lights with Li-Fi Led bulbs. In the process, work on improving the electric system to prevent light from fluctuating when cars move.
  • In parallel, partner with personal electronics developers, especially mobile phone, to promote and spread Li-Fi devices among New Yorkers.

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