LUCIBEL introduces LiFi luminaire that enables Internet access through light
LiFi (Light Fidelity) is a communication technology through modulated LED light that enables data exchange between a specific LED lighting fixture and a computer, making Internet access possible. The performance of this bidirectional broadband connection has been multiplied by 4 since the installation of a Lucibel prototype in June 2015. The reception of data transmitted by the lighting fixture is done via a LiFi USB key whose size has been divided by 5 since the initial prototype installation.
Communication technology through light has existed for several years, however only in low speed unidirectional uses (VLC, Visible Light Communication) which enables the deployment of indoor geolocation, with applications in sectors such as retail and tourism.
By positioning itself as a complimentary technology to Wifi, this smart and connected light is taking on a new dimension thanks to Lucibel.
According to the American research institute Gartner, The demand of Internet of Things ((« IOT ») will come to more than 50 billion devices by 2020 to 2022 compared to 5 billion today, which will lead to an exponential growth in the volume of data exchanged. LiFi technology has positioned itself as one of the wireless networking technologies that will enable the development of IOT.
The LiFi lumianire and USB key, resulting from the partnership between Lucibel and pureLifi, will be exclusively manufactured by Lucibel in France at its industrial site in Barentin (Normandy). This will be the case whether marketed by Lucibel or pureLiFi.
Edouard Lebrun, Chief Innovation Officer at Lucibel says: « The production of this LiFi solution in France forms part of Lucibel new industrial strategyimplemented for over 2 years. Indeed, thanks to the relocation of its manufacturing facility in France, Lucibel has been able to co-develop, industrialize and market its LiFi solution in less than 15 months, which gives it the only solution of the market easily integrable in a building ».
As a first step, the Lucibel LiFi solution aimed essentially at professionals to offer them Internet access mobility where wifi is not available or badly deployed.
Harald Burchardt Chief Operations Officer at pureLiFi says:
« The fruition of our important partnership marks the realisation of new and significant business opportunities for innovators in the lighting industry like Lucibel. With pureLiFi and Lucibel powering this new generation of data enabled lighting we can now begin to see the real life application of this emerging technology, offering safe and secure wireless communications on the path to unlimited bandwidth and unlimited data. »
Alistair Banham, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at pureLiFi says:
« Our partnership with Lucibel, who are at the forefront of lighting innovation allows us to accelerate LiFi’s real world commercial implementation. This partnership between two innovative companies has resulted in a worlds-first LiFi integrated luminaire and this is a step towards LiFi’s future as a 5G technology. »
Thanks to its decisive advantages (impossibility to remotely hack a LiFi network, absence of radio waves potentially harmful to human health…) priority deployment targets are places where:
The data security is a major issue (banks, defense, R&D centers, executive offices, private security…).
Radio waves (wifi) are not permitted (hospitals, nursery, schools, industry…)
The density of users is very high (co-working space, airport, hotel, meeting room, convention space…)
« LiFi by LUCIBEL » : a structured sales strategy currently being deployed
For more than two years, Lucibel has been structuring its marketing strategy through:
- The recruitment of a dedicated team specialized in networks and IT,
- The implementation of strategic partnerships with major players in the real estate or IT sectors
- The qualification of its LiFi solution by large general or specialized IT integrators.
The results are promising with big names already seduced by this innovative solution:
- Nexity, first integrated player on the real estate market in France (housing, offices, managed residences, hotels, shops…), is the first end user of the industrialized LiFi lumianire. A collaboration and an operational partnership that Loïc Daniel, Deputy CEO of Nexity Business Property, welcomes: « The innovation strategy of Nexity is illustrated by a will to meet the needs of occupants for connected living and work spaces, flexible and oriented to their well-being. We congratulate ourselves on this approach of co-innovation with a company as Lucibel, who will be a supplier of new solutions for the real estate of tomorrow. »
- Microsoft is also implementing the LiFi solution at its innovation center in Issy-les-Moulineaux in order to share with its clients the opportunities offered by the technology.
- SLMS (Schneider Lucibel Managed Services, Joint-Venture between Schneider Electric and Lucibel) also markets the solution through its «LiFi as a Service by SLMS» offer.
Other partnerships are currently under negotiation and should be announced before end of 2016.
Frédéric Granotier, President and Founder of Lucibel, is confident: « This major breakthrough enables Lucibel Group to become the link between the world of lighting and the one of IT. With the integration of the LiFi technology in smartphones and tablets, expected within 2-3 years, the private individual market segment will also be opened to us…».
LIFI : How it works?
In practice, a RJ45 wire is connected to the lighting fixture which then becomes a head end, and a LiFi key is connected to the computer USB port.
The “LiFi by Lucibel” solution enables the deployment of a complete wireless network through a bidirectional transmission of 42 Mbps. The “LiFi by Lucibel” system offers a mobile connection within a network while simultaneously supporting multiple access and «handover».
Each LiFi lumianire can serve several LiFi stations simultaneously. The «handover» function allows users to automatically have a stable connection from a lighting fixture to another.
In addition to traditional power supply, the “LiFi by Lucibel” luminaire is optionally compatible POE / POE+ and High Power POE in order to minimize the necessary wiring for the deployment of a LiFi network infrastructure.