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In this post we are going to construct a very interesting project and this technology

is just emerging in consumer electronics and also in tech industry, here you will get
hands on experience of Li-Fi from this project.

You will be able to make your first fully functional analog audio Li-Fi circuit
which can stream good quality music from your phone/mp3 player to speakers at
home and you will be surprised how simple a Li-Fi system can get and you no
need a million dollar laboratory to construct one, even a beginner in electronics can
make this project with ease.

We will see:

 What is Li-Fi or Light Fidelity is?


 Is Li-Fi better than Radio Communication?
 Circuit Diagram
 Description
 Quick Video Demo

Illustration of Li-Fi Transmission Circuit Demonstration:


What is Li-Fi (Light fidelity)?

Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lifi_environment.jpg


Li-Fi stands for Light Fidelity, which uses visible light as medium for data
transmission. The Li-Fi system consists of normal LED light bulbs and modulating
circuits. The Li-Fi system serves two functions:

 Room Lighting
 Data Transmission

The idea of Li-Fi is to use existing light infrastructure to transmit data to our
computer, Smartphones, tablets etc. This will eliminate some of the main
limitations and disadvantages of traditional radio communication, such as Wi-Fi
system that we use at home or office or school.

Li-Fi utilizes LED light bulbs which are connected to a modulating circuit which
will convert incoming data stream into rapidly flashing light. We human begins
can’t see the high frequency flashing light and we will perceive the light as normal
room lighting without any flicker.

The receiver circuit can capture the high frequency flashing of LED and decodes it
into understandable data stream for your computer or smartphone.
Now you would have got a basic idea what Li-Fi is all about.

Is Li-Fi better than Radio Communication?


In this section we will understand some of the limitations with traditional radio
communication such as Wi-Fi and how Li-Fi will be a good replacement.
The main Limitations/disadvantage of Radio communication are:

 Radio Waves have Limited Bandwidth.


 Cannot be used in some restricted areas
 Security
 Health Hazards

Let’s explore each of them.


1) Radio waves have limited bandwidth:
Radio frequencies range from 3 KHz to 300 GHz. The radio frequencies are
classified into many categories like Low frequency, Medium Frequency, High
frequency, Ultra High Frequency, Extremely High frequency etc. Each of them is
allocated for specific applications.

For example FM radio signal is allocated from 88 MHz to 108 MHz and AM
stations from 535 KHz to 1905 KHz.
Due to increasing of wireless devices per person and emerging of internet of things
(IoT) devices, allocating the radio frequencies is getting tighter day by day and
licensing the radio spectrum costs enormous.

We have something called ISM band which stands for Industrial Medical and
Scientific band, the devices operating at this frequency don’t need be licenced by
the users. The best example is your Wi-Fi router; it operates at 2.4 GHz and also 5
GHz.
Do you feel that your Wi-Fi internet is slow at times? If yes, then you are probably
living in an apartment with many of your neighbour using Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi routers mostly operate at 2.4 GHz range and some high end routers operate
at 5 GHz. Due to the interference of many Wi-Fi signals from you and your
neighbor's router, the data transmission gets slow down than your wired
connection.
Due to this congestion router manufactures are introducing 5 GHz band to avoid
such Wi-Fi congestions, but with 5 GHz you will get shorter range, yet this is not a
full solution for our future needs.

2) Restriction of Radio waves:


Radio waves are restricted in many areas such as hospitals, operation theaters,
airplanes, research facilities etc.
You cannot always enjoy Wi-Fi internet in a hospital or in an airplane or in a place
where the radio communications are restricted, because there could be interference
with sensitive hospital equipments, which treats valuable patient’s life or very
expensive experiment and interference of radio waves could alter the results.
So not everywhere radio communications are permitted.

3) Security
Guess what is the worst thing can occur to your wireless internet, is it
disconnection of your internet? No, it is your network getting hacked by someone
else!

Wi-Fi can penetrate through walls and surround you area, you may say that my
Wi-Fi is secured with a password but, a skilled black hat can break in to your
network without any notice, and many of you are not good at setting a strong
password for you router.

4) Health Hazard:
High energetic radio waves are suspected to cause health issues; there are some
people who complained that they are affected from high energetic radio waves.
But there is no documented evidence to support the statement that radio wave
causes cancer. May be science yet to discover the health hazards on human begin
and animals and even plants.

Now, let’s see how Li-Fi can overcome these limitations:

1) No Bandwidth Limitations and Interference:


The Li-Fi has bandwidth at least 1000 times greater the radio waves; this can
handle the future internet needs with ease.
No interference with neighbour’s internet connection as your internet will not go
beyond your room and neither other’s internet will enter you room.

Very high data transfer speed compare to Wi-Fi, researcher calculated theoretical
maximum data transfer speed of 224 Gb/s isn’t that mind blowing?
So, now you have very high speed data connection without any interference.

2) You can Access Internet Anywhere:


Radio communications are restricted in some area, guess what is not restricted?
Visible light!
Now we can restore the access to internet in airplane or in hospital or in research
facility without worrying about radio transmission interference.

3) Security is Enhanced:
Now the internet will not go beyond your room as the light from your room will
not leak like Wi-Fi and black hats will have tougher time to hack your network.
To access the network the black hat must be physically present on your room and
you know what to do next if such unknown person present in your room.

4) Reduced Health Hazards:


We are using visible light since discovery of fire; visible light spectrum has little to
no health hazard. LEDs don’t contain any mercury or other toxic chemicals present
in like CFLs, which also emits small amount of ultraviolet rays, and yet CFLs
don’t cause health hazards, so we can say that LEDs are one of the safest light
sources available.
In conclusion we can say that Li-Fi is superior to traditional radio based
communication, but Li-Fi may not be without its limitations or disadvantages
which may be yet to discover.

We hope you read till here, if so kudos to you. You have gained basic knowledge
about Li-Fi technology. Let’s see how to build one.
Circuit Diagram for Li-Fi Transmitter:
NOTE: The below circuit diagram is copy protected, the visitors/readers are
NOT permitted to republish or modify the circuit and publish it anywhere in
any form.

Components List:

 3 x BC337 NPN Transistor


 1 x 4.7K resistor
 1 x 1K resistor
 3 x 1000uF/25V electrolytic capacitor
 1 x 1 Watt LED
 1 x 100K Variable Resistor
 1 x switch
 1x 3V to 6V Solar cell

Circuit Description:
The circuit is very simple; it consists of 3 transistors, couple of resistors, 3
electrolytic capacitors, one variable resistor and one 1 watt LED. The Whole
circuit is configured in common emitter mode amplifier.
The three BC337 are connected parallel, that is base to base terminal, collector to
collector terminal and emitter to emitter terminal.

There are two 1000uF input capacitors which allows only AC signal to enter the
Li-Fi circuit and also prevents from 9V entering to your audio source/phone from
the circuit.
If your audio source doesn’t have left or right channels, just connect ground to
ground and connect the audio source to any one of the capacitor.
The 100 kilo ohm variable resistor is used for adjusting the LED brightness. The 1
Watt LED is used for transmitting the audio signal and light.
You should have been surprised by the simplicity of this Li-Fi circuit by now.

Receiver Circuit:
The receiver circuit is even simpler; make sure that you use a good sensitivity
amplifier.

The 3V to 6V solar cell can be used as light sensor, you can use a good USB
computer speaker to receive audio or you can use any amplifier with good
sensitivity.

You should be getting very good sound quality and the LED should stay solid
ON regardless of the audio input and LED should not flicker while
transmitting signal.

Prototype Images: