This High-Tech Downlight Wants To Fix Your Bad WiFi

Pretty soon we could use lights to connect wirelessly to the internet. At least, that seems to be the pitch behind pureLiFi's newest product. The company demonstrated the LiFi@Home ecosystem as part of Mobile World Congress 2022 in Barcelona, and it could open the door to fixing a lot of the bandwidth problems that we deal with in our homes on a daily basis.

According to a press release for the product, pureLiFi wants to help mitigate the issues that we're seeing with WiFi right now. While advancements like 5G and WiFi 6 are great, pureLiFi believes that we'll continue to see an overloading of bandwidth in our homes as we add more connected devices. The solution, then, is to add a device that doesn't create additional interference.

"LiFi is the key to unlocking the next generation of connected experiences in an ecosystem where WiFi and 5G alone are not enough," Alistair Banham, CEO of pureLiFi, wrote in a statement. "What we've demonstrated here for the first time is how simple it is to bring LiFi into consumer environments. We've done all the hard work to make LiFi easy to integrate and simple to get started."

What is LiFi?

If you've never heard of LiFi, you aren't alone. It's a newer technology that's meant to work similarly to WiFi and 5G connections. However, unlike those other wireless technologies, LiFi doesn't use radio frequencies to transmit data. Instead, it uses good old-fashioned light.

Because LiFi doesn't rely on radio frequencies, there's less chance of interference from outside devices. A lot of the electronics in our homes give off radio frequencies, and while WiFi routers have improved in recent years, the current spectrums they use still see a lot of interference from common devices like microwaves. As such, there's really no way to create a home that doesn't suffer from interference, at least not until now.

With LiFi, it sounds like pureLiFi is hoping to integrate your connection directly into the light bulbs that you use to brighten up your bedroom or office. Think of it as something similar to the current trend of smart lightbulbs that we've seen around. If it works as easily as pureLiFi says it will, it may come down to simply twisting in a new downlighter and then saying goodbye to your bad WiFi.

It's an intriguing concept and one that we'll be interested to see play out more as pureLiFi continues to improve the tech. As the first "commercial light antennas," LiFi could be the answer to the bandwidth and radio frequency problems that have been plaguing wireless connections for years now.