The municipal offices of St. Cloud, Minnesota are the first in the country to install a visible light communication system in place of Wi-Fi. The system, which uses LED fixtures to connect office computers to the internet, is saving lots of energy, and the city of St. Cloud lots of money on energy bills.
The system was installed by LVX System, a Minnesota-based start-up and consists of LED lights that flicker thousands of times per second at speeds undetectable by the human eye. The flickering of light communicates binary code to special modems attached to computers below (off is zero, on is one) that then transmit data back to the fixtures where a sensor receives the data and transmits it over the internet.
According to LVX, the systems save 30 to 80 percent on lighting costs, usually enough to match or mostly pay for the internet service. One of the LED fixtures uses about 36 watts of power compared to 100 watts used by a similar fluorescent office lighting fixture.
LVX sees the technology as not only an energy-effiicient and cost-effective alternative to Wi-Fi, but a solution to overcrowded Wi-Fi networks and the slower connections they create.
Right now, the LVX system can transmit about 3 Mbps, roughly the speed of a residential DSL line. So, it's not exactly ready to be swapped in for Wi-Fi in most businesses, but LVX expects to increase that speed. The company is also working on making smart lights that brighten and dim depending on available natural light and turn off automatically when a room empties.
written by Patrick Newell, December 30, 2010
written by Bill, December 31, 2010
written by Charles G. Nutter, February 08, 2011
written by SolidApollo.com, March 10, 2011
|< Prev||Next >|