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Future wireless networks could be powered by "smart lighting"

A light bulb went off in the head of researchers at Boston University about a new wireless networking technology, which was very appropriate considering that it involves, well, light bulbs. The Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center has been created to develop technology that would allow low-powered LED lights to transmit data to other devices.
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Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor on

A light bulb went off in the head of researchers at Boston University about a new wireless networking technology, which was very appropriate considering that it involves, well, light bulbs. The Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center has been created to develop technology that would allow low-powered LED lights to transmit data to other devices.

Such a network could be a boon for home automation, since you could just replace existing lighting with new LED bulbs instead of having to outfit your house with new communications equipment. There are a couple of caveats, though, that mean this network won't be replacing your radio-based Wi-Fi one for many duties. For one thing, because light can't travel through walls and other obstacles, its range is extremely limited. Its throughput is also limited by today's standards, offering data rates between 1Mbps and 10Mbps, or what roughly what 802.11b networks can pump out.

And don't go tossing out your light bulbs just yet. According to the center, this new networking technology probably won't be available for another 10 years.

[Via TrendRadar UK]

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