LEDs for Enabling Wireless Communications and Internet-of-Things


Infocomm - Internet of Things & Wearable Technology
Green Building - Sensor, Network, Building Control & Optimisation


There has been an increasing interest in LED communications, or Light Fidelity (Li-Fi), for secure, wireless communications. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are ubiquitous in our environment and can be used for communications, besides illumination. Data is transmitted by switching the LEDs on and off so rapidly that the eye cannot detect the switching. This opens up a wide range of unused, unregulated spectrum in the visible to infrared wavelengths, which can help address the communications bandwidth crunch. Li-Fi can be used in areas where RF signals cannot be received due to interference or restriction. The highly secure beam can protect sensitive data from cyberattacks.

This technology offer is a system for Li-Fi communications, including optical transceivers and dual purpose LEDs for detection and emission. By alternating between positive and reverse bias, a single LED chip can function as emitter and detector. This can reduce the footprint of the optical transceiver for miniature integration in laptop and handphone. The development team has also developed LED communication prototypes for real-time monitoring of sensor readings over a long range of more than 70m and for real-time streaming of high-definition video streaming with low latency. Some application areas include underwater communications, hospitals, military and underground tunnels. The development team is looking for potential end-users of technology and collaboration in technology development.


The development team has developed Ethernet-to-optical converters for real-time streaming of high definition videos using with Ethernet 10BASE-T. The team is able to perform internet surfing using LED communications.

The development team have also developed optical transceivers for Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications. The team demonstrated the ability to transmit sensor data over a distance of more than 70m. In order to overcome line-of-sight issues faced by optical wireless communications, the team has also developed optical repeaters that enables it to change direction of optical link and increase its useful range.

The development team holds patents for high speed LED with 200MHz modulation speed and dual purpose LED for emission and detection.


This technology can be used for products related to underwater monitoring and sensing, with underwater wireless communications where radio frequency (RF) signals get attenuated in water. This can enable marine inspection and maintenance of vessels, aquaculture and climate monitoring.

According to Maximize Market Research, the global market for underwater acoustic communications is estimated at USD 1.31B in 2017 and expected to reach USD 3.9B at a rate of 13.4% CAGR by 2026.

Other potential applications include industrial IoT, where RF faces interference from metallic environment.

Unique Value Proposition

  • Ability to license this technology
  • Opportunities in developing new technology for underwater wireless communications.
  • Ability to offer higher bandwidth compared to existing acoustic communications, including ability for underwater video streaming.
  • No tethers will be required for underwater high data rate transmission.
  • Open new opportunities for marine sector, environment monitoring of climate change.
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