Signify, the new name for Philips Lighting and the company behind the Hue range of smart bulbs, has announced a new range of products designed to deliver high speed internet using Li-Fi technology. The new range, branded Trulifi, can deliver speeds of up to 150Mbps through the use of light waves; what’s more, it leverages both new and existing professional luminaires.

Several firms have backed Li-Fi technology as a way of providing superfast and secure high-speed internet to offices around the world, although none are as big in the lighting industry as Signify. The company’s backing of the technology will be seen as the next step in its evolution, and should help its growth outside of limited tests.  

The benefit of Trulifi isn’t just that it’s backed by a big brand, it’s the fact that Signify claims that it’s the world’s fastest and most reliable Li-Fi system commercially available. Now, 150Mbps doesn’t seem all too fast considering we’ve seen 40Gbps in lab testing, but compared to what else is currently available on the marketplace it’s blazingly quick. Take for example the second-generation Li-Fi lights from Lucibel, which are powered by pureLiFi technology; they’re only capable of speeds of up to 54Mbps – almost a third of Trulifi.

Don’t expect the competition to remain behind for too long, however. pureLiFi has already shown off its ability to deliver 1Gbps speeds over its technology, and several other companies are vying to launch their own Li-Fi offerings in the near future.

New Installation Or Retrofit

The biggest news for commercial integrators surrounding the Trulifi launch is the fact that you can either start from scratch with the lighting or you can retrofit the optical wireless transceiver into Philips luminaires. That offers a huge cost saving for businesses that may not want to rip out their entire lighting infrastructure just for a slight boost in internet speeds, or better security than their existing Wi-Fi network.

Signify says that there is seamless handover between each Trulifi-enabled luminaire enabling users to roam around, while the speeds delivered are fast enough to stream simultaneously 30 1080p HDTV movies. Of course, a USB-access key, plugged into a laptop, is needed to receive the Li-Fi signal and acts as an emitter to send data back to the luminaire. That ensures optimum security, as not only will you not be able to access the Li-Fi network without direct line of sight, but users will also need the USB-access key.

The Trulifi range also includes a fixed point-to-point system, which offers speeds of up to 250 Mbps, which acts like a wireless cable, ideal for connecting devices. Potential applications include connecting robots or machines in radio frequency (RF) harsh environments like industrial plants, or hospitals where RF communications may not be permitted, or where there’s a need to send and receive large data files securely and quickly.

“Trulifi underlines our strategy to unlock the potential of light to address new high-growth markets,” explained Olivia Qiu, Chief Innovation Officer at Signify.

“Through our global presence, large installed base and industry knowledge, we’ll help existing and new customers to leverage their lighting infrastructures to receive reliable, secure, high-speed wireless communication at a very competitive price-point. Wherever there’s light, there can now be wireless communication.”

New Customers

To demonstrate its new Trulifi in the field, Signify has already signed up two new customers to install the system. Globalworth, the largest institutional investor and office landlord in Poland and Romania, has installed 18 Trulifi-enabled Philips luminaires in three meeting rooms in its office in the Spektrum Tower in Warsaw, Poland, to provide reliable and extra-secure communications for its corporate clients. Meanwhile, Claerhout Communication Campus, a Belgian marketing and communications agency has retrofitted Trulifi into four connected Philips LED luminaires in a large meeting room in its office in Ghent, used by the company and its clients.

“We wanted good quality energy-efficient lighting and wireless connectivity capable of handling high resolution images, artwork and big data files. We’ve gone from offering our staff and clients 5 Mbps to a blistering 150 Mbps, and we can roam around freely as one light point hands off to another seamlessly. While it’s encrypted, Trulifi adds an extra layer of security as light can’t pass through walls – so what’s in the room, stays in the room. This is truly game changing technology,” said Christoph Ruys, Business Development Manager, Claerhout Communication Campus.

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