Visible light communications (VLC) systems are an alternative to radio-based wireless networks and serve a dual purpose: They provide in-building lighting, and they use light waves for data transmission. VLC uses modulated light as a data carrier, while the visible spectrum provides light.

Using VLC for data transmission has some advantages. It offers decent bandwidth; it offers security because walls, floors and roofs obstruct the data-carrying wavelengths, which reduces the risk of eavesdropping; and it’s inexpensive since it’s simply incorporated into light fixtures or, in emerging developments, worked into displays and other surfaces.

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