lighting system, energy harvesting, Li-Fi technology
Wireless sensors have been increasingly utilized in the design of next generation high performance buildings. When deploying wireless sensors, energy supply and data communication are the major concerns. Although energy harvest wireless sensors could automatically feed themselves by harvesting ambient energy, the presence of reliable energy sources to support dependable wireless transmission is a great challenge. The emerging Li-Fi technology is promising to fundamentally solve this problem. Li-Fi stands for Light-Fidelity, which is a new kind of wireless communication systems using light as a medium instead of traditional radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation. Li-Fi technology provides harvested energy to power wireless sensors with a unique advantage of power generation from the lighting system being controlled. The combination of Li-Fi and energy harvesting wireless sensor technologies could enable attractive features and bring in great benefits in the design of next generation high performance buildings because: (i) energy harvest sensors do not face the short-of-energy problem; (ii) Li-Fi enables much higher transmission speed compared to the existing RF electromagnetic technologies, thus, energy harvest sensors could easily deliver environmental parameters quickly for control purposes; (iii) energy harvest sensors could assist the building management team to understand the coverage area of the lighting system; (iv) the communication of sensor aggregated information can be naturally encrypted due to the combination of both technologies.