Ceiling lights enhance broadband in St Cloud MN

Minnesota Public Radio recently ran a story on LVX, based in St Cloud MN, has developed a system that will use lights in the ceiling to relieve network congestion. The lights help transport data for short-range communications. MPR provides a brief description of how this will work…

The LVX system puts clusters of its light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, in a standard-sized light fixture. The LEDs transmit coded messages – as a series of 1s and 0s in computer speak – to special modems attached to computers.

A light on the modem talks back to the fixture overhead, where there is sensor to receive the return signal and transmit the data over the Internet. Those computers on the desks aren’t connected to the Internet, except through these light signals, much as Wi-Fi allows people to connect wirelessly.

About two years ago, the St Cloud Times ran a story about a local investor who found a way to transmit data short distances using light. The article is no longer accessible – and I didn’t take terrific notes on the specifics in my post at the time – but the similarities are striking. It’s fun to see an great idea turn into a viable product/service.

This entry was posted in MN, Wireless by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

2 thoughts on “Ceiling lights enhance broadband in St Cloud MN

  1. This is an interesting technology, but I wonder about its applicability. It is more of a Local Area Network technology than broadband technology. For an office environment, it seems to be a major step back from the 100 Mb connection wired LANs that are now the norm. Requiring a special plug-in modem would keep you tied to your office or cube.

    I also wonder about the impact of continuous, rapidly flashing LEDs on people’s work environment.

  2. I this it’s more local area – but more like wireless hot spots that local area networks. I seem to recall some advantage with security from the earlier story I read. Maybe flexibility of wireless, security of LAN.

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