Li-Fi versus Wi-Fi for underwater communications

Physics Asked by T. Ari on May 9, 2021

One of the main advantages of Li-Fi over Wi-Fi that is often stated in journals is that Li-Fi works underwater while Wi-Fi does not. But the frequency of visible light is much higher than the frequency of radio waves used by Wi-Fi, so by the skin depth equation shouldn’t visible light be attenuated more than radio waves.

Is there something I’m missing or are these journals misleading?

One Answer

I think the statement seems to be something along the lines of: Wi-Fi does not work at all underwater but Li-Fi can work underwater.

I found this article on Li-Fi which references Wikipedia.

The wiki article says:

Since light can travel through water, Li-Fi based communications could offer much greater mobility.[46] Li-Fi's utility is limited by the distance light can penetrate water. Significant amounts of light do not penetrate further than 200 meters. Past 1000 meters, no light penetrates.[47]

It appears that the utility of Li-Fi is in comparison to cabled communication and Wi-Fi underwater. In this case up to 200m wireless communication may be an advantage.

Correct answer by Jay on May 9, 2021

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