Illumination, data transmission, and energy harvesting: The threefold advantage of VLC

Harilaos G. Sandalidis, Alexander Vavoulas, Theodoros A. Tsiftsis, Nicholas Vaiopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Visible light communication (VLC) is a promising technology that meets illumination and information transmission requirements in an indoor environment. Because light waves convey energy, a VLC link may exploit that fact for energy harvesting purposes. In this context, a single light emitting diode lamp located at a close distance over a tablet or laptop PC can potentially offer simultaneous lighting, Internet access, and battery recharging without cables. The present study introduces this threefold role of VLC systems by properly adapting some energy harvesting receiver architectures recently launched for usage in RF communications. The rate-energy trade-off for these architectures is revealed in order to maximize the efficiency of simultaneous energy and information reception, by elaborating on indicative numerical results. Furthermore, the performance in terms of the bit-error rate for pulse amplitude modulated signals is investigated. The results obtained offer some useful insights into the effective optical receiver implementation from the aspect of information theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3421-3427
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Apr 20 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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