Dimming is an important feature of an indoor lighting system where the illumination level can be controlled by the user. Therefore, integrating a visible light communication (VLC) system with an illumination system poses some challenges. One of the main issues is that the light unit should be “ON” all the time to ensure continuous communication. To ensure acceptance and adoption of VLC systems, an important issue should be addressed: how to communicate when the lights are “OFF” or partially dimmed. In this chapter, we propose five new infrared optical wireless (IROW) systems to support VLC systems when the light is totally turned off or significantly dimmed. To take advantage of both VLC and IROW, we introduce and implement the concept of a collaborative VLC/IROW system. In addition, we investigate the impact of partial dimming on the VLC system’s performance, and we propose an adaptive rate technique (ART) to mitigate the impact of light dimming. Moreover, in the case of no dimming, the VLC and IROW systems can collaborate to increase the data rate so it is higher than that in the pure VLC system. We have achieved 10 Gbps in an indoor environment, which is a 2× increase in the data rate compared with a pure VLC system.
Part of the book: Visible Light Communications