The impact of solar irradiance on visible light communications

Mohamed Sufyan Islim, Stefan Videv, Majid Safari, Enyuan Xie, Jonathan J. D. McKendry, Erdan Gu, Martin D. Dawson, Harald Haas

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60 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper aims to address the perception that visible light communication (VLC) systems cannot work under the presence of sunlight. A complete framework is presented to evaluate the performance of VLC systems in the presence of solar irradiance at any given location and time. The effect of solar irradiance is investigated in terms of degradations in signal to noise ratio, data rate, and bit error rate. Direct current (DC) optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing is used with adaptive bit and energy loading to mitigate DC wander interference and low-frequency ambient light noise. It was found that reliable communication can be achieved under the effect of solar irradiance at high-speed data rates. An optical bandpass blue filter is shown to compensate for half of the reduced data rate in the presence of sunlight. This work demonstrates data rates above 1 Gb/s of a VLC link under strong solar illuminance measured at 50350 lux in clear weather conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2376-2386
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number12
Early online date8 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2018


  • light fidelity (LiFi)
  • OFDM
  • solar irradiance
  • visible light communication

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