Difference between Infrared, Visible light and Ultraviolet

This page compares Infrared (IR) vs Visible light (VL) vs Ultraviolet (UV) and mentions difference between IR, VL and UV.

All these are part of electromagnetic spectrum. These bands are distinguished mainly based on their unique frequencies and wavelengths. These bands are used in OWC (Optical Wireless Communication) systems such as LiFi, LiDAR, FSO (Free Space Optical) communication, OCC (Optical Camera Communication) and so on.

IR (Infrared)

• Wavelength : 760 nm to 1 mm
• Communication distance : Short and medium ranges in LiFi and OCC
• Advantages: It is not visible for human eye
• Disadvantages: It is not always safe for human. LOS communication and very limited low data rate NLOS communication using reflection of infrared waves.
• Applications : LiFi, OCC (Optical Camera Communication), FSO (Free Space Optical) communication, LiDAR

Visible light (VL)

Following are the features of VL communication.
• VLC technology uses visible light part of the light spectrum.
• It uses wavelength range from 380 nm to 750 nm (i.e. frequency range from 430 THz to 790 THz) for communication.
• Data to be transmitted is modulated before transmission by modulating the light. PA (Power Amplifier) is not needed unlike RF communication.
• LEDs and lasers are used as transmitter or source. Photodiode detectors are used as receivers.
• Similarly LiFi >> is one of the many applications of VLC (Visible Light Communication).

Ultraviolet (UV)

• Wavelength : 10 to 400 nm
• Communication distance : Short and medium ranges in LiFi
• Advantages : High data rate NLOS communication is possible, Not visible for human eye.
• Disadvantages : Not safe for human
• Applications : LiFi, FSO

Tabular difference between IR, VL and UV

Following table mentions difference between IR, VL and UV.

IR vs VL vs UV
Reference : M. Z. Chowdhury et al.:
Comparative Survey of Optical Wireless Technologies: Architectures and Applications

Refer Ultrasonic vs Infrared >> for difference between Ultrasonic sensor and Infrared sensor.

Ultrasonic sensor and Infrared sensor related links

•  Infrared sensor basics and working operation
•  Advantages and disadvantages of Infrared Sensor
•  Ultrasonic sensor basics and working operation
•  Advantages and disadvantages of Ultrasonic sensor

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