Channel Modeling and Characterization for Visible Light Communications

Farshad Miramirkhani, Murat Uysal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we present a comprehensive channel modeling and characterization study for visible light communications. Our study is based on ray tracing, which allows for an accurate description of the interaction of rays emitted from the lighting source within a specified confined space. Contrary to existing works, which are mainly limited to ideal Lambertian sources and purely diffuse reflections, our approach is capable of obtaining channel impulse responses (CIRs) for any nonideal sources, as well as specular and mixed specular-diffuse reflections. Furthermore, we can precisely reflect the presence of objects (e.g., furniture) and wavelength-dependent reflection characteristics of surface materials (e.g., ceilings, floor, walls, and furniture) in a channel study. As case studies, we consider a number of indoor environments with various dimensions and different surface materials, i.e., plaster, gloss paint, wood, aluminum metal, and glass. We further consider various scenarios with different transmitter specifications (i.e., single versus multiple transmitters and array type) and receiver specifications (i.e., location and rotation). For each environment, we obtain CIRs and present a channel characterization study where channel parameters, such as channel DC gain, root mean square (RMS) delay spread, coherence bandwidth, and mean excess delay, are obtained. We also make one-to-one comparisons between infrared and visible-light CIRs for the same environments to emphasize the differences between two optical bands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7339420
JournalIEEE Photonics Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • Visible light communications
  • channel modeling
  • ray tracing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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