We are seeing a growing use of light emitting diodes (LEDs) in a range of applications including lighting, TV and backlight board screen, display etc. In comparison with the traditional incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs, LEDs offer long life-space, much higher energy efficiency, high performance cost ratio and above all very fast switching capability. LED based Visible Light Communications (VLC) is an emerging field of optical communications that focuses on the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that humans can see. Depending on the transmission distance, we can divide the whole optical network into two categories, long haul and short haul. Visible light communication can be a promising candidate for short haul applications. In this paper, we outline the configuration of VLC, its unique benefits, and describe the state of the art research contributions consisting of advanced modulation formats including adaptive bit loading OFDM, carrierless amplitude and phase (CAP), pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) and single carrier Nyquist, linear equalization and nonlinear distortion mitigation based on machine learning, quasi-balanced coding and phase-shifted Manchester coding. These enabling technologies can support VLC up to 10Gb/s class free space transmission.
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