A Hybrid RF-VLC System for Energy Efficient Wireless Access

Abdallah Khreishah, Sihua Shao, Ammar Gharaibeh, Moussa Ayyash, Hany Elgala, Nirwan Ansari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


In this paper, we propose a new paradigm in designing and realizing energy efficient wireless indoor access networks, namely, a hybrid system enabled by traditional RF access, such as WiFi, as well as the emerging visible light communication (VLC). VLC facilitates the great advantage of being able to jointly perform illumination and communications, and little extra power beyond illumination is required to empower communications, thus rendering wireless access with almost zero power consumption. On the other hand, when illumination is not required from the light source, the energy consumed by VLC could be more than that consumed by the RF. By capitalizing on the above properties, the proposed hybrid RF-VLC system is more energy efficient and more adaptive to the illumination conditions than the individual VLC or RF systems. To demonstrate the viability of the proposed system, we first formulate the problem of minimizing the power consumption of the hybrid RF-VLC system while satisfying the users requests and maintaining acceptable level of illumination, which is NP-complete. Therefore, we divide the problem into two subproblems. In the first subproblems, we determine the set of VLC access points (AP) that needs to be turned on to satisfy the illumination requirements. Given this set, we turn our attention to satisfying the users' requests for real-time communications, and we propose a randomized online algorithm that, against an oblivious adversary, achieves a competitive ratio of {log (N)log (M)} with probability of success {(1-({1}/{N}))} , where {N} is the number of users and {M} is the number of VLC and RF APs. We also show that the best online algorithm to solve this problem can achieve a competitive ratio of {log } {M}. Simulation results further demonstrate the advantages of the hybrid system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8395016
Pages (from-to)932-944
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Green Communications and Networking
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • HetNets
  • RF access methods
  • Visible-light communication (VLC)
  • WiFi
  • energy efficiency
  • hybrid system
  • illumination
  • wireless access networks


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