Germany's Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute research organisation has demonstrated broadband speeds of between 500 and 800mbps (megabits per second) via off-the-shelf-ceiling lamp LEDs that supported wireless local area networks.

The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute says the newly developed patent protected components could deliver speeds over 1 gigabit per second using a single light frequency. But as off-the-shelf LEDs mainly use three light frequencies or light colors, speeds of up to 3 gigabits per second were "feasible", the Institute said.

"Development of the components as modules makes them suitable for customised integration in technology developments such as automobile communication, hospital operating theatres where safety is at a premium, and trade shows and factory halls where radio communication is problematic.

"This new development represents a major step forward towards optical high-speed WLANs," said the Institute.