What is infrared transmission?

The electromagnetic waves having frequencies from 300 GHz to 400 THz (wavelengths from 1mm to 770 nm) are referred to as infrared (IR) waves. IR uses line-of-sight propagation.

Infrared light is a transmission channel whose features are necessarily different from those of the radio frequencies. A fundamental property of infrared light is that it cannot penetrate the walls. This represents that it can easily include it within a room.

Another advantage of infrared communication is massive bandwidth which is available for use, but has not been exploited to its full extent.

The major disadvantage is that the sun creates emission in the infrared band. This can generate several interferences with IR transmission.


The applications of infrared transmissions are as follows −

  • It can use the infrared signals for short-range communications.

  • Wireless alternatives to linking tools, including a laptop to a printer.

  • Infrared signals are used for transmission between keyboard, mouse, computers and printers.

  • It can use an infrared band in the advancement of very huge-speed wireless LANs in future.


The standards of infrared transmissions are as follows −

  • Several standards have been developed for an Infrared data link (IRDA).

  • The IRDA-C standard provides the bidirectional communications standards used in cordless devices such as mouse, keyboards, joysticks and hand-held computers.

  • The IRDA-0 standard operates at a bit rate of 75k bits/sec, and the distance area is up to 8 meters.

  • There is another standard known as the IRDA-1 standard. It supports the data rates from 115 kb/s to 4 Mb/s, with a distance of up to 1 metre. The IR data link was created as a wireless alternative to connect devices, including computers, to a printer.


The advantages of infrared transmissions are as follows −

  • It is a very high speed transmission.

  • It has a large bandwidth.

  • It is very cheap.

  • It can be simple to create.

  • It provides a wireless connection between two systems.

  • There is no license needed to facilitate it.


The disadvantages of infrared transmissions are as follows −

  • It cannot permeate the barrier.

  • It cannot use it for long-range communication.