Researchers in Malaysia noting the receiving and transmitting similarities between the plasma baked into every fluorescent light tube and standard metal Wi-Fi antennas, have succeeded in creating light tube antennas that could solve the issue of Wi-Fi signal variances that often occur within office buildings. The researchers, based at Universiti Teknologi MARA, have already developed a prototype that consists of a standard, 62-cm. fluorescent tube that connects to a router via a tuned wire coil sleeve that fits over one end of the tube. The researchers also note that the tubes’ receiving and transmitting properties work whether the light is on or off.

 

Installing these kind of fluorescent light tubes across a multi-story office building could make Wi-Fi dead spots a thing of the past. Another possibility for this new technology could be in light installations on outdoor billboards. Outfitting the billboards with a light tube antenna array connected to a Wi-Fi router could, theoretically, proved large-scale wireless communication. However, there’s no indication that fluorescent light tube Wi-Fi antennas are coming to the U.S. any time soon.

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