Passive Localization Through Light Flicker Fingerprinting

Bilal Munir, Vladimir Dyo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we show that the flicker waveforms of various CFL and LED lamp models exhibit distinctive waveform patterns due to harmonic distortions of rectifiers and voltage regulators, the key components of modern lamp drivers. We then propose a passive localization technique based on fingerprinting these distortions that occur naturally in indoor environments and thus requires no infrastructure or additional equipment. The novel technique uses principal component analysis (PCA) to extract the most important signal features from the flicker frequency spectra followed by k-NN clustering and neural network classifiers to identify a light source based on its flicker signature. The evaluation on 39 flicker patterns collected from 8 residential locations demonstrates that the technique can identify a location within a house with up to 90% accuracy and identify an individual house from a set of houses with an average accuracy of 86.3%.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2019

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