Researchers at Boston University (whose football mascot, incidentally, is a giant light-emitting germanium diode) think they'll be able to combine LED bulbs with wireless networking technology, allowing for nearly complete ubiquity of wireless access points. The technology will be able to communicate data with visible light at up to 10Mbps, and can be adapted to existing power lines.
The bulbs will use the same diode for lighting the room and providing the network connection, flickering, as the Register put it, "like tremendously fast signal lights." Boston U is working on the project with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of New Mexico with a hefty $US18.5m grant from the US National Science Foundation. The researchers see the concept and theoretically sound, but don't have full working models yet. [Smart Lighting ERC via The Register]