Helium’s Update to The Light Hotspot - Mapping Network

Helium’s Update to The Light Hotspot

Helium’s Update to The Light Hotspot

The activation of the light hotspot code is just around the corner, and with developments in its final stage, there is a lot to expect from this new introduction. Continue reading to find out more about the transition process.

On the 11th of May, the light hotspot will go into effect on the blockchain, with developers looking to keep an eye on the transition process after its launch. The introduction of the light hotspot is no doubt a major upgrade from full hotspots. In addition, this new development will see various improved changes to the helium network, which will provide stability and a stronger network for the future.

While the current full helium hotspot is quite efficient, the introduction of light hotspots is a next-generation improvement that will boost and ensure the stability of the network. However, after activating the light hotspot, developers will continue to observe and monitor the network stability before manufacturers get the green light to try out the new hardware.

In this article, we will discuss Helium's transition from Full hotspots to light hotspots.

What Is A Light Hotspot?

For many months now, a lot of people have struggled to grasp the new network concept Helium Inc proposed to the community. However, as soon as Helium began to scale in the community, the team of developers at Helium Inc (now known as Nova labs) realized they needed a more reliable gateway to run the blockchain.

This led to creating a stronger and more effective gateway called the "Light Hotspot." Since Helium began to scale, the blockchain has run solely on the physical (Full) hotspot, which serves a great purpose. However, light hotspots look to be the future of how "loRaWAN gateways" will communicate with the Helium blockchain.

Each hotspot running a full node normally takes up more load as the blockchain network increases, making it fall out of sync due to the much higher compute requirements of the consensus group. Therefore, Helium sought to address this problem by moving the hotspot's consensus work from physical hotspots to Validators. This move helps balance the block times and epochs while giving enough room for the network to grow.

Basically, the validators would control the blockchain and pass information to the gateways. In contrast, the hotspot gateways will get a minimal load and focus on moving data to widen the network coverage and stability.

The transitioning from physical hotspots to light hotspots helps the light hotspot act as that superior gateway that offers better stability around the Blockchain network.

Light Hotspot Vs. Full Hotspot

As the world gravitates forward, we will see several new changes and developments to indicate an advancement in technology. The introduction of the light hotspot looks to phase out the use of full (Physical) hotspots as the primary gateways for blockchain networks. While the full hotspots are effective, they possess limitations that take up a significant amount of resources to transmit data.

Full hotspots majorly require a LoRaWAN module and a computer processing device such as Raspberry Pi 4, ROCK Pi, or any similar alternative. This means that the full hotspots require other hotspots to validate the witnesses using their own computing power. In addition, the hotspot in question must have an updated copy of the blockchain to validate events and transmit data.

However, since validators took over the consensus group in 2021, there will be less demand for high-level processing hotspots. This means that the use of light hotspots with validators will be much more effective in running the blockchain network as they make use of less compute power and do not require syncing, unlike full hotspots.

Helium light hotspots will be able to beacon and witness while the validators validate all the receipts for all the challenges and beacons and witnesses that the hotspots submit to the blockchain.

Benefits of a Light Hotspot

The introduction of light hotspots will significantly improve the Blockchain network. However, the new update will not affect first-generation hotspots, and all consensus activities have moved to the validator mainnet.

With the announcement of Light hotspots in sight, many people are still unaware of this transition's many advantages in the community. Here are some benefits the light hotspots will provide after full activation.

Faster Setup

Perhaps the most notable benefit of introducing the light hotspot is how significantly faster it is, which improves the stability of the network. In addition, the use of light hotspots with the validator mainnet takes more load off the hotspot and provides equal network distribution for a quicker and better experience for the community.

Many owners have complained of experiencing long sync periods due to the amount of load on the hotspot. However, with the introduction of the light hotspot, the load can only get lighter, leading to faster sync time.

Beacon and Witness

Light hotspots will work via the validators to perform optimally and effectively by sharing functions. In addition, the validators handle the completion of challenges which allows the light hotspot to focus on beacons and witnesses and forward data packets.

When Will this Transition Happen?

Light hotspots are currently undergoing various testings for bugs which will continue after the launch day by manufacturers before the final approval by MOC for sales. Once the testing is complete, Nova labs will send a notification to all full hotspots on the blockchain network to update to the newer light hotspot.

This upgrade will take place automatically without requiring you to perform any action while maintaining your hotspot name and rewards.


The light hotspot software will give room for the full hotspots in the network to continue to work with the assistance of validators to separate the functions and load on the hotspot. However, after the approval and launch of the introduction of Light hotspots, all full hotspots will become light hotspots.

The best part? No more Relayed Hotspots.


When is the release date of the light hotspot?

The light hotspots will go into effect on the blockchain on the 11th of May. After various tests, manufacturers will get approved and get the go-ahead to try out the new hardware.

What will happen to my hotspot after the release?
The introduction of the light hotspot will not affect your hotspot. You will continue to earn HNT tokens while running on faster wireless network coverage.

Will Current Hotspot Remain Useful?
Yes, light hotspots will still make use of full hotspots via validators.

Are Data-Only Hotspots the same as Light Hotspots?
No. Data-Only Hotspots will only be rewarded for processing data. They won't be able to earn challenges, witnesses or beacons.

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