Selecting the Appropriate Wireless Mesh Network Technology

Mesh networks provide an ideal technology to implement and enhance a number of applications, such as building and home automation, lighting systems, and retail beacon systems. Mesh networks allow systems to reduce power consumption to increase battery life, extend communication range, and improve overall system reliability. 

In a point-to-point or star network, the signal range is a function of output power. To ensure devices can run on a battery for a sufficient period or to increase energy efficiency, the ideal scenarios is to reduce power consumption and output power. However, despite reduced power consumption, devices still need to be able to communicate and interact with other devices. Each device in a mesh network transmits a shorter distance to reduce its power consumption. As communication is relayed across devices on the mesh network, the total communication range of a system can be improved.

Mesh networks offer additional communications benefits, as well, such as their ability to perform dynamic self-healing. For example, if one node in a mesh network fails, communication can be re-routed to improve reliability. Another important benefit of mesh networks is devices can communicate directly with each other. In many contexts, such as a light-bulb responding to a switch, this provides the responsiveness consumers expect.

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