An important metric to consider when buying beacons is the transmission range of the hardware. There are a lot of things that affect this, such as whether the target device is in a straight line, or if there are any obstacles in the way, like glass, walls etc.
The maximum range for different hardware types are as follows -
- Indoor beacon - ~80 metres (Transmission power @ +4dBm)
- Outdoor beacon - ~80 metres (Transmission power @ +4dBm)
- Pocket beacon - ~50 metres (Transmission power @ +4dBm)
- Keychain beacon - ~25 metres (Transmission power @ +4dBm)
- Long-range beacon - ~300 metres (Transmission power @ +4dBm)
Here is a table that specifies the transmission power to be set to achieve the required transmission range:
To obtain the most out of your beacons make sure that
- There are no obstructions near the beacons to reduce signal strength (like walls, plants, etc). Usually the center of the room is a good place.
- Place the beacons at a higher point to cover maximum distance.
- Although higher transmission power will increase effective range, it also decreases battery life, make sure to play around with the hardware settings to get the best battery-life/range combo.
To know more about the hardware specification of different beacons, please refer to this comparison sheet.