The current version of Estimote Proximity Beacons (hardware revision J1.6) ships with 2 AAA alkaline batteries and Estimote Monitoring enabled by default. This allows for around 3 years of battery life on the default settings.
We recommend them for any kind of use cases based on proximity - detecting visits, identifying people, sending contextual information as users enter or leave beacon's range or automating processes.
Location Beacons (hardware revision F3.6) are shipped with four CR2477 batteries & Estimote Location enabled by default. This allows for up to 5 years of battery life.
Location Beacons are suitable for Estimote Indoor Location so use cases based on (x,y) position of a user - wayfinding, tracking assets etc. For proximity use cases, we strongly suggest the latest iteration of Proximity Beacons.
In practice, battery performance depends on a number of factors:
- number and type of packets enabled
- packet's settings
- conditional broadcasting
- environmental effects
Depending on the above, the beacon can live on a single set of batteries from a couple of months to as long as five years, depending on the type of beacons.
Enabling conditional broadcasting makes beacons go ‘mute’ if specific conditions, based on sensor readings, are met. If the beacon does not broadcast, it uses much less energy. Currently, there are three conditional broadcasting modes:
- Flip to Sleep: beacon is mute when it's on its back
- Motion Only: beacon is mute when it’s still
Location Beacons additionally support:
- Dark to Sleep mode: beacon is mute at a certain light level.
- Scheduled advertising: beacon broadcasts only during a set period.
Read more about conditional broadcasting and its benefits elsewhere.
The ideal operating temperature is 23°C (73.4° F). Battery life is significantly reduced above 60°C (140°F) and below -10°C (14°F).
Low battery level and beacon’s behavior
As the battery ages your Estimote Beacons will continue to operate, but as the battery level approaches a critically low threshold, the Bluetooth radio will begin to exhibit interrupted or truncated radio signals. Once this behavior is exhibited, the beacon will no longer be able to sustain radio presence and the device should be replaced or you may choose to disassemble the beacon and replace the battery, doing so will revive the hardware back to normal operation.
Keeping track of battery life
When you connect to your beacon with the Estimote app, information about its settings and battery life are sent to Estimote Cloud. The cloud not only stores this data but also calculates the remaining battery life. You can always look it up after logging in to your Estimote Account and clicking on a specific beacon.
If the battery is about to die in the next two weeks, you will be automatically notified via email to replace it.
Replacing the battery
If your beacons have already run out of juice, nothing to worry about — you can easily replace the dead battery!
We are shipping beacons with removable enclosures now. You can simply replace the battery by removing the white adhesive, and remove the PCB through the Y-shaped (H-shaped for Location Beacons) hole in the beacon's base.
If you bought Estimote Beacons before December 2015, you'll need to follow this flow:
- You're going to need a sharp object to be able to cut the beacon open.
- Buy a new battery - 1000 mAh CR2477 coin battery (600 mAh CR2450 if you have hardware revision D3.3 or older).
- Hold the beacon firmly with one hand, and cut along the top of the enclosure. Be extra careful!
- Now you can remove the PCB through the hole and simply slide the old battery out from under the battery holder and replace it with the new one. The "+" side should be facing up.
- Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide us with your shipping address. We will send you free enclosures to reskin your beacons.