If you’ve been reading along, you know I’m a fan of technology that just works without extra hassle. And, to that end, I’m becoming a believer in Bluetooth solutions because it just works with your phone.
Need to keep an eye on a greenhouse or some pets when it gets cold outside and a wireless temperature sensor is more convenient? Looking for a swank grill temperature probe for a gift?
Consider setting up Bluetooth temperature sensors to keep an eye on things for you. Then, you can focus on more important things.
Let’s take a look at what’s available and find the best Bluetooth sensors for your use case.
Off-the-shelf Bluetooth Temperature Sensors for Android and iPhones
Many of you aren’t interested in spending your nights and weekends tinkering with your new Bluetooth temperature sensors. So first, we’ll take a look at the commercial solutions with either Android or iOS support.
Tempo Disc Bluetooth Temperature Sensors
Mobile support: iPhone supported (- stars), Android (3.5 stars) User reviews: 4/5 The Tempo Disc Bluetooth temperature, hygrometer, and dew point sensors can take 18,000 measurements and record statistics as well. They take CR2032 batteries and should last for a year depending on the frequency of readings. They can measure -4º to +167º F with an accuracy of 0.72 degrees. The sensors have a range of about 75 meters line of sight. Finally, it’s compatible with iOS 7 and above and Android 5. And, the app will let you configure the sensor and also set temperature alarms
It’s a little pricier at $45 but the performance certainly beats much of the competition.
WeatherHawk Temperature Sensors
Mobile support: iPhone supported (3.5 stars), Android (3.9 stars) User reviews: 2.5/5 The WeatherHawk Bluetooth sensors are rated to be submerged up to 3 meters (IP-67) and will work with anything newer than a iPhone 4S, iPad 2, or Android 4.3+. The sensors have a range of about 10 meters inside. The temperature is accurate to 1 degree and has a resolution of 1 degree.
The WeatherHawk folks have a host of ideas for how to put them into action:
- Pool water temperature
- Outdoor temperature
- Keeping an eye on a freezer
- Logging your camping trip
- Keeping an eye on a shipment
- Monitoring the health of your HVAC system
For $25, it only takes one broken freezer to recoup the cost of this little sensor. Sounds like a decent idea, right?
BLE Home SensorBug Bluetooth 4 Sensors
Mobile support: iPhone supported (3/5)
User reviews: 4/5 (only 4 reviews)
BLE Home is another new manufacturer with a nice looking Bluetooth temperature sensor. The good thing about BLE Home’s SensorBug lineup is that it advertises a lot more in functionality.
They even have a WiFi bridge coming down the pipe so that you can keep an eye on a remote location.
I like that outside of temperature, you can also take advantage of other functions like:
- Vibration alert (think doors and windows)
- Glass break detection
- Garage door open/close detection
- Light sensing
- iBeacon functionality
The down side to the SensorBug is that it only has an iOS app. The app runs on iPhone 4s, iPad3s, and iPad minis and newer.
Bluetooth Grill Probes
Looking for something a little different?
There are a handful of decent options that have Bluetooth support that’ll connect with your phone to keep an eye on your meat while you keep an eye on the game or your guests.
I’m not going to go through these in detail, because after all, they are a bit outside the home security space. But, I thought you might be interested all the same.
Here are the options:
Don’t even ask me how that last one is worth $100. It monitors up to 4 probes and comes with 2 in the kit. But for that cost, it needs to make me an incredible cook too.
Maybe it helps, but I’m skeptical!
Is Bluetooth the best technology for temperature sensors?
Maybe you’re wondering, “Is Bluetooth for my temperature sensor really the best technology?”.
- are monitoring something in your own house
- only need to access information when you’re close to the sensor
Then, it might work great for you.
On the other hand, if you want to keep an eye on the temperature in a rental house or a second home, then Bluetooth alone just isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need some kind of gateway to put the logged information onto the internet so that you can access it from your phone unless you’re planning on showing up every day . . . kind of defeats the purpose right?
If you are trying to monitor temperature at a distance, then a WiFi temperature sensor may make more sense. Something like the wireless tags that I recently reviewed also are good, even though you do still have to pick up a “tag manager” or hub along with the tags to actually record temperatures. They have the added benefit of syncing up (downloading) logged data once you bring them back into range of a hub.
How to Build a Bluetooth Temperature Sensor with an Arduino
Like to tinker?
Let’s take a look at the ultimate in flexibility with an Arduino temperature sensor. For those with basic coding skills, this Adafruit tutorial may be the way to go.
Here’s the hardware you need:
- an Arduino uno
- a Bluefruit EZ-Link
- a DHT22 temperature sensor
- breadboard and wire
After that, the software is pretty straightforward:
- Arduino IDE for software development
- DHT sensor library from Adafruit
- Python PySerial from Github for communication
After pairing the Arduino and company with your computer via Bluetooth, you’ll be able to push new code over Bluetooth with no cables.
As far as code goes, the folks over at Adafruit have you covered with a basic sketch to measure temperature and humidity and then print it out.
After taking care of the Arduino side, a bit of Python on your PC will read the data from the Arduino and then display it via Tk. You can start with the GitHub repo and then customize for your needs from there.
Please share this with your posse!
Whether you choose to take the easy route or really tinker with the Arduino, a Bluetooth temperature sensor can really come in handy around the house. That’s especially true for the BLE Home version once the WiFi bridge is released. Then, you could use them to prevent frozen pipes in your mountain home from the comfort of your primary residence!
Drop a line in the comments and let me know how you plan on using your sensor. And, don’t forget to share this article with somebody who would like it.