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5 "W" you must know about LoRa modules

LoRa (Long Range) is a wireless communication technology specifically designed for the Internet of Things (IoT). It is a low-power, wide-area networking (LPWAN) technology that enables long-range and low-cost communication for IoT devices.


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What is LoRa

Principle of LoRa technology 

LoRa (Long Range Wireless) is a low-power, long-range wireless communication technology. It is based on spread spectrum diffusion technology, using frequency modulation and reverse error correction coding to achieve reliable communication. LoRa uses a long code sequence (called a spreading code) to modulate data to increase the anti-interference ability and transmission distance of the signal. LoRa uses low data rates and wideband signals, enabling it to work in environments with low signal-to-noise ratios and provide long-distance communication capabilities.

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LoRa Communication Distance
The communication distance of LoRa depends on many factors, including transmit power, receive sensitivity, environmental conditions and the presence of obstacles, etc. Generally speaking, LoRa can cover a range of hundreds of meters to thousands of meters in an urban environment, while in rural or open areas, its communication distance can reach tens of kilometers.


LoRa Power Consumption Characteristics
LoRa has excellent low power consumption characteristics, making it very popular in IoT applications with low energy requirements. LoRa nodes consume extremely low current in standby mode and are still able to maintain low power consumption during data transmission. This allows LoRa nodes to be powered by low-capacity batteries, extending the battery life of the device.

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LoRa Data Transfer Rate
The data transmission rate of LoRa is relatively low, usually between a few thousand bits per second and tens of thousands of bits per second. The actual data transfer rate depends on the LoRa module used and the parameters set. The focus of LoRa is long-distance communication and low power consumption, rather than high-speed data transmission. This makes LoRa suitable for applications requiring low data rates, such as sensor data monitoring and remote monitoring.

LoRaWAN Protocol Analysis

LoRaWAN is an open standard communication protocol based on LoRa technology. LoRaWAN defines the communication specification and network architecture between LoRa devices and the network. It adopts a star topology in which LoRa devices are connected to LoRaWAN network servers through LoRa gateways. LoRaWAN supports authentication of devices, secure data transmission, and low-power operation, allowing devices to run for long periods of time and communicate reliably with the network. LoRaWAN also provides flexible data transmission options, including two-way communication, broadcast and multicast functions, to meet different application needs.

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LoRa VS LoRAWAN: Related but Different

LoRa (Long Range Wireless) and LoRaWAN (LoRa Wide Area Network) are two related but different concepts.

LoRa is a physical layer modulation technique that utilizes low-power spread spectrum diffusion technology to provide long-distance, low-power, and low-data-rate communications. LoRa is a proprietary wireless technology developed and introduced by Semtech Corporation. It is used as a form of wireless connectivity in Internet of Things (IoT) applications, allowing devices to communicate over long distances, typically ranging from a few kilometers to tens of kilometers.

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LoRaWAN is an open standard communication protocol based on LoRa technology. LoRaWAN defines the communication protocol and architecture between LoRa devices and networks, enabling LoRa devices to connect to Wide Area Networks (WAN). LoRaWAN adopts a star network topology, in which LoRa devices with long communication range and low power consumption are connected to the LoRaWAN network server in the cloud through a gateway. This web server acts as a central coordinator, managing device connections and data transfers. LoRaWAN supports secure two-way communication with features such as device authentication, data encryption, and data integrity protection.

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Therefore, LoRa is a physical layer modulation technology, and LoRaWAN is a communication protocol and network architecture based on LoRa technology. LoRa provides long-distance, low-power communication capabilities, while LoRaWAN defines the communication specifications between devices and networks, enabling LoRa devices to connect to LoRaWAN networks and perform two-way communication. LoRaWAN is designed for IoT applications, featuring wide-area coverage, low power consumption, long battery life, and security, making it suitable for various IoT scenarios.


why LoRa has a long range
LoRa (Long Range) technology is designed to achieve long-range communication for IoT devices. There are several key reasons why LoRa has a long range:

Low Power and Sensitivity: LoRa devices are designed to operate at low power levels while maintaining good sensitivity. This allows LoRa signals to travel over longer distances without requiring high transmission power. The sensitivity of LoRa receivers enables them to detect and decode weak signals, extending the range of communication.

 Spread Spectrum Modulation: LoRa utilizes spread spectrum modulation, specifically Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS), which spreads the signal across a wide bandwidth. This spreading technique allows LoRa signals to have better resistance to interference and noise. By using a wide bandwidth, LoRa can achieve longer communication range compared to narrowband technologies.

Optimized Signal Modulation: LoRa employs modulation schemes that are optimized for long-range communication. It uses a unique combination of chirp modulation and forward error correction (FEC) techniques. The chirp modulation enables long-range communication by leveraging the properties of frequency variation over time, while FEC helps improve signal robustness and reduce errors in transmission.

 Sub-GHz Frequency Bands: LoRa operates in the sub-GHz frequency bands, such as 868 MHz (Europe) and 915 MHz (North America). These lower frequency bands offer better propagation characteristics, allowing signals to travel further with lower attenuation. They also have better penetration capabilities through obstacles like buildings and vegetation.

Adaptive Data Rate (ADR): LoRa supports adaptive data rate (ADR), which allows devices to dynamically adjust their transmission parameters based on the signal quality and distance to the gateway. This optimization ensures efficient use of the available bandwidth and power, resulting in extended range while maintaining reliable communication.

Gateway Placement: LoRa networks are typically designed with strategically placed gateways that provide coverage over a wide area. The distributed nature of gateways helps extend the range of communication and enables devices at the edge of the network to connect reliably.

It's important to note that the actual range of LoRa communication can vary depending on factors such as the environment, antenna quality, power settings, and regulatory constraints. However, with its low power consumption, spread spectrum modulation, optimized modulation schemes, and sub-GHz frequency bands, LoRa technology offers significant advantages in achieving long-range communication for IoT applications.

How does stable diffusion impact on LoRa 

Stable diffusion in LoRa (Long Range) technology can have a significant impact on the range and coverage of LoRa signals. Here's how it works:

Increased Range: Stable diffusion in LoRa allows for longer communication ranges compared to traditional wireless technologies. LoRa signals can travel several kilometers in open areas and penetrate obstacles such as buildings and walls more effectively. This increased range is achieved by using a combination of low data rates, spread spectrum modulation, and forward error correction techniques.

Related terms about Stable diffusion:

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Improved Coverage: Stable diffusion helps extend the coverage area of LoRa networks. By employing adaptive data rate techniques, LoRa devices can adjust their transmission parameters based on the signal strength and quality of the communication link. This ensures that devices at the edge of the network can still communicate reliably, even in challenging environments with weak signals.

Robust Signal Penetration: LoRa signals have good penetration capabilities, allowing them to travel through obstacles like walls and vegetation. This makes LoRa suitable for applications that require communication in urban, indoor, or dense foliage environments.

Low Power Consumption: Stable diffusion in LoRa enables devices to achieve long battery life. By utilizing low data rates and optimizing transmission parameters, LoRa devices can operate with minimal power consumption while maintaining sufficient range and coverage.

Scalability: The use of stable diffusion techniques in LoRa networks facilitates scalability. LoRa supports a large number of devices per gateway, allowing for the deployment of extensive networks with thousands or even millions of connected devices.

Overall, stable diffusion in LoRa technology extends the range, improves coverage, enhances signal penetration, conserves power, and enables scalable deployments, making it suitable for various IoT applications such as smart cities, agriculture, industrial monitoring, and asset tracking.


Where is the specific application field of LoRa in IoT?

In the Internet of Things (IoT), LoRa technology has a wide range of applications. Here are some specific application areas where LoRa is widely adopted:

Smart city: LoRa is used in smart lighting systems, smart parking management, garbage management, environmental monitoring, urban infrastructure monitoring, etc., providing intelligent and efficient urban management.

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Agriculture and Agricultural Internet of Things: LoRa is widely used in the field of agriculture, including soil moisture monitoring, meteorological data collection, irrigation system control, livestock tracking and management, etc., providing intelligent agricultural solutions.

Industrial monitoring and automation: LoRa is used for industrial equipment monitoring, energy management, predictive maintenance, safety monitoring and automation control, etc., to improve production efficiency and reduce costs.

Smart grid and power management: LoRa is used in smart meters, power sensors, electricity monitoring, grid status monitoring, etc., to achieve energy efficiency management and smart grid construction.

Logistics and supply chain management: LoRa can be used for logistics tracking, cargo tracking, temperature and humidity monitoring, inventory management, etc., providing real-time logistics and supply chain data.

Environmental monitoring and protection: LoRa is used in air quality monitoring, water quality monitoring, noise monitoring, forest fire monitoring, etc., which contributes to environmental protection and sustainable development.

Building and facility management: LoRa is used for building automation, equipment monitoring, security monitoring, indoor positioning, etc., to improve the efficiency and manageability of buildings and facilities.

Smart health care: LoRa is used in smart health monitoring, telemedicine, elderly monitoring, etc., providing wearable devices and remote monitoring solutions.

These are just some of the main application areas of LoRa in the Internet of Things. In fact, LoRa technology can also be applied to other fields, such as security systems, smart homes, water resource management, etc. LoRa's long-range communication capabilities, low power consumption, and cost-effectiveness make it an ideal choice for IoT applications.

When to use LoRa module and Digital Radio Transceiver in combination

The combination of LoRa and Transceiver can provide more flexible and reliable communication solutions in some specific application scenarios. When deciding whether to combine LoRa with a data radio, there are trade-offs between communication needs, budget constraints, and system requirements.

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The combined use of LoRa and digital radio stations is mainly in the following scenarios:

Communication distance exceeds the range of LoRa: Although LoRa technology has a long communication distance, it may require a longer communication distance in some specific applications. In this case, the data transmission station can be used in combination with LoRa to extend the communication range and achieve farther data transmission.

Need for higher data transfer rates: Although LoRa technology offers the advantages of low power consumption and long-distance communication, its data transfer rates are relatively low. If the application requires higher data transfer rates, a data link radio can be combined to meet higher bandwidth requirements.

Complex communication environment: In some environments, such as dense urban areas or high-interference environments, there may be more wireless signal interference or obstacles. At this time, the use of digital transmission stations can provide stronger anti-interference ability and signal penetration ability to enhance the stability and reliability of communication.

Special application requirements: Some special applications may require the combination of LoRa and data transmission to meet specific needs, such as remote drone control, ocean measurement, and control, remote robot operation, etc.

It should be noted that combining LoRa and digital radios may increase system complexity and cost because two different communication technologies need to be maintained at the same time. Therefore, there is a trade-off between communication needs, budget constraints, and system requirements when deciding whether to combine LoRa with digital radio.


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