Can I Build an Automatic Light Fan Control Using RFID?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsCan I Build an Automatic Light Fan Control Using RFID?
RFID Journal Staff asked 10 years ago

If so, how would I go about doing this? And should I use high-frequency or ultrahigh-frequency technology?

—Name withheld


I presume you would like the fan to turn on or off when someone reading a tag entered a room. I am unable to provide step-by-step instructions for how to do this, but you could purchase an RFID reader module with input-output ports on the Internet. These could be connected to an electronic switch that would control the fan. The challenging part would be reading the tag. The module must be connected to an antenna that would emit a signal and communicate with the tag.

A high-frequency (HF) reader would have a read range of three feet or less, so it would be unlikely to interrogate a tag on someone simply entering a room (if he or she waved the tag by a reader in the wall, that could trigger the fan to turn on or off). An ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) device would have a longer read range, but you would not want to mount a large antenna on your fan or in the doorway of your living room in order to read the tag. A smaller antenna would have less coverage area and, therefore, be less effective.

Perhaps some of our readers have additional thoughts about how to do this. If so, they are invited to post them below.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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