tag controlled lights


My first venture in Arduino, so please be gentle.

I'm thinking about having a series of coloured LEDs, controlled automatically by the proximity of several individually identified tags. Each tag would have a value and a colour associated with it, and the controller would detect the tag at range (ideally about 3m) and then change the colours of the LEDs that are lit accordingly.

I'm guessing that the light control side of things will be relatively straightforward, but am more concerned with the tag detection. I'm thinking RFID is probably the only viable option, but am concerned about the cost/range trade off. Most of the low frequency readers have ranges in mm, but UHF seems to be very expensive. Is there a sweet spot for my 3m range? Active tags? BAP tags? Or will they all require readers in the hundreds of dollars?

Are there any other options rather than RFID? I'm guessing Z-Wave won't do what I want.

I'd welcome any and all guidance.



The tag needs to be identifiable so needs to send ID to a receiver. This requires power. In the proximity type cards, the power is transmitted from the sensor and used by the non self powered card to transmit the ID.

Using a non powered card at 3 mtr would require a strong field for the power.

This means a powered Tx is probably needed. If you want hands free, you would need to be constantly Txing.


So, would this mean that I need an active RFID system? Can I use a lower frequency reader with active tags? Does this then reduce the cost of the reader but increase the cost of the tags?

I do not know what system you can use.

Hopefully someone else will have knowledge that can help.