I am currently working on develop an IOT architecture. The sensing devices are to be integrated with microcontroller. The microcontroller will be integrated to some type of RF communication device. As the community is well aware RF communication protocols that will fit the bill. Once in consideration are Bluetooth smart/BLE, uIP, zigbee and Zwave. I intend to use module primarily to address FCC certification issues. At this point Bluetooth smart/BLE and Zigbee are the prime candidates.

Question: From an Embedded Systems design standpoint what are the pros and cons of using Bluetooth smart/BLE over Zigbee or vice versa


  • $\begingroup$ What sort of range are you trying to achieve and what data rates? $\endgroup$
    – Nick
    Aug 8, 2015 at 3:54
  • $\begingroup$ For most parts the data rates are extremely low a few 100 bytes per minute. $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2015 at 10:54
  • $\begingroup$ I see that you're adding the "embedded-systems" tag to a lot of questions that were migrated from the beta site. If you're going to go through that effort, please also add other relevant tags as well. We have quite a wide variety of questions being migrated, and it would be very helpful if we add more useful tags along with the embedded tag. $\endgroup$
    – skrrgwasme
    Aug 14, 2015 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ I will do that when I find time. I just want to tag them ES tag because it was already there and it was easy. I need to read the Q before I add other tags. Also did all your question come to engineering SE $\endgroup$ Aug 14, 2015 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ Not everything of mine was migrated, but what did get migrated is here. $\endgroup$
    – skrrgwasme
    Aug 14, 2015 at 20:13

2 Answers 2


Those two standards have numerous similarities and the differences really come down to flexibility versus simplicity.

Bluetooth is ubiquitous, feature-rich, and very mature. Newer cell phones will easily interface with your architecture as will a plethora of other devices. It is also relatively faster with a 1Mbit/s transmission data rate (about a quarter of that when you consider overhead).

ZigBee is designed and optimized for an IOT world. Your devices will not have the flexibility of BLE but they will be less expensive and simpler. Don't underestimate simplicity, the simpler a device is the fewer insidious problems you'll have to troubleshoot as you go along! It is also relatively slower with a 250 kbit/s transmission data rate (still well within the rate requirement you mention in your comment).

Overall, ZigBee is the better choice unless you absolutely need a feature that only BLE can provide.


The present technology is all about IOT i. e with millions of devices connected over internet. Zigbee and BLE are two types of wireless communication which is used for interacting between two or more things or devices. Both have their own protocol and both have their merits and demerits.

BLE(Bluetooth low energy) is a wireless personal area network with low power and low cost. It has high dataa rate. It is specially used in Healthcare application like glucose monitoring,blood pressure monitoring of patients which is connected by IOT.

ZIGBEE is a personal are network with a range of about 100m this is not conventional method even though it uses low Power and has low cost because it does not support all types of operating systems (eg. Microsoft, Linux, Android, etc).

BLE is preferred over Zigbee, because it supports all operating systems in general, and mainly because it is supported by mobile. This is a conventional method as we can update the data using mobile sitting anywhere without the physical presence.


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