What devices can you use on Helium?

Heli­um opened the door for a lot of us into the world of LoRaWAN, which stands for Long Range Wide Area Net­works. After all the excite­ment of get­ting up Hotspots (tech­ni­cal­ly, “gate­ways”) up to earn HNT for pro­vid­ing cov­er­age, we’re left ask­ing, “What can you do with Helium?”

One of the best places to start in an indus­try that already exists is to see what’s already on the table. Sure, it’s fun to fig­ure out build­ing your own DIY sen­sors, but for those of you think­ing about run­ning a Heli­um-based busi­ness, you just want answers that work. With that in mind, here’s a long list of pos­si­ble options for ya, cour­tesy of Felix Heins over at The Things Indus­tries.

I’ve bro­ken these down into cat­e­gories that make sense to me and may help you find a sen­sor or solu­tion. Keep in mind that many busi­ness mod­els earn their mon­ey off pro­vid­ing the user-fac­ing data and not sell­ing the sen­sor. My pre­dic­tion (and where I’ve lit­er­al­ly placed my bet by invest­ing in ’em) is that com­pa­nies like UplinkEngine will start to become aggre­ga­tors of all the dif­fer­ent dash­boards as well as offer­ing their own in-house cus­tom options, all avail­able for white-labeling. 

With that, let’s get into the list. I’ve tried to describe what each sen­sor does very briefly, some­times in my own words, some­times pulling direct­ly from the com­pa­ny sales page. Please let me know what you find use­ful, and if you’re look­ing for a sen­sor you don’t see here, drop a descrip­tion in the com­ments and I’ll see what I can find through my net­work of IoT con­tacts. The end goal here is to help every­one grow togeth­er by shar­ing the best infor­ma­tion out there.


eDoc­tor - Patient Vital Signs Mon­i­tor­ing Solu­tion by Tektelic

Sani-Nudge — Hand Hygiene Track­er — Clin­i­cal stud­ies and val­i­da­tions of Sani Nudge show that hos­pi­tals can achieve sig­nif­i­cant improve­ments in their facil­i­ties in any hand hygiene situation. 


EM 2050 Eval­u­a­tion Kit - Satel­lite con­nec­tiv­i­ty in Europe by Echostar Mobile

Spacetech Den­mach — Den­mach ONE — Satel­lite con­nec­tiv­i­ty for devices. “Our ground-break­ing tech­nol­o­gy gives a voice to all things through the LoRaWAN con­nec­tion into space. ”

Air Quality/Weather

CO2, Temp, Humid­i­ty “Stop Light Sen­sor” — Teneo Sto­plicht — Sen­sor that shows var­i­ous air para­me­ter read­ings and gives you a red or green light for “good” or “bad”

Mile­sight AM300 Series — Indoor Air Qual­i­ty Mon­i­tor­ing. The 319 runs off of bat­ter­ies, the 307 is pow­ered by a USB cable. I’ve got the 307 and would prob­a­bly get the 319 for my next install.

Decent­lab Indoor Ambiance Mon­i­torCO2, TVOC, and a motion sensor

Elsys Eco CO2 — Tem­per­a­ture, humid­i­ty and CO2 sen­sor, pow­ered by indoor solar cell.

Browan Indoor Air Qual­i­ty Mon­i­tor Tab — Same form as the orig­i­nal Heli­um Track­er Tab, but with dif­fer­ent sen­sors inside to mon­i­tor Tem­per­a­ture, Rel­a­tive Humid­i­ty and Volatile Organ­ic Com­pound levels.

Thermokon NOVOS 3 x LoRaWAN — Room Oper­at­ing Unit — Temp, humid­i­ty, CO2

Sense­CAP S2103 CO2, Temp, Humid­i­ty — A bat­tery-pow­ered IP66 wire­less CO2, air temp and humi sen­sor, range from 400 to 10000 ppm, ‑40°C to 85°C, and 0 to 100 %RH, equipped with built-in Blue­tooth and APP ser­vice for OTA con­fig­u­ra­tion and remote device management.

Sense­CAP S2102 8 in 1 Weath­er Sta­tion col­lects and uploads air tem­per­a­ture, humid­i­ty, wind speed/direction, rain­fall, light inten­si­ty, UV index, and baro­met­ric pres­sure data.

Sen­ze­mo — Micro­cli­mate sen­sor SMC30 — col­lects data for tem­per­a­ture, rel­a­tive humid­i­ty, and air pressure.

Sil­vanet Wild­fire Sen­sor by Dryad — designed to detect for­est fires dur­ing the ear­ly stages (even dur­ing the smol­der­ing phase, with­in the first 60 min­utes) and to mon­i­tor the micro­cli­mate, mea­sur­ing tem­per­a­ture, humid­i­ty and air pressure. 

MCli­mate — Vic­ki - Smart radi­a­tor ther­mo­stat valve that con­tains a tem­per­a­ture and humid­i­ty sen­sor allow­ing for tem­per­a­ture con­trol and mon­i­tor­ing tem­per­a­ture and humid­i­ty from dis­tance. Man­u­al tar­get tem­per­a­ture selec­tion is pos­si­ble by rotat­ing the out­er ring of the device. The tar­get tem­per­a­ture is dis­played on the device.

General Sensors

Wit­tra IoT Out of the Box kit — Wit­tra is an IoT hard­ware com­pa­ny mak­ing both gate­ways and many sen­sors.

Wit­tra C{x}ameleon Tag — Extends hard­ware life, opti­mizes inven­to­ry costs and reduces waste.

Wat­te­co BoB Assis­tant — BoB Assis­tant is a tech­nol­o­gy for pre­dic­tive main­te­nance and oper­a­tional assis­tance by per­ma­nent mon­i­tor­ing of vibra­tions and record­ed tem­per­a­tures of iso­lat­ed sys­tems (pump, air con­di­tion­ing, cool­ing unit, fan…)

Wat­te­co — Movee Devices — Track­ing, geolo­ca­tion, move­ment, vibra­tion, and oth­er monitoring.

Smart Ends — Brighter Bins Smart Sen­sors — BrighterBins accu­rate­ly mea­sures the fill lev­el of waste-wells, dust­bins, con­tain­ers, and oth­er bins.

Citi­light iLu­mi­nate — Smart Light Pole Mount - Light for util­i­ty poles that reports when it’s bro­ken as well as dims when it’s light outside.

SAFT IoT Smart Selec­tor — Bat­ter­ies built for IoT sen­sors. Their inter­ac­tive “solu­tion pick­er” seems like an excel­lent way to steer cus­tomers to the right thing and save time with direct­ing sales energy.

Kuan­do Busy­light — Light that shows green/red/blue for “sta­tus, cues, and noti­fi­ca­tion”. Can inte­grate with you cal­en­dar so your office shows a red light when you’re on a call and don’t want to be disturbed.

Enginko has a wide range of sen­sors which you can find here.

Thermokon — Win­dow Open/Close sen­sor (EU only). They make a ton of oth­er LoRaWAN sen­sors as well, worth check­ing out their website.

VOC­Sens — Gas sens­ing — Not LoRaWAN, but a sen­sor that could be hooked to a node. Detect/measures ammo­nia, car­bon monox­ide, nitro­gen diox­ide, formalde­hyde, acetalde­hyde now, and will soon add in detection/measurement of methane, CO2, hydro­gen sul­fide. Also under devel­op­ment: BTEX, eth­yl­ene oxide (EtO), eth­yl­ene, hydro­gen sul­fide (SO2), hydro­gen (H2) and acetone. 

Meshed nCounter — Peo­ple counter based on the count­ing of Wi-Fi enabled devices in a spec­i­fied zone, nCounter reports the num­ber of Wi-Fi con­nect­ed devices that entered a zone, left a zone and the aver­age “dwell-time” of all devices present.

TWTGNeon Vibra­tion Sen­sor for mea­sur­ing whether or not that A/C unit is still hum­ming away up on your roof.

Para­met­ric PCR2LIDAR Peo­ple Coun­ters — Sup­port is expert but these stymied me for a long time.

Sense­CAP Soil Mois­ture & Temp mea­sures soil vol­u­met­ric water con­tent (VWC) and temperature.

Sim­plio Con­nect­ed But­tons — Keep track of sen­ti­ment or prob­lems in pub­lic and pri­vate spaces.

Tek­tel­ic Meet­ing Room E‑Ink Dis­play — Eas­i­ly and effi­cient­ly track and man­age meet­ing room occu­pan­cy sta­tus and bookings

Teneo Fill Sen­sor — Waste Con­tain­ers - The fill­ing sen­sor is a ded­i­cat­ed Inter­net of things solu­tion from Teneo IoT BV that aims to solve the prob­lem of lit­ter, inef­fi­cient waste col­lec­tion, pol­lut­ed air (CO? emis­sions) & waste of resources through the fill­ing degree sensor.

Wire­less M‑Bus Range Exten­der — Col­lects wire­less M‑Bus mes­sages from util­i­ty meters and for­wards them to a LoRaWAN® network.

Toran’O AtEx Zone 1 — Used to report sta­tus changes, pulse count val­ues and ana­log mea­sure­ments of equip­ment in an AtEx 1 sen­si­tive zone such as water, gas, elec­tric­i­ty or ther­mal ener­gy meters, mechan­i­cal pres­sure switch­es, pres­sure transducers.

TRIPHAS’O sen­sor allows the remote read­ing of the elec­tri­cal ener­gy con­sump­tion of a three-phase instal­la­tion in a non-intru­sive way via the LoRaWAN® network. 

eWattch TyNess Mod­u­lar — Com­bines many func­tion­al­i­ties: mod­bus, mbus, PT100 tem­per­a­ture mea­sure­ment, opti­cal sen­sor mea­sure­ment, volt­age mea­sure­ment, cur­rent mea­sure­ment, etc.

eWattch TyN­ode — Pulse count­ing, dig­i­tal input, tem­per­a­ture via PT100 probe, or mea­sure­ment of ana­log sig­nal 4–20mA or 0–10V

Sen­soter­ra Mul­ti-Depth Soil Sen­sor — The sen­sor comes with 6 soil mois­ture sen­sors in one device. Know­ing the soil mois­ture at sev­er­al depths will allow you to track the health of your plant at its active root zone dur­ing the whole crop cycle.

Dev Boards & DIY

STM32 Nucleo-WL55JCSTM32 LoRaWAN board with 3 LEDs, 3 but­tons, and a reset but­ton. Yeehaw!

Por­ten­ta Vision Shield — This hard­ware add-on will let you run embed­ded com­put­er vision appli­ca­tions, con­nect wire­less­ly via LoRa® to the Arduino Cloud or your own infra­struc­ture, and acti­vate your sys­tem upon the detec­tion of sound events.

Sense­CAP Hub S2100 can con­nect to MODBUS-RTU RS485/Analog/GPIO sen­sors and trans­mit data from sen­sors to the LoRaWAN network.

Ste­val-Astra1B — Mul­ti­con­nec­tiv­i­ty asset track­ing — devel­op­ment kit and ref­er­ence design that sim­pli­fies pro­to­typ­ing, test­ing and eval­u­at­ing advanced asset track­ing appli­ca­tions such as live­stock mon­i­tor­ing, fleet man­age­ment, and logistics.

Controllers & I/O Magic

Com­tac Cluey — The Cluey is designed for mon­i­tor­ing and con­trol­ling tasks in elec­tric­i­ty, water or oth­er infra­struc­ture networks.

Wat­te­co In’O Sen­sor — Class A or Class C sen­sor designed to trans­form any type of bina­ry I/O sen­sor into a remote wire­less sen­sor that mon­i­tors and con­trols indus­tri­al equip­ment status.

Enginko MCT-LW13MIO — This device trans­mits the state of its 16 inputs and con­trols 8 out­puts through the LoRaWAN® net­work. All these inputs and out­puts are gal­van­i­cal­ly isolated.

Arduino MKR WAN 1310 — Hook it all up for your DIY and one-off projects. 


ioTrack­er — Smart track­er with but­ton, buzzer, and LED.

Ker­link Wanesy — Indoor Posi­tion­ing Sys­tem - LoRaWAN, Blue­tooth, WiFi

Mokos­mart LW001-BG Pro — Track­er with 4000 mAh bat­tery, 108.6 x 60 x 33.2mm

TD Syn­nex Low Pow­er Asset Track­er — Com­bined LoRa and Wi-Fi pas­sive scan­ning func­tion­al­i­ty pro­vides accu­rate indoor geolo­ca­tion accu­ra­cy, so you can keep track of remote assets around the clock.

SCDSCD18-LoRa GPS — Inte­grates oth­er pro­to­cols such as Blue­tooth and WiFi posi­tion.

Rhi­noEdge Puck 50 — Rhi­no Horn track­er — 48 × 25 mm

Tek­tel­ic SEAL Wear­able LoRaWAN GPS Track­er - Belt mount­ed per­son­nel tracker

Solar pow­ered asset track­er — com­bined LoRa and Wi-Fi pas­sive scan­ning func­tion­al­i­ty pro­vides accu­rate indoor geolo­ca­tion accu­ra­cy, so you can keep track of remote assets around the clock. The unit also pro­vides reli­able, opti­mized con­nec­tiv­i­ty and cov­er­age for the next gen­er­a­tion 4G LTE Cat-M1 and NB-IoT networks—and seam­less­ly falls back to 2G net­works if necessary.

Wild boar ear tag track­ers — Due to the light weight of the device and the attach­ment to the ear, even juve­nile ani­mals which exhib­it strong future growth can be tagged. With devices’ data stor­age capa­bil­i­ty, migrat­ing indi­vid­u­als can be tracked all year around with­out any data loss.

Dig­i­tal Mat­ter Yab­by Edge — Indoor/outdoor track­er fea­tur­ing up to 12 years bat­tery life in a small rugged hous­ing avail­able in Cel­lu­lar LTE‑M / NB-IoT or LoRaWAN® versions

Power/Energy Sensors

Acrios M‑Bus IoT Elec­tri­cal Meter read­er — M‑Bus to LoRaWAN or NB-IoT finds its appli­ca­tion main­ly in the read­ing of elec­tric­i­ty meters and calorimeters.

Eagle 1500 — Sin­gle-phase din rail smart meter with a built-in mag­net­ic 80A latch­ing relay and an SMA sock­et for an exter­nal antenna.

Enginko Ener­gy Meter Plug — Com­pact ener­gy meter for mon­i­tor­ing the pow­er con­sump­tion of the load, which can remote­ly be switched on/off. Equipped with a recharge­able bat­tery for mains out­age detection.

Izi-io 4840 — Sub­sta­tion Monitoring

Klax mod­ern elec­tric­i­ty meter read­ers (Europe)

Solar for IoT — Solar pack­ages for many dif­fer­ent sen­sor pow­er requirements.

Netvox 809A Wire­less Plug/Power Meter — Wire­less plug and play pow­er out­let with con­sump­tion mon­i­tor­ing for indoor use. It can remote­ly con­trol the out­put switch and detect the out­put power.

IoT Service Providers

You can learn a fair amount by just cruis­ing around an IoT com­pa­ny’s web­site, see­ing what they offer and how they posi­tion it. I’m includ­ing these in this list to give you a head­start on how you might build & sell an IoT business.

Main­link - Smart IoT Services

Cital — Soil Mois­ture Sen­sors and weath­er monitoring

Lacu­na SpaceLS300 Sen­sor and Relay, inter­op­er­abil­i­ty from space with ter­res­tri­al LPWANs like Helium

Water Sensors

Aqua-Scope Ball Valve Ser­vo — Need to switch water flow off and on? Check it, yo.

Droople iLink & Flow sen­sor — Mon­i­tor­ing real-time flow rate ana­lyt­ics for car­bon fil­ters, soft­en­ers, appli­ances and san­i­tary ware such as toi­lets and sinks.

Alliot Tech­nol­o­gy Water Flow Meter — Avail­able to suit a vari­ety of pipe sizes, the Robeau LoRaWAN® water flow meter can also inte­grate with the Stre­ga smart water valve.

Lai­ier Water Leak Tape — the world’s first smart tape that acts as a water leak detec­tor and is LAI­IER’s first solu­tion using Sev­ern technology. 

Con­trol-IX Water Meter read­er — For large scale deploy­ments; insti­tu­tion­al lev­el. Will Nova work with Con­trol-IX? Maybe…

Gateway Providers

Heli­um’s long term goal is to allow any gate­way to join the net­work. While that’s not where we are right now (ear­ly 2023), this list of gate­way man­u­fac­tur­ers is good to keep in your back pock­et for future use, OR if you want to lever­age the Data Only gate­way option you can start to use any gate­way right now.

Con­duit 300 Series IoT Pro­gram­ma­ble Gateway

HT Micron LoRa Sys­tem In A Pack­age - For the geeki­er among you…HTLRBL32L is a high­ly com­pact and low-pow­er wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tion device fea­tur­ing LoRa® and Blue­tooth® Low Ener­gy capa­bil­i­ties in a tiny 13x13x1.1 mm package.

Mile­sight UG65 — LoRaWAN Gateway

Miro Edge — LoRaWAN Gate­way. The small form fac­tor, inte­grat­ed inter­faces such as Eth­er­net, WIFI, mini PCI‑E and the under­ly­ing Lin­ux­OS enable these gate­ways to be eas­i­ly inte­grat­ed into any infrastructure.

Laird Sen­trius RG1xx Gate­way — Gath­er data from as far as 10 miles via LoRaWAN and sync to the cloud via Wi-Fi / Eth­er­net, or add LTE in the US with our option­al LTE version. 

RAK Wis­gate Con­nect Base KitRAK7391 Wis­Gate Con­nect is a Rasp­ber­ry Pi CM4-based gate­way prod­uct meant to sup­port dif­fer­ent radio and Wis­Block mod­ules. It has sev­er­al inter­faces to meet the needs of dif­fer­ent devel­op­ers (HDMI, Eth­er­net, USB, mPCIe, CSI, DSI, M.2, Wis­Block, PoE, Rasp­ber­ry Pi HAT).

El Fin

This is not an exhaus­tive list, and that alone should be gob­s­mack­ing. There is an enor­mous world of ways to sense the world, dive in, lev­el up your learn­ing and please share with me what you build!

Rock on,

Nik Hawks


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