What is a Wireless Outdoor Thermometer?

Dorothy Distefano

A wireless outdoor thermometer is an instrument used to measure outside air temperature. Wireless thermometers provide significant advantages when compared to classic thermometers, since classic thermometers contain dangerous mercury, have limited accuracy, and must be read while outside. A wireless outdoor thermometer measures and displays outside temperature in degrees Fahrenheit (F) or Celsius (C), on a digital display that is located indoors. Primary considerations when purchasing a wireless outdoor thermometer are ease of use and quality of the components. There are many different models available with a wide variety of features and capabilities, and these units are commercially available at a numerous retail locations.

A wireless outdoor thermometer can collect and transmit temperature.
A wireless outdoor thermometer can collect and transmit temperature.

The two main parts of a wireless outdoor thermometer are the remote temperature sensor, which is located outdoors, and the display and receiver unit, located indoors. The temperature sensor uses a component known as a thermoresistor, which experiences a change in electrical resistance as the outdoor temperature changes. An electronic circuit is used to measure the resistance and convert it into a temperature. The temperature data is transmitted wirelessly, using a radio frequency signal, between the sensor and receiver unit. The display unit, often a liquid crystal display (LCD) with backlighting for improved visibility, provides a digital reading of the outside temperature.

Meteorologists utilize outdoor thermometers to determine real-time weather conditions.
Meteorologists utilize outdoor thermometers to determine real-time weather conditions.

A wireless outdoor thermometer for home applications is usually battery operated, with separate batteries required for the remote sensor and display unit. Typical battery life ranges between six months and one year, depending on the unit's features and power consumption requirements. The distance between the temperature sensor and display unit, known as the transmission range, is normally a maximum of 100 feet (30.48m). Mounting the sensor unit in an outdoor location where it can be covered and protected may help to extend its usable life, and line-of-sight placement with the display unit will usually provide the strongest signal. More expensive units, like those that require higher measurement accuracy or are used in industrial applications, often have longer transmission ranges.

A basic wireless outdoor thermometer for home use usually has a temperature measurement range of over 100° and can measure temperatures well below 0°F (about -18°C). More expensive models may have additional features, such as multiple display units, expanded temperature range, barometric pressure and relative humidity measurement, weather forecasting, and temperature history. Wireless units used in industrial applications usually have higher quality sensor and electronic components for improved accuracy, higher reliability, and more resistance to environmental factors.

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Discussion Comments


How long do the batteries usually last in one of these things? I can juts imagine myself going through a whole pack of AA batteries each month.


How much to wireless outdoor thermometers cost? I have an old model that works all right but I have been think about getting a new thermometer that can tell me the temperature, barometer, humidity, things like that.

It would be nice to have but if it costs too much money I don't think it would be worth it


I have an outdoor wireless thermometer and I love it. It works so much better and is so much more convenient than the old fashioned thermometer I used to have.

Even though the old thermometer was right outside my window it was still hard to read. The display was very small and I would sometimes have to put my nose right up to the glass in order to make out the temperature.

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