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An important design challenge for node scheduling is to extend the lifespan of sensor networks while preserving sufficient sensing coverage after switching off some sensors. This paper adapts the energy-balanced coordinated node scheduling (ECONS) scheme, a distributed and adaptive protocol previously developed for flat sensor-net architecture, to the clustered architecture. ECONS exploits a geometry-inclusive approach to accurately determine the sensing coverage and the sleeping eligibility, effectively balances the energy consumption among different sensors, and consumes minimal communication overhead. The paper further integrates ECONS with the existing distributed clustering and routing protocols that are specifically designed for cluster-based dense sensor networks, and proposes a new architecture, referred to as the low-energy, distributed and QoS-coverage-preserving (EEDS) architecture. The system performance of EEDS is evaluated under two exemplary cases that require high and low QoS on sensing coverage, respectively.