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Efficient scheduling of time slots in a time division multiple access scheme (TDMA) is important for low power wireless sensor networks. Existing algorithms are either centralized with poor scalability, or distributed but with high complexity. In this paper, we explain how TDMA could be more energy efficient by careful slot scheduling in wireless sensor networks. Then we propose a deterministic distributed TDMA scheduling algorithm (DD-TDMA). In DD-TDMA, each sensor node schedules its own TDMA slot based on its neighborhood information, and packet collisions are gracefully avoided during scheduling. The experimental results show that compared to other centralized and distributed scheduling algorithms, DD-TDMA achieves better performance in terms of schedule length, running time and message complexity.