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To prolong the lifetime of wireless sensor networks, a duty cycle scheme is used in energy efficient coverage protocols. By turning off redundant sensors and waking them up when network coverage is jeopardized, the network lifetime is extended while network coverage is preserved. However, it was observed that when the network density is increased to further prolong lifetime, the lifetime increases more slowly than the increase in density. Based upon an analysis of energy usage and energy distribution of the original duty-cycle scheme, we present a new coverage protocol based on function layers that divides nodes into sensing and transmission virtual layers to change the distribution of energy usage in the different layers. The performance of our protocol was compared to the original duty-cycle scheme in terms of energy saving and network lifetime with a high coverage rate.