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This paper presents a realistic model of the radio energy consumption for Bluetooth-equipped sensor nodes used in a low-duty-cycle network. The model is based on empirical energy consumption measurements of Bluetooth modules. This model will give users the possibility to optimize their radio communication with respect to energy consumption while sustaining the data rate. This paper shows that transmission power cannot always be directly related to energy consumption. Measurements indicate that, when the transmission power ranges from -5 to +10 dBm, the difference in consumed energy can be detected for each transmission peak in the sniff peak. However, the change is negligible for the overall energy consumption. The nonlinear behavior of the idle state for both master and slave when increasing the interval and number of attempts is presented. The energy consumption for a master node is in direct relation to the number of slaves and will increase by approximately 50% of the consumption of one slave per additional slave, regardless of the radio setting.