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Energy consumption remains as a major obstacle for full deployment and exploitation of wireless sensor network (WSN) technology nowadays. This paper presents the design and implementation of an energy-aware sensor node, which can help in constructing energy-efficient WSNs. An energy-efficient strategy, which aims at minimizing energy consumption from both the sensor node level and the network level in a WSN, is proposed. To minimize the communication energy consumption of the sensor node, the distance between the transmitter and the receiver is estimated before available transmission, and then, the lowest transmission power needed to transmit the measurement data is calculated and determined. The sensor nodes are also set to sleep mode between two consecutive measurements for energy saving in normal operating conditions. Furthermore, energy saving can be achieved by estimating the energy consumption within the whole network under different network configurations and then by choosing the most energy-efficient one.