1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice

Welcome To SNBForums

SNBForums is a community for anyone who wants to learn about or discuss the latest in wireless routers, network storage and the ins and outs of building and maintaining a small network.

If you'd like to post a question, simply register and have at it!

While you're at it, please check out SmallNetBuilder for product reviews and our famous Router Charts, Ranker and plenty more!

Wifi vs different types of metal ?

Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by GGW, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. GGW

    GGW Occasional Visitor

    Oct 17, 2009
    We know that Wifi and 'metal' don't mix so well. Does anyone know how bad different metals are in blocking signals? Especially aluminum vs steel?

    We are looking at including a lot of Phillips Hue GU10 (Zigbee) and LIFX GU10 (WiFi) downlights in some houses. Legally they have to be in approved enclosures. These are generally either aluminum or powder coated steel.


    Aluminum: http://www.cooperindustries.com/con...ownlighting/incandescent/_3_inch/_269364.html

    Steel: http://www.cooperindustries.com/con...ownlighting/incandescent/_3_inch/_269362.html

    Would one be better than the other? Aluminum is about 61% electrically conductive which I think says that it will block radio signals more than steel that is 15% conductive. It seems I've read somewhere that steel will block signals more than aluminum though.
  2. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

    Aug 11, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    It's actually the impedance at RF frequencies, this is more important... that and the RF path loss end to end from the client stations to the AP/AP's...

    Both materials are going to be fairly effective at impacting the RF path, however...

    Most of the IoT items like the Hue and LIFX have low gain antennas (which is a good thing), and as long as you have a way for light to get out you might be ok.

    Google can be helpful for additional resources... search terms might include "rf loss through materials"
    L&LD likes this.