How do we build a node of wireless sensor networks? building mote using arduino?

I want to build a wireless sensor network in a room. What I initially thought was that it will require sensors to be hooked up with Arduino and some wireless communication module. But when I looked up on internet it says we use motes (for example MICAz) for building wireless sensor networks. I find these motes expensive and I'm not familiar with them moreover, I think these motes are designed for research purposes and not for general public. Can you help me here in finding some cost effective solution? I basically want to build a distributed sensor network for monitoring different environmental quantities.

submitted by /u/cauchif
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