Wireless sensor networks are comprised of a vast number of ultra-small autonomous computing, communication and sensing devices, with restricted energy and computing capabilities, that co-operate to accomplish a large sensing task. Such networks can be very useful in practice, e.g.~in the local monitoring of ambient conditions and reporting them to a control center. In this paper we propose a new lightweight, distributed group key establishment protocol suitable for such energy constrained networks. Our approach basically trade-offs complex message exchanges by performing some amount of additional local computations. The extra computations are simple for the devices to implement and are evenly distributed across the participants of the network leading to good energy balance. We evaluate the performance our protocol in comparison to existing group key establishment protocols both in simulated and real environments. The intractability of all protocols is based on the Diffie-Hellman problem and we used its elliptic curve analog in our experiments. Our findings basically indicate the feasibility of implementing our protocol in real sensor network devices and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each approach given the available technology and the corresponding efficiency (energy, time) criteria.