I have been searching for a low power way to serve a configuration page over WiFi. I have a concept working on a WR703n router, serving a configuration page for an arduino project. The whole thing, however consumes about 150mA just sitting there idle. The goal is to run this off a lead battery and solar panel setup so I'm trying to bring down the power consumption as much as possible.

The next best idea, I have is to use an ESP8266 module for the server part but that would probably shave off 30mA at most. There won't be an AP in range so I could use sleep modes on the ESP.

So can anyone suggest a WiFi server, that uses less power, than the ESP module in AP mode?

  • 2
    Would you be able to use something like Zigbee or Bluetooth rather than WiFi (i.e. Lower range, speed and power consumption)
    – timuzhti
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 1:50
  • My aim is to use a smartphone to configure the hardware. Using a web front-end is the simplest solution. I thought about using bluetooth but this would require writing and installing an app to configure the device. Seems like more trouble, than it's worth.
    – suborbital
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 12:38
  • So as long as you can serve IP over the MAC/PHY it would be fine right? Maybe someone would be able to find a IP/802.15 solution for you along with prebuilt software, who knows.
    – timuzhti
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 13:22
  • You could also consider running a fileshare on ubuntu off a raspberry pi. Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 1:27
  • @BennettYeo Pi Zero W is about 130mA. Not far off the same as the router. Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 21:05

1 Answer 1


For low power applications, Arduino boards are out. They are just not designed for it. There is ancillary circuitry that continues to draw more power than the microcontroller even when the MCU is sleeping. Anyway you can ask in Arduino section to make your Arduino use less power.

For example Arduino Uno use 42mA when running, while the deepest sleep mode, it still draws 31mA, There is other solution out there some micro-controller can run for a year on two AA battery, then check for the lowest WIFI shield.

NOTE: Some libraries designed to make the device use less power check that too.

What about this little guy Electric Imp WiFi SD Card Microcontroller enter image description here

  • The arduino (nano) is there mostly for its availability and number of available i/o pins but ultimately that is not my main concern. I'm already bypassing the linear regulator and could remove status lights and add sleep cycles to the code but it wouldn't make too much of a difference, since right now the wireless is about 70% of my power consumption. The electric imp needs to be connected to the internet at all times, if I understood it correctly. That's sadly not an option for me.. but thanks for the idea.
    – suborbital
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 12:53
  • As of 2023, link in answer leads to a 404 and needs updating. Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 23:21

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