Photon for production use?

So I’m building a product that will be sellable. My question is twofold:

  1. Is there any risk of the photon going away now that the new mesh products are available?

  2. Is there any reason I couldn’t use photons for a production product? I like that it already has buttons and leds and power already on it, vs having to add them separately (it’s a simple design, so this really does help). Is there any risk that the photon wouldn’t last as long or age as well as the p1?


The headerless version exists for a reason, so shouldn’t be an issue.

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What’s cool about the headerless Photon is that it can be surface mounted, due to its castellated pin arrangement. That also makes it easy to hand-solder to pads (vs. through hole).


good question John, we are in the same position, heavily dependent on photons and particle shields for commercial use.

Whats concerning to us is I see the particle relay and shields we rely on for our commercial robotics system are already under the “legacy accessories” section of the documentation.

its a risk to our business to see particle products moved to “legacy”

So much time and money has been spent on , validating and testing hardware in the field, before putting it into production, making wiring looms up to the correct lengths, providing the correct power supply, writing the code to make the hardware rock solid, laser cutting the housing with the correct mounting points, applying for certification for the “whole product” , setting up a supply chain for the hardware, and keeping a few in stock as spares.

Its taken months to get to this point of a final design, a “legacy” does not give us a warm feeling!

Indeed, that is a curious labeling of those accessories. Especially since the power, programmer and relay shields are still in the store. They haven’t made the Photon and Electron “Legacy” devices yet, so to blanket-label all Photon/Electron accessories as “Legacy” is bad marketing to say the least… or inadvertently showing their path ahead at worst. I’m still not worried about the Photon and Electron. But to give up on all the accessories for those products is not good.

Legacy was a term that we came up with for the Photon/Electron and their accessories.

However, that has unintended connotations, so they’ll be renamed:

  • 1st generation (Core)
  • 2nd generation (Photon, P1, Electron, E Series)
  • 3rd generation (Argon, Boron, Xenon, A Series, B Series, X Series)

Good discussion here.

Legacy vs. Discontinued
To me, “legacy” and “discontinued” hold very different meaning. We originally picked “legacy” to communicate that the Photon and Electron are part of an “older generation” of products – our 2nd gen product family, as Rick mentioned above.

“Discontinued” refers more specifically to its availability from Particle. Because the Photon and Electron are legacy products that have not been discontinued, the message we want to communicate is that they are not a part of the newest family of products, but that they are still available for purchase.

With a better understanding of our intent, is there another phrasing that you’d recommend that would better carry that meaning?

In the meantime, we can update the language in the documentation to refer to “1st gen”, “2nd gen”, “3rd gen” rather than to group 1st and 2nd gen together under “Legacy”.


It really is semantics, but it seems to me that it’s really about “Non-mesh enabled” vs “Mesh enabled”. To label them by generation is still scary, as older generations die :).

Is particle willing to give a commitment to how long the non-mesh product line will continue to be manufactured and sold?

The reality is that the Photon and Electron are a part of an older generation and will likely be discontinued (unavailable for purchase) sooner than our 3rd generation of products.

To be very clear, we have no current plans to discontinue either the Photon or Electron. Please do not misconstrue anything in this post to be specific commentary on our near term plans for those products.

That disclaimer aside, here are a couple of good working assumptions to consider:

  • If and when we decide to create an end of life plan for the Photon or Electron, we will communicate that plan clearly and ensure that customers using those products have a viable transition path onto newer hardware. It is very likely that we would not give less than one year for customers to make this kind of a transition. To reiterate, we do not have plans for an EOL announcement for either of these products today.

  • As a general rule, we are likely to provide a significantly longer guaranteed longevity for our our SoMs (E Series / P Series) than our dev kits (Photon, Electron, etc), and a longer guaranteed longevity for our dev kits than our accessories (like the Arduino Shield or Relay Shield). This is one of the many reasons that we recommend that customers deploying products at scale with Particle use our mass production hardware versus our dev kits.

Indeed, there is conscious intent behind choosing to label our Particle Mesh-ready hardware the “3rd generation” of product in order to encourage migration from older generations of hardware. Correspondingly, it is reasonable to assume that products in the Legacy category are at greater risk of being put on an EOL plan that ones outside of it.

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thanks, appreciate accommodating us on these soft issues (we wouldn’t get that response from some of our other suppliers), we will continue with production using the 2nd gen. products, and start prototyping the 3rd gen. We are looking forward to the quick connection startup times of mesh and the independence on wifi, but we know there is a lot of work ahead to make a reliable IP gateway device and re-tool for different accessories, its good to know we have some runway left in the gen2 product.

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