Wemos D1 vs Photon - differences?

Can you please help me clearly see the differences between the Wemos D1 and a Particle Photon? There are tons of IoT boards out there with various features… sifting through them for differences, pros, cons, etc. is laborious. The differences I see are:

Photon: simple OTA update/flash, dashboard to see all your devices, well documented API, built-in pub/sub, a couple more GPIO pins, ~$20USD+shipping.

Wemos D1: pub/sub via MQTT, vast selection of Arduino libraries available, very fast, $4 (shipping included).

It feels like the Wemos is MUCH more “roll your own”, but the cost keeps attracting me (esp important since I’ve burned out 2 Photons in development already).

Anything I missed? I appreciate your feedback! :slight_smile:



I think you got the pros and cons right. However I suggest you read this post:

It’s highly recommended not to burn out boards. Extensive research has shown that you will save money in doing so :wink:
What’d you do with them to burn them up though?


Hahahahaha! Thanks for that pro tip, Jordy! :wink:

I was building a web enabled deadbolt controller for my home office based on several other projects I’d seen around - including their code. I tried 2 different servos - a continuous and regular one - and burned out 2 different boards :frowning: . I asked here for help after the first time and didn’t really come up with much. :frowning: I can’t keep doing this at $20 a pop. :frowning:



Have you replaced the regulators as suggested :wink:

Thanks for the pointer, Fabien. I give Particle credit for making a great, cohesive, simple environment - I’m not knocking the whole Particle experience at all. I’m just wanting to know if I’ve identified all the stuff I’m losing if I “go cheap” to make sure I know what I have to “roll myself” and whether I’m up to that task. :slight_smile:



Thanks, ScruffR - I did try to power the original “dead” Photon from another good one as you suggested -
“If you have another Photon, you can try to power the damaged one into 3V3/GND off the 3V3/GND pins of a good one (or any other reliable 3.3V source)”.

However, the original “dead” one was still unusable.

I suppose you could prototype HW using cheaper devices and when a risk of magic smoke escaping is low enough, move to Photon and its cloud. I sometimes try stuff with Pro Mini Chinese Arduino clones, they are so cheap you don’t worry about burning one (but be sure to use 3.3V ones if trying things for Photon).

@Moors7 If this forum had signatures, I wold cite you there :smiley:


I would say for low volume/personal projects where security and future updates are perhaps not as important or where you have no interest in the some of the productising concepts that are baked right into Particles eco-system, then yes the Wemos or similar has the Photon licked if the inputs are sufficient (But only if you use Arduino not Lua perhaps). However as soon as any of those matter or you really need to know that FCC mark is real or you need to reliably source it and verify the supply chain, the tables are turned.

You really shouldn’t driving anything much more than a small LED directly from pins on a typical controller, likewise you shouldn’t rely on a development boards components to cope with whatever load your solution requires, external devices that need powering should be interfaced with an external driver IC, that IC could be a MOSFET , a dedicated motor/stepper/Led controller etc. These keep the current drain from/into the controllers pins to a safe level but also let you interface those power munching devices with another more useful voltage and external circuitry designed to handle that load.

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