For those who have the Pi Zero W with them, what is its power consumption in the following modes:

  • No peripherals connected, WiFi And Bluetooth off
  • Only WiFi turned on
  • Only Bluetooth turned on
  • Only camera connected and capturing

I am aware of a previous question, but because it's older, that thread doesn't contain information about Pi Zero W and its specific features.

  • Just get a 2.1 ampere adapter. It will only take as much as it needs. Or you could buy a watt meter and find it out yourself, and post it here.
    – Dr_Bunsen
    Mar 18, 2017 at 9:27
  • 15
    @Dr_Bunsen there is little need in invalidating this question. There are numerous reasons to be interested in the device's power consumption beyond just getting an adapter. As for your proposed alternative, well, we could close the whole StackExchange if we'd just recommend figure it out yourself for each question.
    – Ghanima
    Mar 18, 2017 at 12:51
  • 2
    @Ghanima this wasn't meant to be a witty comment. It would have been the first thing I would have done, and I answered it from my perspective, not thinking about the possibility of someone not having a watt meter.
    – Dr_Bunsen
    Mar 18, 2017 at 13:15
  • 3
    If you're interested by this information, I tested mine with this kind of battery and it lasted something like 18h15 with wifi on as an Access Point.
    – vmonteco
    Mar 20, 2017 at 10:35
  • 1
    I realize this is not a complete answer - but as a starting point here is the documentation from RaspberriPi.org regarding power supply requirements - scroll down to find the Pi Zero W: raspberrypi.org/documentation/hardware/raspberrypi/power/…
    – qxotk
    Nov 14, 2020 at 18:06

5 Answers 5


Based on the measurements made by RaspiTV, here are some estimates:

100 mA: No peripherals connected, WiFi And Bluetooth off
160 mA: Bluetooth turned on
170 mA: WiFi turned on
230 mA: Camera connected and capturing

Overall, using WiFi and accounting for the 5V power adapter, you are only looking at 1.1 Watts.

  • 1
    Thank you for the link! I can see how you made some of the estimates from the linked chart. Still waiting for actual numbers. If I don't get them, I will mark this accepted.
    – HRJ
    Mar 18, 2017 at 13:54
  • 2
    Wait. This measurements are on a per hour? per day? For example if I connect it on a 10 000mAh with no peripherals connected, WiFi and Bluetooth off it will last for 100 hours? or 100 days? Jun 7, 2017 at 14:19
  • 6
    @JohnDemetriou The mA measurements provided are invariant of time. A battery holding 10 000 mAh (note this unit introduces time as mA * hours) at 5V should be able to run this for about 100 hours.
    – jncraton
    Aug 30, 2017 at 18:00
  • 3
    This assumes that the battery holds sufficient output voltage for its rated life. Some battery technologies can also vary depending on how fast they are discharged as well as variables like temperature and age and past usage patterns. Jan 17, 2018 at 10:39
  • 1
    Thanks, I just set up my Pi-0W with pihole running headless on a random 700mA charger I had running around. I discarded 200mA as too likely to have low power problems under load. So far so good! Good to know for applications when people want to go with a lower output PSU.
    – jorfus
    Jun 29, 2019 at 23:32

I'm currently testing my RPi Zero W with temp, humidity and barometric pressure sensors hooked up. I have two 3,000 mAh batteries wired in parallel. They also go through an Adafruit regulator. Once I had my python script running, I disconnected the keyboard and mouse since they won't be connected when my final project is finished.

In this configuration, i was able to get 8 Hrs and ten minutes on my RPi 3B in the exact same configuration. I'll know today how long the Zero W will run and I'll post it here.

Update: In the configuration mentioned, it ran just a hair, (5 minutes) over 14 hours. All it does is read the sensors once every 10 minutes and insert them into a MySQL table. I'm also running Lighttpd web service. Hope this is helpful.

If you decide to go with Lithiium/ion batteries, be careful; there is some real garbage on ebay and amazon claiming to be 9800 mAh. They're garbage. These are an honest 3000 mAh. Good luck.

  • How did your test go?
    – BonsaiOak
    May 17, 2017 at 1:00
  • 4
    it's usually best to just get a 5000mah power bank (or larger) from a known place like amazon with genuine batteries (LG, samsung). usually they would use 26650 cells instead of 18650's so you get more capacity with one cell, though they're a bit fatter. fyi, rpi is over kill for temp/humidity. use an esp8266 for more than 14 hours battery life.
    – Eric Kelly
    Sep 20, 2017 at 17:12

I have a Raspberry Pi Zero W Rev 1.1, running raspbian 10 (no special tunning) and pihole for my home network, so with Wifi enabled. I have recently switched it from a USB adaptor to one USB port of my network router (French Freebox Revolution) and it works perfectly. I tested the CPU load by running 2 yes program during 45min and had no issue. I don't know why I didn't do that earlier!

So I confirm that the power consumption is way lower USB 1.1 max 500mA.


I set up a Raspberry Pi Zero with Raspberry Pi OS Lite, running PiHole and nothing else. It uses a USB-to-ethernet adapter to talk to the network. It does not have any type of display running or attached.

I plugged it in to a Watt usage meter and ran it for 1260 hours (about 52 days). The Watt meter says the Pi used 1.95 kWh. This translates to about 1.55 Watts.


Just confirmed with a Sennheiser 5V 100mA power supply. pizero W with wifi and running a webserver. I've measured the power consumption and it does exceed 100mA - but still seems to work.

  • 2
    Statement above is unclear. You infer the supply provides up to 100mA but state it takes more. Also there is no direct answer to the original question.
    – user115418
    Dec 27, 2020 at 11:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.