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I've got a Raspberry Pi Zero W in my project. It is hidden inside an enclosure. I need some way for the user to determine that it is in a shutdown state so that power can be removed. I need to make an indicator that shows the running state as the one on the Pi is not visible.

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It is quite easy to make an indicator. a detailed desription can be found here:Howchoo

I would advise you the serial approach:

  • Enable the GPIO serial port: Edit your /boot/config.txt file and add the following line: enable_uart=1
  • To build this circuit, we're going to use a 330Ω (ohm) resistor connected to a small LED (about 2V, but one of slightly higher voltage will work well too -- just keep it below 5V). The LED is powered by the Pi's TxD serial output pin and the resistor protects the Pi against your LED requesting high current draws that can fry your Pi. The LED's "short" (negative/cathode) lead connects to the resistor and your Pi's ground pin, while the "long" (positive/anode) lead connects to the TxD pin.

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