Hackaday Low-Power Challenge:

How low can you go?  The 2023 Hackaday Low-Power Challenge is about doing the most with the least juice -- bang for the power-budget buck, if you get our drift.  And with three $150 gift certificates from Digi-Key on the line, you'll be able to keep your projects going forever.  

More and more projects need to run on their own power, and more often than not, that means getting by without access to a wall plug.  This contest is to encourage your designs that run on solar, small batteries, and generally energy harvested from wherever you can get it.  But the power generation mechanism is taking the back seat here – we want to see what you can do with a few good electrons.  Surprise us with your maximum minimalism!

You've got until March 21, to get your entry in, but these aren't necessarily simple builds, so get going now.


Thanks to our partner Digi-Key, three top projects will be awarded a $150 shopping spree to Digi-Key.

Special Categories:

  • Sensible Sensors 
    • How much sweet, sweet environmental monitoring can you get done on your power budget? Extra points here for wireless, especially because it’s harder to pull off within a low-power constraint.
  • Artful Art
    • There’s no reason that low-power and high-concept need to be at odds. Whether blinking, bleeping and blooping, or just being cool, this category rewards the most beauty per milliwatt. 
  • Battery Buster
    • We sometimes see projects that run for ten years or more on paper, but are hamstrung by finding a cell with low enough self-discharge to run that long. If your project is going to beat the shelf-life of the batteries it’s designed around, it’s a battery buster.
  • Perpetual Motion
    • Moving things around in the real world isn’t cheap. This category is for the projects that produce the most physical movement for the least power. In this household, we obey the laws of thermodynamics, but we’d still like to see how much physical motion you can generate on a tight power budget.
  • Just How Low?
    • Measuring very tiny currents or extremely low duty cycles due to sleep modes can be challenging. But you need to know to go low. This category is for measurement methods and devices specifically for low power applications.


Need some inspiration? Here are some projects to check out that should get your ideas flowing:

How to Enter

Document your project on Hackaday.io. Share images or videos of your project and tell the story of how you designed it and built it in the description of your project.

Once you have published your project, look in the left sidebar for the "Submit project to..." menu to enter it in the Low Power Innovator Contest:

Judging Criteria 

Here are the criteria judges will have in mind while reviewing entries: 

  • We're looking for the projects that do the most with the least power consumed. Wow us with efficiency.
  • We’d like to know how it works, and maybe make one ourselves. In addition to the entry, we’ll be scoring on how well the project is documented.

Contest Rules

All designs must do something. Our primary criterion is doing the most with the least.

  • Original projects only please. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, but don't just copy and paste an existing design.
  • All entries must be documented with at least a schematic and a demo of the circuit working. Quality of documentation will be considered by the judges.
  • The documentation should include power measurements. Don’t just guess that your circuit uses little power – show us.
  • All entrants must agree to have the design published...
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