We are students of Pragati Engineering College -AP. We are currently working on Automatic Street Light project selected in Smart India Hackathon 2017 under ministry of steel. For this project We are using Arduino nano to control street lights in industries. Now we are requiring some general following information about arduino nano.

What is the life span of Arduino nano? We need a micro-controller with on analog input pin to read analog voltage and four digital pins for output. The program that we are dumping include serial communication with Java UI in PC. The program occupies 6750 bytes, 318 bytes for global variables and 1730 bytes for local variables. We would like to know which arduino board is best suitable for our project?

  • A few important questions: will it be a genuine Arduino nano or a chinese clone? Do you write to EEPROM or not?
    – jfpoilpret
    Apr 23, 2017 at 8:36
  • It might be better to design your own board with a bare "Arduino" chip on it. An ATMega328 or just a basic ATTiny85.
    – Gerben
    Apr 23, 2017 at 11:45

4 Answers 4


Atmel chips (the ones used in the Arduino) have been used in all sorts of industrial appilications way before Arduino came along. Same for other micro controllers like the still popular 8051. What you want to focus on might be the enclosure, seal it against the outside.

Rather than using a (chunky) pre-manufactured Arduino board, you'll have to pick the right chip for your application and design a board around it. http://www.atmel.com/products/microcontrollers/avr/


What is the life span of Arduino nano ?

Many years.

Flash memory can degrade with time and the program can become corrupted or lost - however:

Reliability Qualification results show that the projected data retention failure rate is much less than 1 PPM over 20 years at 85°C or 100 years at 25°C.

Wet electrolytic capacitors dry out over time. When resurrecting old hardware the first thing you do is replace all the electrolytic capacitors. Depending on how much you de-rate them they could last a few years, or tens of years, before they need replacing. If possible avoid them and use MLCC and tantalum instead since they never dry out.

The biggest problem of any kind of industrial installation is that of the environment. Corrosion from airborne contaminates (water, etc) will destroy the PCB (oxidise the copper of the tracks, etc) long before the components have worn out. Proper sealing, and even "potting" in extreme environments, is essential for longevity.

Another important thing to remember is to factor in a certain number of failures over the intended lifetime of the product. If you find you will be needing to replace portions of a unit on a semi-regular basis then make those portions easy to replace. For instance, it may be more cost effective to routinely replace a board after 5 years rather than have to replace the entire unit every 8 years because the board that has failed is impossible to replace (e.g., it's potted).

As others have mentioned you shouldn't be using an Arduino of any form in a product. Instead you will be designing (or paying someone to design) a dedicated PCB. During that design phase extra steps can be taken to make the board more rugged - such as wider tracks and thicker copper that will take longer to corrode; increased clearances that will take longer for corroded copper to bridge; components chosen to have a suitable MTBF, etc.

Many components have a "service life" or "lifetime" quoted. This is especially important for components such as electrolytic capacitors. For instance, the EEUFR1C471 from Panasonic (to pick one at random) is quoted as 6000 hours at 105°C. 105°C is the maximum temperature you can run it at, so the quoted service life is a minimum at worst case parameters. 6000 hours is, of course, just 250 days (about 8 months or so) - but of course that is worst case, and the minimum guaranteed time (they guarantee that it will run for at least 6000 hours at 105°C). Run it at a lower temperature and you get longer life out of it.


What is the life span of Arduino nano ?

Electronics doesn't really "die". Treated well, it should last for years. I have a RFID security system that I made in 2011 (six years ago, as I write this) and it is still working perfectly.

We would like to know which arduino board is best suitable for our project ?

These sorts of questions are hard to answer. What is "best"? Price? Size? Weight? Ease of use?

  • Best is tot use high-grade components though and check if the environment is fit. Voltage spikes can kill electronics instantly. Moist or corrosion are also worth taking into account Things as a too high/low temperature can also affect the lifetime. Also microcontrollers don't really have a "fail safe" you may want to put the lights in a warming/error state (flashing orange) if odd behaviour is detected.
    – Paul
    Apr 23, 2017 at 10:01

What is the life span of Arduino nano ?

the answer is use dependent. Just like you don't know for sure what's the life span of a particular individual, it is hard to know the life span of a product in a particular application, as it depends on the environment, design, and operations of that application.

We would like to know which arduino board is best suitable for our project ?

hard to tell, and likely none. street lighting is exposed all sorts of elements, from high / low temperatures to moistures and lightening for example, and demands high reliability in all conditions, particularly in failure. Arduino wouldn't be great in that environment.

if you have to go down that path, develop the code in arduino and burn the hex into bare chips so you have the choice of the chip and other components going into your application.

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