I am testing all the versions of esp32 now, to find out the most power efficient one. Because I want to use WLED for a large 2-D outside wall, and the PCB will be covered by waterproof coating.

The test case is 900 leds with 2-D setting 3030, effect is “colored bursted”
model current(A) fps
esp32 0.135 24
d1mini 0.075 9
0.105 24
C3 0.087 15
S3 0.125 28

looks S2 is the best.
However, S2 cannot working properly under current master, I tried S2 mini and S2-wroom, none of them can work when connected to other APs. Once I set the LED settings, it will end up in bootloop.
If I use AP mode, it will be random crash and reset after any http requests, but the system will boot successfully later then I can config it with constantly reties.

Does anyone have experience on how to tweak the S2 build settings?

And another thing, all the boards I tested is using LDO regulators, wondering how much power can be saved if I change them to DC/DC converters

I’m just wondering why you’re worried about the power efficiency of the ESP32 when the current draw of the LEDs is 200 or 300 times more significant?

The difference in power draw of the various ESP32’s amounts to the draw of 1 or 2 LED’s. Your power supply will have to be many many times greater than this so the draw of the ESP32 is trivial in comparison.

There are many commercial waterproof outdoor power & LED products, I believe they would have sophisticated thermal solutions. However, I just want to add homemade waterproof to current esp boards, maybe just use resin coating or something else. In my testing, the highest temperature on an open esp32 board will be 45°C under 15°C room temperature, I am afraid it will overheat after adding the coatings and under higher outdoor temperature.

Well, from your measurements you’re showing a max spread of 0.060A from the best to the worst.
That translates to a power dissipation increase of 3.3V x 0.060A = .198W or 200mW.

Hardly think that kind of power/temp handling is going to be excessive.

Personally I think you’re worrying excessively over a pretty minor device spec.