ESP8266 WIFI Serial Dev Kit Development Board

These development boards sidestep some of the problems encountered when using a bare esp8266.
Battery powered with an onboard voltage regulator, just put batteries in the holder and you are ready to start programming it.
Add the esp8266 development board to the Arduino IDE using the board manager, and you can then use an Arduino to program the blink sketch into the esp8266 board.
If you hit this problem with the firmware updating software
  • The firmware updating software only works on COM ports 1-6. If your USBSerial device enumerates to a higher port number than that, you will have to change it via Device Manager in Windows.
  • You can download all the required files in this ZIP file
Guide with firmware bundle, flasher didn’t work for me as I was on com 8
download and used this Flash tool instead

adding esp8266 board to arduino

Get it here

using the Arduino to blink esp8266 LED

looks familiar,
void setup() {   // initialization
pinMode(16, OUTPUT); // set the io pin 16 to output
void loop() { // loop
digitalWrite(16, HIGH); // GPIO16 high TTL, LED on
delay(1000); // delay 1s
digitalWrite(16, LOW); // GPIO16 low TTL, LED off
delay(1000); // delay 1s

A temperature monitoring project with the esp8266:-

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