Introduction to Node Red

node-red-iconWhat is Node Red? –Node red is a flow based tool and IOT Dashboard developed by IBM and written in Node.js.It is an Open Source project

Node red lets you easily create program flows by joining together black box functions (nodes) using a web interface.

Getting Started- Using Node-Red Basic Course

To get you started I’ve created a basic course designed for complete beginners. The course introduces users to the node-red admin interface and basic flows and consists of a collection of tutorials and videos.

Node-Red Install and Setup Quiz

This quiz is for beginners to node-red and test basic knowledge

Node-Red Tutorials

Admin and Setup


MQTT and General

Node-Red Videos

Admin and Setup


Using Nodes


Node Red Dashboard

How to Create a Node-Red MQTT Dashboard



By default node-red installs completely open and you can access the admin interface,create and deploy flows without having to login.

However you can secure node red by requiring username/password authentication, and also SSL.

See –Securing Node-Red with SSL and Username Authentication

Useful Tools

Summary Of Terms

Note: These are the terms and meanings used in tutorials and videos.

Workspace – Contains all of your flows

Flow – A collection of nodes and wires

Flow Canvas – The Flow Edit screen

Node – A packaged JavaScript function with data.

Wire – A connection between nodes.


Please rate? And use Comments to let me know more
[Total: 12    Average: 4.1/5]


  1. I’m looking to create a Dashboard that self configures itself from the datasource.
    So rather than pre-defining the look and layout of the page at creation time, the data source will drive the layout. E.g. I may have just one sensor – of type A, I will only want to display a single Guage widget Labeled type ‘A’. If I have more – then the dashboard will auto fill with appropriate guages and labels.
    Is this possible?

  2. Hello Steve,
    I looked into your tutorials and are really good and worthful. Can i just know whether you have any prior knowledge or work experience with Bacnet device and Bacnet servers?
    I’m working on interfacing Bacnet with Nodered. It will be great help if you could share your views on this.
    Thank You..!!

  3. Hi Steve,
    Can you please help me with something.

    I’m trying to figure out the syntax for assigning a node’s array element to a variable in a function node.

    I’m reading a modbus register with a modbus node. The nodes payloading is “array[1]”. I’m interesting in extracting the array element [1] in a function node and assigning the element value to a variable, for logic operation.

    Thank you


  4. Hello,
    You can disable the flow by going to Menu>Flows>Rename. In this window change the Status from Enabled to Disabled. This applies to a single flow.

  5. Hi Steve, you say that you need to update npm – this is incorrect and can be very damaging. You should use the version of npm that comes with the version of Node.JS you have installed. Other versions may not work in the same way and may cause issues with installed modules.

  6. Hello. I’m not keen to join a Google group to post my newbie questions, and found your Oct 3 YT video with link here… First, I don’t have a smartphone (SP), and don’t see getting one any time soon. Seems the SP is all the rage with IoT/Home Automation – which directly leads to Node-Red/MQTT etc. I would consider getting a SP if it was ONLY for IoT/HA around my property (and not for any phone communication). Might you know if this is workable? If not, I’m guessing there’d be a way to use a hand-held sort of esp8266/esp32 to act in place of a SP – do you think that’s viable? Appreciated.

    1. If you are primarily interested in Home automation then Amazon echo devices are likely to become more popular than smart phone apps. I don’t use my smart phone very much and although currently most smart devices are designed to work with a smart phone/tablet I don’t think that is going to be the future.
      You can use any computer to interface with node red. I’m not that familiar with the esp devices but if they are like the Raspberry Pi then you should be OK.

      1. The ESP8266 & ESP32 are microprocessors and not single board computers (like the Pi). The are programmed at a low level, typically using C++. They are similar to the popular Arduino but have embedded Wi-Fi. As such they will not run Node.JS and so cannot run Node-RED.

        They are very commonly used in DIY home automation though because of their low cost. Also, they do have MQTT client libraries available (there is even an example MQTT broker library!) and so can publish data direct to a broker.

    2. Hi rjm, if you are into Slack, there is also a Node-RED Slack group. Node-RED uses Node.JS which will not run on the heavily constrained microprocessors you mention. However, you could use them to post direct to MQTT – there are direct MQTT mobile clients you could use to consume the data.

      However, the cost of a small single-board computer such as a Raspberry Pi is tiny and these are more than enough to run multiple services. For example, on my own HA setup I run Node-RED, Mosquitto, InfluxDB, Telegraf & Graphana easily on a single Pi 2. Node-RED can then be used to create Dashboards that will work on your SP.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *