Node red is a visual way to configure and deploy programs in a flow chart style. It differs from anything else out there and has a lot of power. When you first start using Node Red it can be a little intimidating, but by the end of this article you will be well on your way to creating powerful flows to automate your home.

Node Red Help

Are you interested to be in line with modern technology? Do the latest things inspire you to go into depth? Then node reed is for you. If you are planning g to build applications based on the Internet of Things (IoT), then Node Red is the most powerful tool for that. 

It deals with code blocks that are wired together to develop an application. The visual programming approach is taken by the developers to connect the code blocks. The code blocks are termed as a node and those are framed together to perform a specific task. 

There remains a combination of input, processing, and output nodes that together creates the flow. If you need node block help, then this is the ideal platform for you. For any IoT-related activities, Node Red is the ultimate tool that can give you the best results to date. 

Node Red is a product of IBM and it was developed in 2013 as a part of an open-source project. The aim was to meet the requirement of connecting devices and hardware to web applications and services. This was the beginning of IoT. 

Gradually it has become a multipurpose IoT programming tool. Over the years, Node Red has created a huge user base and a good number of developers are in favor of Node Red to work on IoT-related applications. A wide variety of tasks are performed using Node Red blocks. Node Red was designed to work with the IoT concepts where devices interacted and controlled the outer part, but of late, it has become a useful tool for creating different types of applications also.

Let’s check the capabilities of the Node Red concept as well as the origins. The benefits of using Node Red will also be discussed accordingly.

Applications of Node Red

You can do a lot of things in the field of IoT. For example, it can be using Twitter to control a Raspberry PI or to alert you simply when you are missing your everyday routine or even in case of building a simple web service using its built-in HTTP nodes.

All About Node Red

It’s already clear that Node Red is one of the most powerful tools to build IoT applications. It is also instrumental in developing certain services also. Initially developed as a tool for IoT projects only, Node Red is now used in creating different types of web services and applications. 

It still falls under the category of emerging technology and lots of research is going on to make it sharper and effective. But, a large number of developers already adopted it on an experimental basis and it has become successful within a very short time. There is an active user and developer community also where you can either contribute or discuss any related things if you want any Node Red help. Github repositories can be linked to make it more effective.

Node Red & IoT

When IBM first developed Node Red, then the focus was mostly on IoT-related aspects. The intention was to connect devices to the processing units and vice versa. Node Red is flexible and powerful. This is one of the major reasons why it is used as a rapid application development tool. Basically, due to two (2) factors, Node Red is so strong. Let’s check the combination of those factors that have made Node Red one of the popular ones in the IoT world.

Node Red is a flow-based programming tool. It follows a certain process flow between nodes and triggers the processing section for the output. The flow-based programming model goes best with IoT applications. The reason is, IoT deals with the real-world events that trigger to happen something as defined. Node Red creates small messages that flow between the nodes.

The second force is the built-in nodes. There are a set of built-in nodes and it deals with both input or output nodes. It offers developers building blocks to make the flow smooth. That is the other best part of Node Red.

These two factors are instrumental for making Node Red one of the most powerful tools for IoT development. Node Red has become the widely used tool for IoT development due to its flexibility of creating and using nodes along with faster integration with JavaScript and all. Apart from that, the community is enough helpful to guide you whenever you are stuck.

Why Node Red Tool

  • Node Red tool is used by developers for creating the home and other automation applications
  • Several companies do use Node Red for automating factory floors
  • It is a very powerful graphical programming tool
  • It is built on node.js, a popular JavaScript framework
  • Node Red is very effective in enabling different sizes of hardware devices along with several APIs
  • Node Red is very lightweight and runs perfectly even on Raspberry Pi
  • It is designed to handle light resources so that it can be used in low configuration systems also
  • Node Red also works well with the popular transport system named MQTT

Where Node Red might not be too much Effective

Well, like any other tool, Node Red also has its limitations. Although, it is under research and development, plus so many IoT applications have already been built using Node Red platform, still there are certain areas where Node Red tools need improvement.

Node Red is excellent in the case of rapid application development. It acts like a glue for connecting events with actions or with sensors to actuators, etc. But, if the application becomes a huge one, then it is tough to manage through Node Red. There are features like sub-flows, but it is not so effective. A bottleneck is created in the UI part.

Next, we all know that Node Red is a flow-based programming tool. There are certain applications where the flow-based approach is not applicable. In those cases, better to avoid Node Red tool as the developers know its limitation in handling cases including loops. This is one of the main reasons why so many programming tools are into action as every individual program demands a unique setup.

Lastly, if you are planning for UI development or data analytics, then Node Red is not ideal in that case. Any flow-based programming tool can’t give requisite support in data analytics. Right now, Node Red does not have any such support and hope it will be added in near future.

Node Red Programming Model

As Node Red follows the visual flow-based logic, hence its programming model is very simple. Like any other flow-based tool, Node Red also makes it easy for developers to switch between development and design blocks for rapid integration. It deals with prototyping and the task development segment also. 

You can easily create flows of lightweight components those are termed as node here. Also, you can exchange the message between connections very easily. As flows are a collection of nodes for exchanging messages. Technically, JavaScript objects are there in the flow that describes the nodes along with their configurations.

And, the message is passed between nodes with the help of JavaScript again. A particular JavaScript Object named msg is instrumental for the same. Nodes also can attach any other properties to the message for any other activity. Nodes are the main building block of node-red flow. 

The process is amazingly simple. Messages are generated, processed, and consumed when a flow is running. Nodes consist of JavaScript and HTML codes; hence the entire thing is customizable.

You can get enough support from node-red tutorials and the community whenever you need any relevant info. The community is consisting of users and developers making a perfect for anyone. You can find a good number of node-red examples from which you can learn a lot. 

The node-red dashboard is also very much helpful to find out all the developments in a single shot. And, it is really easy as per as node-red install is concerned and the node-red home assistant is really helpful in the situation. Even the node-red home automation is also very much possible along with node-red raspberry pi integration.


To sum up, Node Red is the ideal choice for any IoT-based application. It can combine blocks, can work seamlessly in a flow, and ready to execute any related task. If you need any Node Red help, then the community is also there to serve you and to solve any of your queries. If you are a developer, then Node Red can be your de-facto choice for building any IoT-based applications. 

Nowadays, IoT has gained a lot of popularity and several applications are being prepared for that. To work with automation using an IoT platform, Node Red is your ultimate choice. Its free-flow model helps a lot to make the programs short, distinct, clear, and effective. And you will get good support from anywhere in the world as a huge number of developers are working on Node Red. 

With more people working on it and one section constantly upgrading the internal structure, that day is not far away when every IoT-related application will use a node-red programming tool.

Node Red

Node-Red is a visual tool for wiring together the Internet of Things. We recognize the fact that IOT solutions combine streams of data from many different sources, whether it’s physical events in the real world, whether it’s digital events, social events, whatever it may be, and having tools that let you quickly combine those streams in different ways to explore what you can do with them is a really powerful tool to have. When you start nitrite, you get this view in your Web browser with its palette of nodes down the left-hand side as shown.

You can quickly start dragging nodes on wiring them together and hitting deploy to create your application. Here is a very simple application with an inject node and a deeper node that whenever I hit the inject, a message appears in the debug pane. And it’s these building blocks you can start creating your applications from.

Here I’ve got a node that knows how to talk to the Twitter API. It walks me through authenticating the node against my account, and I’m going to tell the nodes to look for any tweets mentioning the hashtag Friday feeling. 

But to do something with those tweets, I can drag in a node for a mongo database instance, and I wire the Twitter node into the mongo node; I can figure the Mongo out to connect to a local database I have running. Again without a single line of code written. To save the tweets into a collection, I hit deploy that’s now collecting tweets in real-time you can see in the debug because the Twitter nodes are wired into the debug node, but they’re also being saved into a database.

Node-red lets you create web APIs. Here I’m tracking on some HTTP nodes because I want to serve up a web page. The HTTP nodes, a template node, and a Mongo query node. 

As I wire those together, I tell the HTTP node to listen to requests on the URL slash tweets. The Mongo query node again pointed at the same database, the same collection. Just do its default search to return all the data in that collection and a template node that lets me generate some richer content that takes the message it has received and renders it somehow. That then wired to an HDTV response node. So when in a new tab, I open up the URL of node-red followed by slash tweets, it then gives me every tweet saved into the Mongo database. So we’ve stored some data, and we’ve retrieved it, and we’re starting to present it back without a single line of code written. 

Now we’re going to do something a bit more with those tweets. Here I drag in and drop into the wire a sentiment analysis node. This is a very simple sentiment analysis of the tweets, giving them a positive or negative score based on the words that appear in them. 

And this is a function node, so you can write low-level JavaScript to manipulate the messages if there’s not a node that helps do what you want to do. So that function will attach an additional property to each message with the word positive or negative based on the sentiment node provided.

Then in my flow, that presents the tweets back. I add a function node that attaches a couple of properties to the message, one being a msg.sort property to tell the Mongo node to sort its query based on the tweet ID and limit it to only five results. So that effect would give me the five most recent tweets. And I’m going to replace that very simple HTML list with a bit more involved HTML page, which has proper CSS styling, it’s a regulation web page, but again, it’s got the mustache syntax in there to render its content based on the message it’s received. I deploy, and I go back, and when I refresh, it now gives me the five most recent tweets. And you can see the color, the green bar, or the red bar on the left-hand side based on the tweet’s sentiment, with very little code written with a bit of HTML CSS.

As Node-Red is built on top of nodejs, it can run in a variety of environments. It now comes preinstalled on the default Raspbian and Jesse image for the Raspberry Pi, and it’s also available in the IBM Bluemix catalog as a QuickStart application. This means you can get going quickly with Node-Red, whether it’s on edge devices or in a cloud environment. To find out more. Head on over to, where there are links on how to get started, how to get running with Node Red really quickly.