Node-RED Q & A

Node-RED Questions and Answers. Node-RED is a flow-based (visual) programming tool. These pages have some information that may be currently missing from the documentation or may expand on it.

See the Node-RED website for more details about it. There are also sites for custom nodes and example flows, documentation, a blog and a discussion forum. There is also a Slack group. You can also find some questions and answers on StackOverflow.


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FAQ 4: How do I see the Node-RED log?

Just as there are several possible ways to run Node-RED, there are several ways to access the log.


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FAQ 3: What different ways are there to install Node-RED and which is best?

There are several possible ways to install Node-RED, this post provides an overview and some thoughts about when you might want to use which approach.

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FAQ 2: How can I run multiple instances of Node-RED on the same server device?

There are all sorts of reasons to want to run more than a single instance of Node-RED and several ways to do it.

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A Glossary of Node-RED terms

For those not used to it, the terminology used in Node-RED can occasionally be confusing. Due in part to the overloading of some terms. So I’ve come up with this glossary to help keep myself from getting confused.


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FAQ 1: Should I use a function node or a flow of core nodes?

There are usually many ways to achieve something in Node-RED. A common question is whether or when to use a function node or a collection of core nodes to achieve an outcome.

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Using JSONata to transform msg data

JSONata is a syntax designed by IBM to help reformat and restructure JSON data in a similar vein to the way that XLST is used to transform XML data.


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Creating a notification in the Admin UI

Node-RED’s admin UI has a built-in notification (toast) pop-up message feature. This article explains how to use it when creating custom nodes as it isn’t currently well documented.


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Cleaning up npm package install problems

Node-RED uses npm to manage package installations such as its nodes. Sometimes, you can get into a situation where you start getting lots of npm installation or removal issues and it feels like you are going round in circles trying to fix things. If so, time to call it a day and to get drastic! Here, I try to explain an easy way to fix things quickly and completely without side effects.


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Analysing the Performance of Node-RED

Node-RED is a powerful platform for prototyping and rapid development but it is complex. It has a lot of moving parts and it can be hard to know what might be causing performance bottlenecks. This article tries to give some hints and tips about analysing those bottlenecks and how to resolve them.


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A more comfortable way to edit the code for creating custom nodes

Node-RED allows us to create custom nodes to extend the features. While this is a great feature, actually writing the code can be tricky. In part because the code for the admin configuration panel is contained in an html file containing 3 script entries that are Node-RED specific. This post shows you a relatively easy way to split that into 3 files and combine them with a build step using an npm cross-platform script.


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How to create secure certificates

Generate certificates for Node-RED that are trusted by all modern browsers. This will let you access Node-RED (and other services) over an encrypted HTTPS link.


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How to secure Node-RED

Node-RED is increasingly used in situations that require reasonable security. Up to now, however, the information required to secure it correctly has been fragmented. This article aims to give an end-to-end outline to enable anyone to secure their installation.

Drayton Wiser heating control

Drayton are a very widely used manufacturer of heating controls. They make the “Wiser” control system which is low cost and easily fitted. This article shows you how to use Node-RED to query and control the system.


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Easily search for contributed nodes on the Node-RED Flows site

Excellent work has been done to make sure that new nodes are discoverable. Here is a quick way to easily search from your browser.


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How to create a clone of a message object

Node-RED tried to pass messages by reference not copy. Sometimes though, a copy is needed.