Complete newb to HA

My old ISY99i packed it in and I installed a generic HA setup in a Lenovo Micro PC.
It all seems to work and I can access the system via my browser.
My first task is to replace my old setup to control my outside lights according to sunrise and sunset.
I have installed the Insteon package and can access and control many of my devices - at least the ones I have tried.

Where I am completely stumped at this stage is where to add what code to control the outside lights.
I have seen references & recommendations to use node-red to set things up, but all of the comments and references are way over my head at this time.
I am not new to programming (mostly C++, some python and various 'batch/CLI" systems), but I am new to HA’s way of doing things and particularly js and all the various places where the necessary control files are kept.
If node-red is recommended, or any other similar tool, I would like to start by controlling a lamp (Insteon address 20.28.90), which I have installed nearby where I can see whether it is on or off.
I am assuming, that, once I can control this lamp, I would understand enough to have a try at controlling the outside lights as well.
Any help in getting myself started with this will be much appreciated.

Don’t use Node-Red in early stages (or at all IMHO).

Get to the point where you can control your lights manually from the UI, then worry about automations.

If you’re already there, you can create simple automations via the UI — no need for code at first.

Agree - get the device / sensor working in the GUI, then create an automation.

Don’t worry about YAML, nor NodeRed for at least the first few months, (unless there is really no other way to configure an older integration).

A lot of effort has been invested in the GUI automation editor to remove the need for YAML and NodeRed:

  • EVENT (e.g. when the sun sets)
  • triggers an AUTOMATION, which then
  • calls a SERVICE (e.g. light turn on)

Thank you for the quick replies.
I have tried a simple automation of my test lamp using a simple time trigger to turn the lamp on and another one to turn it off a bit later and I have seen the action working. So far , so good :slight_smile:
I had set up a similar action for my out side lights to come on at sunset, but I did not see it happen and since the event occurs only once a day and the lights are not easy to see from where I usually spend most of my time, I find it very hard to setup and even harder to get working as expected.
What’s more, right now the HA interface tells me the outside light is on, but it it not, even though according to my understanding of things, I had just turned it on. Consequently, my faith in my understanding of the ‘system’ is still very low and shaky.

i don’t agree, i started using Node-red in the beginning, as it made more sense to use Java.

After i got the hang of HA, started using more automations, but still have some in Node-red…