Node Red... Am I missing out?


I’ve been using home assistant for nearly 2 years now and I love what it does. I keep reading about node Red but do I really need too look into it? Just upgraded from a nuc to an i5 hp 8200.ssp pc not sure that matters :smiley:


Hahahaha… in my opinion no unless you have something that can’t be done any other way but for automations I find yaml and the automation editor work fine…

Of course you will get people swearing by NR and how much easier it is etc…

Ha thanks. I wasn’t wanting to start a debate but I am/was curious as to why. I feel so far yaml does what I want but maybe node Red is “better” I just don’t know…

So a debate… I. Won’t mention us brits and brexit :smiley: not saying you are a brit

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I’ve gone down the Node-RED route and have since migrated back, apart from one specific application where I need to parse data from a text file and send the values to HA via MQTT.

The default yaml automatons are more than adequate and handle everything I’m after. As with most of these type of questions it all comes down to personal preference at the end of the day. I say use whatever you’re most comfortable with :+1:.


Node-Red it’s awesome. You can create and test all automations without restarting HA everytime. The problem is that there’s no real way to troubleshoot a YAML automation without going through the whole process of restarting, triggering, blabla. With Node-Red you can easily prototype and mock anything you need to debug your flows. It being so visual also helps a lot of people.

That said, if you have your automations out of the testing phase, then YAML based automations take the upper hand because you’re not depending on the stability of ANOTHER component (Node-Red) for them to work. That said, Node-Red has been 100% reliable for me and I’m too lazy to convert my flows to YAML automations.

Here’s an example of my alarm system automation:

It uses a function node to prepare the HTTP request:

Could that be written in YAML? Of course. (Well actually I don’t know about the XML building, but I’ll assume it’s possible.) But with Node-Red you can always just glance at an automation and instantly remember or figure out how it works.

One last thing: If you know coding or you’re interested in learning, there are definitely advantages of using Node-Red since its ability to run custom JS code will beat YAML in flexibility. You may end up writing a few lines of code and saving yourself tons of lines of YAML and templating.

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It’s just another tool for your home automation toolbox. You can use Home Assistant’s YAML-based automations, AppDaemon, or Node-red to create automation logic. They all have strengths and weaknesses. You can use all three or only one, depending on the requirements of the automation … or whichever one feels more natural to you.

FWIW, I’ve used another home automation software for over ten years (Premise). To create automations it offers Scripting (like AppDaemon) and Logic Diagrams (like Node-red). For example, here is a Logic Diagram that does the following:

When the bathroom lights (Sconces) are turned on, the fan starts up after 2 minutes and runs as long as the lights are on. Once the lights are turned off, the fan should run for 10 minutes then turn off.


Logic Diagrams are very powerful yet, over the decade I’ve used Premise, I’ve used Scripting for 99% of my automations. I’ve used only one or two Logic Diagrams for very specific cases because they were easier to implement than by using Scripting.

A year ago, I discovered Node-red and now have a flow that connects Premise to MQTT (among other things). Basically I found a use for Node-red and now it is part of my home automation toolbox.

I would recommend you take some time learn about it. It may come in handy for a future automation task (or not).