New to Node Red - trying to decide which route?

Well worth considering, in fact I am contemplating swapping one of my Pi Zeros out for a D1 as an experiment. They do have the advantage that you don't need to worry about powering them down by pulling the plug. Of course a D1 won't run node-red, it will send its data via MQTT back to the node-red server.


Most of us buy our Wemos devices from Banggood and/or Ali-Express in China, that's assuming you're not in a hurry as the shipping time can be 3 to 4-weeks.

Amazon also stock them - but at a higher price.

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I'm not anti-China as a result of this covid-19 situation but because I've had so much disappointment with goods from there. Buy cheap, buy twice I'm afraid. I will take some responsibility for the fact I haven't bought anything expensive from China so my experience is biased.

I'm over the moon to say I've just bought shy of £200 of goodies from The Pi Hut, with a Pi 4 2gb fronting the show. Sadly most of what I want is out of stock due to covid-19 but this will serve me well to get my basics sorted out! It's all good! I really can't wait!

Thank you for your super support.

Is pm possible on this board?


Just so you know, you can install raspbian-lite (no desktop) on your Pi and still access the node-red window. You just enter http://IP-address-of-the-pi:1880 in a browser of another computer and you will get into the backend of Node-RED where you can build your flows.

Of the 6 Pi's I have running NR, none of them have the desktop installed on them.

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Wow, zen, that's blown my mind into sky.

I'll keep a strong nudge in that direction!

A super thank you!

To the owners/admin -
Please consider allowing more than 1 solution credit. Thank you!

My goodies are late but that's not a problem because I'm doing a lot of (accelerated) groundwork (thank you, guys!).

Please be assured I'm going through each reply in depth - looking at NR on YouTube and trying to get this snowball rolling.

I'm also going to gen-up on the masses of help already here so I know better where to look.

Thank you all - massively.

Hi @KevinH67

I know it has been mentioned once or twice in this thread already but I would stress - look into MQTT early on. It may sway your design in ways you might not have considered.

Even if you don't quite know why you might want to use MQTT - trust us - it will open doors (quite literally in some cases :slight_smile: ).

I wrote this post for someone shying away from MQTT & have referred to it a few times to folk shying away from MQTT because they didnt know it. Many people (after being pushed - me included) regret not picking it up earlier.

(PS: Sorry if I am teaching you to suck eggs here)

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Hi Steve,

Please believe me, sucking eggs is out of the window - I know a pearl when I see one and I will look into mqtt urgently.

Please accept my sincere thanks for your efforts to steer me right. I really, really appreciate it massively.

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I'd like to point out DietPi as well. A very optimised linux distribution for SBCs.
Easily runs on the Pi Zero. If you can use SSH, you can use this. Their installer allows you to install only what you want, and Node-Red is one of the packages they support out of the box.

For what it's worth, I have an old RPi 2B (headless) running node-red on top of DietPi without breaking a sweat. Here's a screenshot fragment of htop showing the processor loads and mem usage. Granted, it's only doing lighting automation (zigbee stuff), but still, lots of headroom.


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That's super, thinkbig, I'm 99% certain to go the diet route! Lots to learn! I'm loving it!

Thanks again for your kind help and please stay safe.


I'd heard of it but hadn't seen how good it is. Excellent shout out, thinkbig! I owe you a beer! :wink:

Just my (contrary) two cents :slight_smile:

I think PiZero is fine to run NodeRED on for house #IoT type stuff - I've got it running on 6 of them and no performance issues

Note - this running Node-RED on the PiZero and running the editing browser on another machine of course - I'd think it would struggle running a browser and Node-RED itself on one :slight_smile:

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I don't see contrary but (my) development and your 2c is valuable to me :wink:

I don't want to take the hard route unnecessarily. However, I'm certain some of my work will be taking the scenic route a bit and quite possibly doubling up on my work.

And so it will be - as I use the beefier stuff and gradually slim down for a leaner machine.

And then I'll have the spares to play with!

So, yes, 4B for now - moving onto Zero W if I can!

Thanks for popping by! :wink:

6 of them? I thought you can only get one at all... does that mean buying them at 6 different stores?

At one of the stored in my vicinity, they were selling th api zero w's for $5 US but you could only buy one. Every time I went near the store, I bught one. One day I was taking a grandson to a muesuem near by so I went on line and pre-ordered one. Then we went into the store and I grabbed 2 and my grandson bought one and I bought one and then I vent over to the 'pre-purchase' pickup' area and grabbed a third. We went to the museum and on the way home, we stopped in and grabbed two more. :grin:

Guess it works if you can physically go to stores :slight_smile: Not an option for me I’m afraid but good to know :+1:

The two main retailers in the UK NEVER implemented the Foundations stated policy and only restricted PiZero/W purchases to one per order.

And even at one time at a fair, I bought two in the same transaction once - but that have may have been because of my notoriety and they wanted to mix up it with a bad boy :slight_smile:

One contra-indication for Diet-Pi is that many fewer people use it so it might be more difficult to get help. Personally I stick with Raspbian Lite. I think it unlikely that for the sort of systems we are talking about here that you would see much difference in performance. I would be glad to see a benchmark comparing nodejs performance under the two OSs though.

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Yes Diet-Pi is perfectly fine - but is less well used by many of the folk here and some of the install paths and instructions are different so you may get "wrong" advice at times - so be slightly careful if starting out.
Likewise while a Pi Zero is perfectly capable for many applications of running Node-RED, a Pi4 will give you a much snappier development experience while you play and learn, so I would start with that - then maybe move your project to Pi0 when you want to deploy it 24/7, and use the Pi4 to start the next development (as there is always a next project) :wink:


Thank you, dceejay!
As glad as I am for the help, I'm pleased with myself in the kind of answer you've given. It makes me feel that the extra kit is not without value. :wink:

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