In our integration with BigClown we will be using Realtime Database and sends data there. You will learn how to connect and sends data to firebase from Node-RED and try real example with sending data from motion sensor.


  • Installed Playground or our Raspbian (Raspbian)
  • Installed nodejs (on our Raspbian preinstalled, other operating systems download website)

1. Install firebase plugin

  1. Open command line
  2. Install firebase plugin using npm command. npm install -g node-red-contrib-firebase
  3. Reboot your system, on our Rasobian use command. sudo reboot
  4. Wait until system reboots.

2. Connect to your Node-RED

  1. If you are using Playground, use http://localhost:1880/. When you want to connect on your Raspberry, type http://”ip-adress”:1880 (for example You can find IP address of you Raspberry with utility Angry IP Scanner.
  2. Open Node-RED in your browser and you should see in left offer on bottom firebase sector like you see on screenshot bellow.

3. Create Firebase project

  1. Go to website and Click to “Add project”.
  2. Give your project whatever name you want, we will use for our example bigclowndemo and click Create project.
  3. After Firebase tells you that new project is ready, click “Continue”.
  4. At the bottom of your screen you will see three Cards, click “Get started” on third Card called Database.
  5. Choose Realtime Database (second choice)
  6. For our demo, we will use choice Test mode, which is totally not secure and we recommend to change the settings of read/write rights (you can find more about it on Firebase documentation). However, for our demo it is sufficient. Click Enable.
  7. Now you must see database itself. Click on “dismiss” on red bar. Point on name of database and then click on plus symbol right next to name of your database. In field bellow fill Name with test, value with 0 and again click “Add” bellow. That’s all for Firebase part but keep it open. Link of your database you will need later, you can find it on top of Database card. Mine is

4. Connect Node-RED to our Firebase project

  1. Open our Node-RED, click on “Hamburger menu” next to Deploy button > Import > Clipboard. Past text bellow.

    [{"id":"1e3fc559.61706b","type":"inject","z":"641e3ee5.52876","name":"Set 1 to Firebase","topic":"","payload":"","payloadType":"date","repeat":"","crontab":"","once":false,"onceDelay":0.1,"x":160,"y":220,"wires":[["e605003b.cc1a5"]]},{"id":"dcca267f.911ee8","type":"inject","z":"641e3ee5.52876","name":"Set 0 to Firebase","topic":"","payload":"","payloadType":"date","repeat":"","crontab":"","once":false,"onceDelay":0.1,"x":160,"y":280,"wires":[["31e96545.b948ca"]]},{"id":"e605003b.cc1a5","type":"firebase modify","z":"641e3ee5.52876","name":"Set 1 to Firebase","firebaseconfig":"","childpath":"test","method":"set","value":"1","priority":"msg.priority","x":410,"y":220,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"31e96545.b948ca","type":"firebase modify","z":"641e3ee5.52876","name":"Set 0 to Firebase","firebaseconfig":"","childpath":"test","method":"set","value":"0","priority":"msg.priority","x":410,"y":280,"wires":[[]]}]
  2. Double click on Firebase called “Set value to 1”, then click on pencil next to the Firebase line and fill it with your own. In my case I’ve just typed bigclowndemo-932c9, in Auth choose None, then click “Add”. Click Done on next page. Do the same on second Firebase named Set 0 to Firebase.

  3. Click deploy. After deploying. Click on “Set 1 to Firebase”. Open your Firebase Database. You have to see 1 in test child, do the same thing with second button and you have to see 0 in child in your database.

5. Sends data from motion sensor to Firebase.


  1. Had flow from Wireless Motion Detector and check if it sends data.
  2. Add mqtt in function that will take data from Motion sensor and sets there same Topic, which we can see in debug mode. This will return json information and we need to convert it.
  3. For converting we will use simple function json, it is in function category. After placing json function we place firebase modify function, which sends our number of motions to firebase. Sets your Firebase like you can read in previous parts. Value msg.payload is there because json save behave this method value from mqtt in function.
  4. Click deploy and you should see number of motions in firebase.

6. Conclusion

You can use Firebase as a bridge of communication. It is easier to work with Firebase if you want to build web or mobile app than getting it right from your Raspberry or Playground. It is free and reliably. It has huge support in programming languages and it is easy to learn.

Chapters in this document:
Edit this page

We will inspire you!

You will get regularly our Clownsletter with real projects from other Makers. Do not miss it!

By sign up you will know how even you can inspire others and get €100 discount coupon!