Receive nostr zaps with your lightning node with Ligess (self-hosted, personal lightning address)

donderdag 23 maart 2023 - 451 woorden, 3 min read

From the first moment lightning zaps were introduced in Nostr (NIP-57) I was looking for a way how to receive these sats from zaps to my own lightning node. I discovered Ligess and stucked to that when I noticed Mutatrum was already building a solution for receiving zaps.

At this moment, most zaps over Nostr are received by custodial wallets with lightning addresses like Wallet of Satoshi and Alby (source).

From a more self-sovereign point of view you would like to have the option to use a self-custodial wallet with a lightning address which accept zaps.

Lightning zaps with Ligess

Mutatrum did some nice work with integrating lightning zaps into Ligess, a self-hosted personal lightning address application. Ligess runs as a nodejs application. In my opinion this tool acts like a lightning extension / micro application.

My setup with Ligess

I’ve used the documentation on for installing, configuring and maintaining the software for running my own lightning node. This setup is running for more than two years.

I’ve written a documentation article as a contribution for The Road to Node how you can install Ligess:

In summary, these are the pieces running on my node device:

Nginx reverse proxy configuration for my domain

upstream ligess {

server {

    listen [::]:443 ssl http2;
    listen 443 ssl http2;
    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/; # managed by Certbot
    include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-nginx.conf;
    ssl_dhparam /etc/letsencrypt/ssl-dhparams.pem;
    ssl_session_cache shared:ligess:1m;

    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Host $host;

    location /.well-known/lnurlp/ {
        if ($request_method = 'GET') {
            add_header 'Access-Control-Allow-Origin' '*';
        proxy_pass http://ligess;
    location /ln {
        proxy_pass http://ligess;           
server {
    if ($host = {
        return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    return 404;

Add Nostr private key as environment variable in the Ligess .env file


Pro tip from Mutatrum: you can use a seperate key-pair here just for signing the zap notes.
Use Rana or noscl if you would like to generate a key-pair on your machine.

Systemd configuration for running Ligess as a system service

ExecStart=yarn dev

With this setup you can send me zaps over Nostr. The sats of those zaps will be send to my self-hosted lightning wallet connected to my lightning node.

Temporary solution

The NIP-57 is probably temporary and will be replaced or appended with other solutions in the future. You can read a nice discussion why here.

Please remember Nostr is in a very, very early phase of development and adoption.

I expect things will change a lot when BOLT12 is finished (source). The topic around lightning powered micropayments over Nostr will evolve fast.

Sebastian Hagens @Sebastix
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