Instructions to get an incoming channel from LNBIG with Umbrel

LNBIG is a big network of LN nodes with huge channels and liquidity. They offer relatively cheap incoming channel capacity. Appr. $3 for a 2M SAT channel, and $4 for a 16M SAT channel. You have to pay for it on LN. Here are the steps to set it up. It looks long and complicated, but when you actually do it, it’s easy and you will be done within 1-2 minutes.

  1. First tab: Open your Umbrel on the LN page, you will need to pay the invoice from here
  2. Second tab: Install and open the RTL (Ride the Lightning) app from the Umbrel App Store
  3. Within RTL go to Lightning > Peers/Channels > Peers (tab), you will need to add LNBIG’s node as a peer later here
  4. Third tab: Open LNBIG: https://lnbig.com
  5. Find the Inbound channel to you section and make your choice of channel size
  6. Click next to get a QR code of the invoice to be paid. You can pay this with your mobile if you have enough sats on it or with your Umbrel.
  7. If you’re paying with Umbrel, you need to do a little trick. CTRL click the QR code and copy link. You get an invoice something like this: lightning:lnbc117860n1psvetv3pp5prk3f73fx53tau0r6lu9g6je7sreuxq0ye2geqvctg04j3asmu6sdz0235x2grswfjhqcted4jkuapqvehhygrpyp3ksctwdejkcgr0wpjku6twvusxzapqf38yy6289e3k7mgcqzpgxqrpxasp5c644ntejnrr0gld739ncpe3vu35ygt3yejnhr0c5mr3f65husfgs9qy9qsq39xruvxg2chxagfa0qd9hrvtt0ppsat9pxky5atp2h96tfngzhnjm86gzy5qrteg59hpe6qcxtamlr7p4jxzk4rdy28g99wqyze7qsgqgjkv2x
  8. Paste in the invoice to your Umbrel lightning send field, but remove the part: lightning: in the front.
  9. Pay for it and don’t expect it to resolve immediately, it’s a special invoice that only executes if the channel open is successful. This is pretty cool btw.
  10. Return to the LNBIG tab and notice that it will ask you to use an LNURL to connect, but you need to use the second tab which allows you to provide a node id, which is what you should do.
  11. Copy out your Lightning Address from your Umbrel LN page, and test if it LNBIG accepts it. It should.
  12. Now LNBIG will tell you to connect to their node. It will give you the ID of the LNBIG channel and a node id, but this is node id will not be helpful to connect. You need to do another last hoop to make this work.
  13. Go to https://1ml.com/search and search for LNBIG.com, find the node id that is given to you by LNBIG that you need to connect to. Then, click on that node.
  14. Finally, you can copy out the complete node ID that you need in RTL, which looks something like this (for example for id 17): 03fb822818be083e0a954db85257a2911a3d55458b8c1ea4124b157e865a836d12@46.229.165.133:9735
  15. Go to to RTL, click Add Peer and paste in the full node id that you got above.
  16. That’s it. When you return to LNBIG you will see it detects that you connected to it, and it will immediately open the channel. You can see this on your Umbrel on the LN page or in RTL under the channels tab. You just have to wait 3 confirmations on-chain.

Enjoy! :zap:

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Thank you.
Very good (and easy explanations).
:+1:

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To confirm it’s good. Clear and simple to follow instructions! Thanks

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Awesome, thanks for the tutorial @btc_ln

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Gonna see if this works shortly!

@btc_ln <– many thanks for taking your time to share these instructions. Just gave it a shot, 16.7M sats inbound for $3.20 … I cannot argue with that :slight_smile:

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I was able to do this - truly just had to fill in nodeID. Didn’t try with Thunderhub or RTL: only used RTL to add LNBIG as a peer as their instructions directed.

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Is this for a short term channel only? I don’t get it, what’s the catch. What’s to stop them from just giving up on the channel quickly and keeping the fees, other than a busy mempool.

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I assume they would rather earn sats on routing money and building a long term business opening channels. LNBIG has been operating large channels for a long time. They have dedicated their considerable wealth to LN regardless of this service.

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I opened a channel with LNBIG and then followed the procedure for them to open one with me, but I get a “Your node is not connected to our node.” error message. Any ideas of how to address this?

Did you follow steps 12 to 15?

I connected my node to LNBIG from the Lightning page of my Umbrel node, not using RTL. But it shows up in RTL as connected to LNBIG

That’s not correct. What you did was open a channel to LNBIG with capacity on your side. This is not a problem. It’s a perfectly cool channel. You can keep it and use it to send funds.

But, the objective of this exercise is to create incoming capacity from LNBIG so you can receive large amount of funds. You don’t Open Channel, you should connect to LNBIG’s node AS A PEER. This means you’re not opening a channel, you’re just connecting to that node to exchange data, and allow them to open a channel towards you.

Since their channel open wasn’t successful towards you, they didn’t take your fees, so you can try again.

Hope this makes sense.

It does make sense! Thanks for the insight. I followed steps 12 to 15 and it worked now!!

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Does anyone know for how long does LNBIG plan to keep these channels open?

Great news!

Usually these services don’t close the channels until there is traffic on it because they earn routing fees, however if it’s untouched for months they will likely close it in order to allocate the liquidity elsewhere. However, if you don’t have traffic on it for months, you probably don’t care anyway. :smiley:

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Hello, first of all thanks for the instructions, they are really clear and easy to follow, but unfortunately I’m stuck in the 9th step. I’m trying to send the payment but I get a message saying… “Unable to send lightning payment: insufficient_balance”.

In the Umbrel Lightning wallet it says… “the balance is automatically deducted from your Bitcoin wallet and credited to your Lightning wallet”, so I’m assuming it, but I don’t know if I have to take any other action before following these instructions, if it is an error (whatever the reason) or how to solve this.

Any comment about it is very welcome.

Thanks in advance :pray:

Hey. Thanks for the kind words.

Do you already have at least one channel with outgoing capacity?

Oh god. No, no channel created yet :man_facepalming:
I go for it right now.

Thanks for the advice @btc_ln

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You could open a (small) channel to me to pay because I have incoming and outgoing capacity to LNBIG. I route your payment:
02ac6b7d6f6479decea58e759f9cd5f42b6c1c446d4ba4bdcb30ee817aec9660f4@ymtnh6qsev3emaerdkh5mhc7m7gxs22awef6c2bjzwm5kawauuk5sxid.onion:9735

But any other channel should work fine.

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