This document provides a brief overview of the information provided in Lightning Terminal along with step-by-step instructions on how to perform a Loop via the user interface.
We assume you already have a basic understanding of the Lightning Network, LND nodes, and channels. You should already have Lightning Terminal installed and can access the dashboard via a web browser. Installation instructions can be found in the README.
Lightning Loop is a non-custodial service offered by Lightning Labs to move funds in and out of the Lightning Network from the Bitcoin blockchain. This allows you to easily alter the balances of your channels without needing to close and reopen them, which extends the lifetime of your channels. It also enables operations from multiple nodes to be batched as well, which reduces the fees you need to pay.
Refer to the Loop daemon documentation for a more detailed explanation.
Loop Out: transfer funds from the local balance of one or more Lightning channels to
your on-chain Bitcoin wallet to...
acquire inbound channel liquidity from arbitrary nodes on the Lightning network
deposit funds to a Bitcoin on-chain address without closing active channels
pay to on-chain fallback addresses in the case of insufficient route liquidity
Loop In: transfer funds from your on-chain Bitcoin wallet to the local balance of
one or more of your Lightning channels to...
refill depleted channels with funds from cold-wallets or exchange withdrawals
service off-chain Lightning withdrawals using on-chain payments, with no funds in
have a failsafe payment method that can be used when channel liquidity along a route
Swap: a single instance of a transfer between your off-chain and on-chain balances,
which can be either a Loop Out or Loop In
Here is an overview of what is displayed on screen after you first log in to the dashboard.
The confirmed balances on the Lightning Network and on-chain
The navigation menu containing links to the different screens
displays a list of all of your channels and allows you to perform swaps
displays a list of all of your past swaps
change settings to customize the dashboard UI as well as view node info.
Click the export icon to export your channels as a CSV file
The amount of Bitcoin that the node can receive over your Lightning channels
The amount of Bitcoin that the node can send over your Lightning channels
Click the Loop button to begin creating a swap
The list of open channels that the node has with other peers on the Lightning Network
the amount that can be received over the channel
a visual representation of how much of the channel balance can be sent vs received
the amount that can be sent over this channel
In Fee %
the routing fee rate charged by the peer to receive payments over the channel. The percent is rounded to two decimal places. Hover over the value to see the exact rate expressed as parts-per-million
Up Time %
the uptime percentage of the channel peer
the alias of the channel peer. Hover over this field to see the peer's pubkey
the total capacity of the channel
Lightning Terminal uses a traffic light system to help you prioritize your actions.
highlights information that needs your immediate attention or a failure has occurred
highlights information that you should attend to soon
should tell you that all is well, and no extra attention is required
How to perform a Swap
Follow the steps below to perform a swap via the Lightning Terminal.
Click on the Loop button to begin
(Optional) Select one or more channels if you want the swap to only transfer funds over the chosen channels. This is helpful if you want to only adjust the balance of specific channels.
If you choose more than one channel, there's no guarantee how funds will be split amongst the channels. lnd will use its knowledge of the network to determine how best to split up the payment, if necessary. It's possible that only one of the channels will be used if the payment can be successfully routed through a single channel.
If no channels are specified, Lightning Loop will automatically select channels according to its own optimization algorithm.
Click on either the Loop Out or Loop In buttons depending on whether you want to transfer funds in or out of the Lightning Network.
We'll click Loop Out in this walk through
Drag the slider to adjust the amount you want to swap. The Loop server will vary the
maximum you can swap based on the terms set by Lightning Labs as well as by the amount
you have available in your channels.
Confirm the selected channels that will be used, if any were chosen.
Click the Next button.
Review the Loop amount and the fee. Keep in mind that you will only be charged the fee.
The Loop amount will remain on your node once the swap completes. The balance will just
be shifted between your on-chain and Lightning balances.
Click the Confirm button to submit the swap information to the server and begin the
You will see a loading animation for a few seconds while the information is being submitted.
(Optional) If you wish to abort the swap, you can click on the back arrow button before
the loading animation goes away in 3-5 seconds.
Your swap will now be displayed in the Processing Loops section. It shows you the swap id, amount, and current status as a progress bar.
Swaps require on-chain transactions, so you will need to wait for confirmations before they will complete successfully. For more detailed information about the swap process, take a look at the Loop Out In-depth blog post.
If you selected a channel, it will be indicated with arrows to remind you that there is currently a pending swap using the channel.
Notice that the local balance of this channel dropped by ~8,000,000 sats
To close the Processing Loops section while waiting for on-chain confirmations, click on the Close icon.
You may perform more than one swap at a time, as long as you have the available funds.
To re-open the Processing Loop section after closing it, click on the Maximize
Once all swaps are complete, the green check icon is displayed in the Processing Loop section
Notice that the node's Lightning balance decreased by ~8,000,000 sats and the on-chain wallet balance increased by roughly the same amount.
Congratulations! We have just successfully completed our first Loop Out.
View Loop History
The Loop History page displays a chronological list of all the swaps that have been executed by your node.
Manage UI Settings
The Settings page allows you to configure UI settings and view some basic node information.
Note: settings are currently stored in the browser and therefore will not persist across multiple devices
Change the unit of Bitcoin values displayed throughout the website.
1 Unit (in BTC)
Channel Balance Mode
This setting determines how channels are colored and sorted on the Loop page according to your node's operating mode.
Below are the same list of channels viewed using the different Channel Balance Mode options.
Optimize for Receiving: For merchants who primarily receive inbound Lightning payments, the channels with high local balances will be shaded red. The goal is to keep your local balances as low as possible, so that you can receive more funds inbound.
Optimize for Sending: For exchanges, fiat gateways, and other operators who primarily send outgoing Lightning payments, the channels with high local balances will be shaded red. The goal is to keep your local balances as high as possible, so that you can send more funds outbound.
Optimize for Routing: For routing node operators, that want to keep their channels balanced close to 50%, the channels with a high balance in either direction will be flagged.