Understanding Event Emitters in Node.js

people partying with confetti

Understanding Event Emitters in Node.js

Event emitters are a fundamental part of Node.js’s event-driven architecture, facilitating communication between different parts of an application. In this blog post, we’ll explore what event emitters are, how they work, how to create custom event emitters, and practical examples of using event emitters in Node.js applications.

What is an Event Emitter?

An event emitter is a class in Node.js that allows you to bind multiple functions (listeners) to an event name and invoke those functions when the event is emitted. It follows the observer pattern, where objects (listeners) register interest in specific events emitted by another object (event emitter).

How Event Emitters Work

Event emitters in Node.js are instances of the EventEmitter class provided by the events module. They expose methods to emit events and to register and unregister event listeners.

  1. Creating an Event Emitter:
   const EventEmitter = require('events');

   class MyEmitter extends EventEmitter {}

   const myEmitter = new MyEmitter();

   // Registering an event listener
   myEmitter.on('event', () => {
     console.log('Event occurred!');

   // Emitting the event

In this example:

  • We create a custom event emitter by extending EventEmitter.
  • We register a listener for the 'event' event using .on() method.
  • We emit the 'event' event using .emit() method, which triggers the registered listener.
  1. Passing Arguments with Events: Event emitters can pass arguments to event listeners:
   myEmitter.on('sum', (a, b) => {
     console.log(`Sum is: ${a + b}`);

   myEmitter.emit('sum', 10, 20); // Outputs: Sum is: 30

Here, the 'sum' event emitter passes arguments 10 and 20 to the listener, which calculates and logs their sum.

Practical Use Cases

  • Asynchronous Communication: Event emitters facilitate asynchronous communication between different parts of an application.
  • Handling Events: They are used extensively in frameworks like Express.js for handling HTTP requests (req and res are event emitters).
  • Custom Modules: Event emitters allow custom modules to communicate events and state changes internally.

Integrating Event Emitters in Node.js Applications

Let’s consider an example of using event emitters in a simple Node.js application:

// Example of using event emitters in a Node.js application

const EventEmitter = require('events');

class OrderManager extends EventEmitter {
  placeOrder(orderDetails) {
    // Simulate order processing
    console.log('Processing order...');
    setTimeout(() => {
      // Emit event when order is processed
      this.emit('orderPlaced', orderDetails);
    }, 2000);

// Create an instance of OrderManager
const orderManager = new OrderManager();

// Register an event listener
orderManager.on('orderPlaced', (order) => {
  console.log(`Order placed successfully: ${JSON.stringify(order)}`);

// Place an order
orderManager.placeOrder({ id: 1, product: 'Laptop', quantity: 1 });

In this example:

  • OrderManager extends EventEmitter to handle order-related events.
  • placeOrder method simulates placing an order and emits an 'orderPlaced' event after a delay.
  • We register a listener for 'orderPlaced' event and log the order details when the event is emitted.


Event emitters provide a powerful mechanism for handling events and asynchronous communication in Node.js applications. By understanding their usage and integrating them effectively, developers can enhance the modularity and responsiveness of their applications. Whether you’re building a small CLI tool or a large-scale web application, event emitters play a crucial role in managing interactions between different parts of your Node.js application.

Also Read:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share this article:

Follow by Email0

Also Read: