The importance of lightning protection should not be underestimated. Lightning has the potential to not only harm human life and buildings, but also to have a significant negative impact on electrical circuits.

The Problem with Lightning

In many cases where lightning has caused electrical devices to fail, the owner is entirely unaware of the cause of the damage. The reason is simple; one doesn’t have to receive a direct lightning hit in order to experience the effects of lightning.

In many cases lightning hitting power cables – either below or above ground – can feed excess voltage through the grid, affecting electrical circuits some considerable distance away from the strike area. As a result, many people affected by voltage surges and spikes caused by lightning strikes may not be aware that meteorology is to blame for their failed electrical systems.

Worse, if these voltage surges occur regularly, they can slowly lead to degeneration of electrical systems over an extended period of time. Upon failure, therefore, it may not be immediately obvious that repeated lightning damage has led to considerable damage; especially if the eventual failure occurs in good weather.

Common Lightning Protection Devices

The most common lightning protection devices consist of lightning rods on the roofs of buildings. The goal of these rods is to mitigate the potential damaged caused by a direct hit on the property. In these cases the electrical surge – which may amount to thousands or even millions of volts – is rapidly transported down the outside of the building and into the ground beneath it. In such a way the potentially lethal effects of the voltage surge is quickly eliminated.

However the use of lightning rods may still fail to provide suitable lightning protection in situations where electrical devices are in use. This is because the voltage travelling rapidly down to the ground can create a strong magnetic field; enough to cause electrical interference.

In this manner, even a building benefitting from a lightning rod may still suffer from electrical failure. This can include blown fuses, melted wiring or the corruption of data stored on magnetized memory devices like many computer hard drives.

As a result, in cases where protection from voltage surges is important some form of additional protection is recommended; most commonly in the form of a “lightning suppressor”.

Lightning Protection Products

If you want to protect your electronic devices from direct or indirect lightning strikes then there are a number of tools that can be of assistance. These “lightning guards” or “lightning arresters” can serve a number of distinct benefits…

To begin with these can help to “throttle” your mains power, helping to rapidly control minor power surges and spikes and therefore helping to keep your computer, television and other electronic devices protected from minor disturbance.

Realistically though, no device can throttle the amount of power that may be felt in the case of a direct hit. For this reason the more reliable lightning protection products include a second line of defence. These lighting guards are capable of totally disconnecting your electrical devices from the main power network so as to provide a bulletproof “barrier” between the two.

Lastly the best lightning protection devices are capable of monitoring the current flowing through the mains, only reconnecting electronic devices when the surge has passed and the power is once again stable.

Lighting Protection for Telephone Lines

While voltage surges through mains electricity are the most common result of lightning strikes they are by no means the only potential problem.

Lightning may also strike overhead telephone cables which of course use electricity in order to transmit messages along their length. As a result, in terms of lightning protection it is not enough to only protect yourself from mains surges. For complete protection you should also aim to protect sensitive computing equipment and modems from voltage surges that may arise from the phone socket in your property.

As a result the best lightning guards plug not just into a mains socket to moderate power from the grid, but also into a telephone jack in order to monitor, and control, telecoms power.

Our lightning guards offer all these features and more in order to keep your electronic devices operating safely no matter what your electricity supply may be doing.

View our full range of lightning suppressors products.