Lightning, Power Protection and Audio Systems


I have done considerable study on the issue of power protection recently for your project and several others.

Here are the results of my study so far:

Surge protection is more important and beneficial than voltage regulation. Most modern equipment will operate without any faults @ plus or minus 10% voltage.

If your voltage variation exceeds 10% then there are other serious issues that need to be addressed.

Voltage regulation is reported to increase power usage and increase the cost of electrical service. (I do not know how much.) With most regulators there is also some energy dissipated as heat.

You can have both surge protection and voltage regulation but to do this well would require 2 separate units. Installed cost - about $1000 total for quality units.
I have many customers that have installed the Surgex brand power protection units. Prices from about $300 to over $1000.

Not one of my customers have had any power surge problems since installing the Surgex systems.


Lightning can generate over 1 million volts but your electrical system limits that to 6000 volts and 3000 amps. The Surgex units can handle that without damage to your system or the Surgex unit.

An important note:

Power surge equipment will protect from lightning and power surges that enter through the electrical system. Power surge equipment will not protect from lightning that enters the system thru the microphone or loudspeaker circuits. In my experience this type of damage to audio systems is by far the smaller percentage. At the present time, I do not know of any device that will adequately protect in that situation.

Lightning and power surge damage is the subject of a continuing study by myself and several others in the industry. I will advise you of any new developments when I learn of them.

Larry Stover
Atlantic Audio and Video Systems


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