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What materials are used for Lightning Protection System?

A lightning protection system consists of air terminals (lightning rods or strike termination devices), bonding conductors, ground terminals (ground or “earthing” rods, plates, or mesh), and all connectors and supports. The air terminals are normally positioned at or along the top points of a roof structure and are electrically coupled together by bonding conductors (referred to as “down conductors” or “downleads”), which are connected to one or more grounding or earthing terminals through the most direct method. Connections to the earth electrodes must have a low self-inductance as well as a low resistance.

Franklin Design for Lightning Protection Systems

The standard Franklin design is used in the majority of lightning protection systems in use today. The primary premise underlying Franklin-type lightning protection systems is to create a suitably low impedance channel for lightning to flow through in order for it to reach ground without causing damage to the building. This is accomplished by enclosing the structure in a Faraday cage. On the roof of the building, lightning protection conductors and lightning rods are installed to intercept any lightning before it strikes the building.

Conductor Cables

Lightning protection conductors are heavy-duty copper or aluminum braided wires that connect the components of the roof network of the lightning protection system while also creating various pathways for lightning current to safely go to the ground.

  • Copper conductors: 1/2′′ braided cable with 32 strands of 17 gauge copper wire.
  • Aluminum conductors: 5/8′′ braided cable with 26 strands of 14 gauge aluminum wire.

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    Air Terminals or Rods

    Air terminals often know as lightning protection rods is the typical lightning protection technology. The lightning protection system consists of a series of miniature terminals/rods positioned along the roofline of a house. The system’s primary objective is to give a clean path for lightning to the ground. Don’t like the look of your roof’s terminals? There are decorative terminals and cosmetic options available.

    • Copper dimensions range from 3/8′′ x 10′′ to 1/2′′ x 24′′.
    • Aluminum dimensions range from 1/2′′ x 10′′ to 1/2′′ x 24′′.
    • Rods longer than 24 inches can be ordered with a brace.


    The electrical current from lightning that passes through the down conductors after a lightning strike is captured by a lightning rod or other form of air terminal is dissipated by lightning protection grounding systems in residential structures.

    Electrical surges induced by power-switching transients can also be dispersed by grounding systems. The components of a grounding system, like the connections between air terminals, down conductors, and grounding systems, must be correctly bonded.  To prevent dangerous voltages in the case of a lightning strike or power-switching transient, any existing conductive equipment on-site must also be connected to the grounding system.

    All lightning protection materials used meet NFPA Standards.

    Materials for Lightning Protection System

    Materials for Lightning Protection System

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    At Gulf Coast Lightning Rods, LLC of Florida, our goal is to keep you and your property safe from lightning strikes. We can inspect, design, manage, and install any type of lightning protection and surge protection system throughout Florida, the entire South East, the Gulf Coast, and the Atlantic Coast. We offer lightning protection services throughout the state of Florida, the entire South East, the Gulf Coast, and the Atlantic Coast. Lightning protection is also available in Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and other states. Call us today for a no-obligation consultation.