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LED lighting technology represents a significant investment for everyone, from small businesses and companies to entire municipalities. The benefits are numerous, but the price tag can be steep.

This makes protecting your investment more important, especially from surge damage.

The life cycle of any LED luminaire can be drastically affected by sudden surges negatively. With proper protection and an understanding of how surges work, you can give your LED investments the best possible chance at a longer lifespan and avoid wasting money.

Here’s what you need to know about LED surge protection.

How to Identify the Surge Source

A surge is any drastic increase in voltage within an electrical circuit. For LED lighting systems, these surges can wear out the LED drivers, causing service interruptions and wearing down the lifecycle of your investment.

However, not all surges are the same. You have two common types of surges:

  1. Lightning-related surges
  2. Artificially generated surges


The difference between the two types of surges is significant and has to do with both the magnitude and the duration of the surge.

With lightning-related surges, the magnitude is much higher, and there is typically a much larger amount of energy produced. However, the duration is much shorter. Even with this sudden surge of energy, lightning doesn’t last very long—especially compared to other types of energy. This means that the damage caused by a lightning-related surge can be easily identified by localized, catastrophic, and extensive damage to equipment.

On the other hand, damage caused by artificially generated surges is just the opposite: Much less catastrophic but more widespread.

Artificially generated surges can also only be conducted through the power supply. If the damage is done to other non-power-related components, you can narrow the culprit down to a lightning-related surge.

Do All Units Fail When There is a Power Surge?

A power surge to a facility doesn’t mean that every power supply or piece of electronic equipment will fail.

Many factors contribute to this, including:

  • Other units didn’t receive enough energy from the surge
  • The quality of electrical wiring within each unit (grounding, wire lengths, etc.)
  • Electrical proximity to the surge origin
  • The affected power supply draws energy away from other units


It’s a common occurrence for other power supplies to remain operational when one is damaged by a surge.

How Much Protection Should My Units Have?

Considering the high cost and time investment with LED lighting, ensuring that your investment is adequately protected is crucial. Surge limiters can be used to protect LED lighting circuits from potential damage and increase the lifespan of your investment.

Although surge protection is not completely foolproof, it will prevent most technological catastrophes related to surges.

The surge limiter market continues to grow as more and more companies and municipalities switch to LED lighting to reap the benefits. They’re relatively easy to install and are inexpensive—especially when compared to the possible costs associated with damage to LED drivers.

For example, the GRE Alpha SEL-20kA is a surge energy protector that offers maximum protection to any LED lighting investment. It protects against both direct and indirect lightning strikes and is fully potted, meaning that it functions in outdoor and indoor installations.

Other features include:

  • Surge protection of up to 20kA/20kV
  • UL Type 2 SPD
  • Line to Line and Line to Ground protection
  • LED indicator for device status
  • IP65 rated
  • Temperature range of -40 to 70 Celsius


The SEL-20kA works in all sorts of applications, including outdoor lighting signage, parking lots, and more.

Protect Your Investment with the Right Surge Protector

Don’t let your investment fall to surges—whether lightning-related or otherwise. Consider protecting your investment with the GRE Alpha SEL-20kA and reap the benefits of LED lighting for years to come.

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