Residential Lightning Protection
Design and Installation

What is involved in a residential lightning protection system?

What it looks like: This diagram shows a concealed lightning protection system. To install a system with all the conductor concealed within the building the installation needs to happen during construction or serious remodeling. Otherwise, the system can be installed on the exterior of the building.


View our Residential Lightning Protection Gallery


150_commercial1Air Terminals (Lightning Rods):

The air terminals (or lightning rods) are made from solid copper or solid aluminum. They can be either blunt or pointed at the tip. Recent studies have indicated that blunt-tipped air terminals may be more effective. A typical residential copper air terminal has a diameter of 3/8 inch and will protrude 10 inches above the ridge cap or object being protected. These air terminals are barely noticeable.

Decorative finials and glass globes can be used as an attractive and noticeable option.

Also, weathervanes can be used as air terminals and incorporated into the lightning protection system. Our weathervane supplier is Good Directions (

Surge Suppression:

Surge suppression devices are an essential component of a lightning protection system. Smokestack Lightning provides surge suppression devices for all incoming service lines including the electrical, telephone, cable, and satellite dish lines. All surge suppression devices must be installed by a licensed electrician in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NEC). Typically, the homeowner is responsible for hiring an electrician to install the devices, although Smokestack Lightning can hire an electrician subcontractor as part of the contract with the homeowner.

What do you (the owner) need to do?

Just e-mail us ( with a roof plan and side view plan (elevations), and/or photographs of the building. We could also visit the site, if necessary. We’ll ask about 20 specific questions about the property and then we’ll send a proposal/contract for the system installation.