How to protect LED road lamps from lightning strikes by choosing installation methods

LEDs save energy. All over the world, for road illumination, gas discharge light sources are exchanged for light emitting diodes, LEDs. We are still in the beginning of a process of exchanging all light sources for LED-lamps, a process that also includes road illumination systems. The reason is that LED-lamps saves electric energy, without loss of illumination quality. LED-lamps are much more energy efficient than the alternatives. LED-lamps are saving energy, but are very sensitive to over-voltages, much more sensitive than gas-discharge lamps. Many lamps destroyed at the same occasion. The experience of damages caused by lightning strikes is yet limited, but in many cases hundreds of LED have been destroyed by one single lightning strike. High energy lightning pulses are propagated from the point of impact along the power supply cables to all lamps connected to the same net-work. Therefore, in areas where thunderstorms are common, lightning strikes have caused great damage on LED-lamps along roads. High voltage pulses, with short duration carries low energy, but are fatal to LEDs. Since LED-lamps are much more sensitive to overvoltage, a LED lamp will destroyed by very short pulses exceeding the recommended voltage by only a few volts. This makes LED lamps extremely sensitive to lightning, even if the lightning hits far away from the lamps. This is a new problem not existing with gas discharge tubes, which are very resistant to over-voltages with short duration. Many manufacturers install over-voltage protection units close to the LEDs for this reason.


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Media Info

  • Pagination: 114p

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01739098
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • Files: ITRD, VTI
  • Created Date: May 14 2020 9:42AM