The Need for Surge Protective Devices in Highway, Street, and Parking Lot Lighting

Common highway, street, and parking lot luminaires use electrical ballasts, LED drivers, and power supplies that are critical to proper function of lighting equipment. The same ballasts and power supplies can also be susceptible to damage from transient overvoltages. For this reason, Surge Protective Devices (SPDs) should be installed to protect streetlight equipment from surges to ensure reliable operation. This document explains the importance of applying a protection strategy when installing, upgrading, or servicing these systems.


In New York City alone, there are more than 250,000 streetlights. Throughout the world, many millions of streetlights illuminate roadways and public spaces. Each has one thing in common - they are susceptible to damage by overvoltage transients. Because streetlights are usually pole-mounted, they are subject to risks from lightning activity and resulting surges.