Michigan Lightning Protection. is a leading manufacturer of lightning protection system components. Our product line includes everything necessary for state-of-the-art lightning protection systems for structures of all types. In addition to our impressive line of standard items, we gladly customize materials for special applications." HOW IT WORKS - Lightning is the visible discharge of static electricity within a cloud, between clouds, or between the earth and a cloud. Scientists still do not fully understand what causes lightning, but most experts believe that it is a result of ice particle interaction in a cloud. Updrafts in the clouds separate charges so that positive charges moves end up at the top of the cloud while negative flow to the bottom. When the negative charge moves down, a "pilot leader" forms. This leader rushes toward the earth in 150-foot discrete steps, ionizing a path in the air. The final breakdown generally occurs to a high object the major part of the lightning discharge current is then carried in the return stroke which flows along the ionized path.
A lighting protection system provides a means by which this discharge may enter or leave earth without passing through and damaging non-conducting parts of a structure, such as those made of wood, brick, tile or concrete. A lightning protection system does not prevent lightning from striking, nor does it attract it to a structure; it provides a means for controlling the discharge. The lightning protection system creates a predetermined pathway, either inside the building in new construction or outside the building in existing construction, to ground. This pathway is engineered to be of low impedance or resistance. The lightning discharge is routed to earth in milliseconds precluding any heat or possible damage. The lightning protection system has the ability to handle the enormous electrical current associated with the strike. The lightning-rod system is an excellent conductor and the duration of the discharge is measured in milliseconds thus allowing the current to flow to ground without causing any heat damage.