Lightning detectors are now being produced largely due to the increase in their consumption by ordinary people. That begs the question, which is the best lightning detector to purchase? What are the features I should be looking for while buying a lightning detector? And so on.
The "best" here is highly subjective, and it depends upon your need and your budget as it decides the ideal lightning detector for you. However, most lightning detectors have found a middle ground when it comes to the need and the budget for all sorts of people.
After using unnumbered lightning detectors and gathering adequate intel on its mechanism, I have compiled a list of the best lightning detectors which have been appraised by many users for accurate and reliable service.
Best Lightning Detector Reviews in 2021
1. AcuRite 01210 - Best Lightning Detector
Overall Rating - 4.75/5
AcuRite is one of the most prominent manufacturers of weather instruments as it has been on the scene for quite a while and has made a good impression on a massive number of its users.
I found Acurite lightning detector is extraordinarily accurate and reliable irrespective of the product. Thus it is not astounding that one of their product has made it to the top of the list.
Indeed, this weather station with lightning detector has kept the user's convenience clear in mind, and that is lucid from its flawless wireless sensor that allows you to monitor the Lightning strikes from the comfort of your couch.
The wireless weather sensor captures the data from your house's ambient weather condition and displays a detailed report on the LCD.
The LCD exhibits data on innumerable heads such as temperature, wind speed, humidity, rainfall, wind direction, the magnitude of the lightning, etc. Thanks to the additional rain gauge system, which could be treated as its highlighting feature of this lightning detector.
Data and figures are easy to read and are updated with the change in the respective aspect. Whether it be a bright sunny day or a dark gloom, you can easily read the figures from all angles.
People looking for optimal performance from their lightning detector at a fair price have found their companion. The cost of maintenance is significantly higher than most brands and models; nevertheless, if you are looking for something to commit for a long time, this AcuRite 01210 is the ideal choice for you.
2. Robic 021619 - Best Personal Lightning Detector
Overall Rating - 4.5/5
Robic compact-sized lightning detector is perfect for campers and hikers who are always on the move and still have to keep track of the movement of thunderstorms and lightning.
They work well even on elevated terrain, and the accuracy can be easily relied upon. It can detect lightning strikes within a distance of 40 miles, so you will know if the thunderstorm is approaching you, and you can take necessary actions for yourself and your crew’s safety.
The sheer compactness of the lightning detector allows you to slide it in your pocket, and the alert system will let you know about the nearing of the thunder as soon as it picks up a movement.
The audible mode of warning, along with the illumination of LED lights, will assuredly give you a warning on time.
The intensity of warning is with respect to the distance of the thunder. The battery life of the portable lightning detector ensures long-lasting continuous performance, easily lasting about a whole trip.
The device's auto-off feature prompts it to shut down if it picks up no lightning activity for about 2 hours, subsequently saving the energy.
It helps one greatly at tracking the thunderstorm and evading its wrath through continuous updates of its location. These are durable if they are used and managed properly.
The cost of maintenance is low, as is clear from its size, and thus, a perfect commodity to own.
Robic portable lightning detector is easy to use and is apt for all purposes, predominantly for people on the move, as personal lightning detectors will help them immensely. Law enforcement agents and sports coaches will find it extraordinarily helpful as well, owing to its compactness.
3. AcuRite 01021M - Best Lightning Detector for Accuracy
Overall Rating - 4.4/5
The wireless mechanism from this AcuRite 01021M renders accurate information on all heads on the very effective LED display, which is easy to read from all possible angles and at all possible times of the day, whether it be in the bright sunlight, low-light, or night-light, viewing is highly effective.
The comprehensive rain gauge of the 01021M records the ambient weather, humidity levels, amount of rainfall, dew point, and atmospheric pressure. These meticulous data help you in more than one way.
It detects lightning as soon as the storm falls under its jurisdiction, and it subsequently renders information about the direction, movement, and magnitude of the potential lightning strike.
With reliable weather forecasts and timely warnings about impending catastrophes, you will never find yourself in the position of complete vulnerability owing to the competence of the AcuRite.
There is no need for you to make any adjustments or manual calibration to be assured of its accuracy, as the self-calibration of the device always gives you abundantly accurate information on the weather of your region.
The device's weather-resistant sensors make sure that the functionality is not ruined by heavy precipitation or any other external influence. The durability of the product makes it an ideal choice for a long-term investment.
AcuRite offers a great deal at a bare minimum price. It might be considered a little high-maintenance, but the durability it promises, and the wide array of features it offers is extraordinary.
AcuRite lightning detector is perfect for an integrated home system that always keeps its data up-to-date and issues timely warnings about the Lightning strike.
4. AcuRite 02020 - Best Portable Lightning Detector
Overall Rating - 4/5
All kinds of lightning warnings are issued by the AcuRite 02020 and especially effective when it comes to warnings about lightning strikes. Not only does it give alerts about cloud-to-ground lightning, but it also tends to alert the cloud-to-cloud lightning and intra-cloud lightning.
This comes in handy when you have acute heart problems and children scared of lightning, as such lightning may have serious implications. It can detect the movement of lightning that falls in the distance of the 25-mile range.
The warning mode consists of a loud siren alarm, and red LED illumination, enough for anybody to take a note. Apart from this, a clear warning message appears on the screen, which is easily legible even in complete darkness, thanks to the backlit display.
The device's interference rejection tendencies ensured that all false warnings were shunned out, so the alerts that reached you were completely authentic.
The portability is what catches the eyes of most people. The general users of lightning detectors usually prefer units that can be carried anywhere easily.
A mountaineer, who is close to lightning strikes, considers the compactness of the lightning detector above everything else. Keeping the needs of such people in view, the AcuRite has made sure that this launch meets the requirements of campers, hikers, sports officials, law enforcement agents, and many other people who often find themselves outdoors.
With the sheer compactness of the unit, which I have made quite lucid here, it is an ideal choice for many professional people who are exposed to the wrath of nature more than anyone else.
The accuracy and reliability cannot be questioned as AcuRite has always maintained a veneration position amongst major weather-based manufacturers, and this lightning detector is no different.
5. Skyscan EWS Pro 2 - Best Lightweight Lightning Detector
Overall Rating - 4.4/5
Skyscan lightning detectors are professional grade that has been appraised for its early pickup and lightning detection. It is a quintessential unit for individuals and families residing in storm-prone areas that are frequently subjected to lightning strikes.
About 40 miles, the coverage allows the lightning detector to pick up the approaching lightning carried by a thunderstorm conveniently. The warning is communicated effectively via a loud siren alarm that would even wake the hounds of hell.
The LED illuminators are a useful addition that will deliver if the alarm proves to be faulty or ineffective in some special situations(which is highly unlikely).
The LED illuminates in a series of ranges, such as giving information about whether the storm moves towards your location, away from your location, or parallel to you.
Such meticulous pieces of information allow you to plan your course of action to evade being a target of a lightning strike. This feature has proven to be highly useful for some people who found themselves being cordoned with hazards.
Sky scan lightning detector comes with a low-battery indicator, which lets you know if the battery is nearing its depletion and requires replacing. The filtration system of the unit prevents false alerts from grasping your attention for nothing.
This lightning detector is not much to look at, even grotesque for some people’s taste, but it's utility is unbound as it has become pretty evident. It is fairly inexpensive compared to other models in its league and ensures that not even a single penny of yours is wasted.
6. AcuRite 06045M - Best Outdoor/Indoor Lightning Detector
Overall Rating - 4/5
AcuRite Lightning Detector Sensor 06045M is ideal for accurate and reliable cloud-to-ground lightning detection within the range of 25 miles. This unit is perfect for indoor as well as outdoor thunderstorms. It picks up the signal if the lightning is close to your location and always keeps you aware.
The dual sensory units of thermometer and hygrometer ensure that you are updated with the ambient temperature and humidity levels at all times, giving it an edge over its competitors that are largely confined to giving updates about the direction and magnitude of the lightning carried storms.
The wireless connectivity of this lightning detector allows it to be mounted anywhere, and the location of installation does not become an impediment. It does not require cables even for charging as it entirely runs on long-lasting batteries.
It is advised to take the batteries out when you are not particularly threatened by thunderstorms or during off-seasons as it may impede effective performance.
It is highly durable due to the weather-resistant exterior and does not get impacted by heavy precipitation or strong winds. There needs to be some maintenance level and cannot be left to its own devices, as is the case with most AcuRite productions.
It is compatible with most AcuRite models such as 01021, 02080, 06047, but does not work with other brand's models, at least not effectively. The warning mode consists of a loud alarm and LED illuminators that can successfully let you know if you are vulnerable to any danger from the clouds.
With an easy-to-install and productive performance, this unit is highly recommended whether you are looking for an outdoor or indoor lightning detector.
The versatility of the product easily makes it better than a lot of its competitors, and it is only behind a handful of the other models of AcuRite.
7. Xtreme Research SKYSCANX - Best Lightning Detector for Sports Person
Overall Rating - 4/5
SKYSCANX Lightning Detector detects the deterioration of lightning and gives early warning to the users. It is generally used for outdoor purposes, especially by sports coaches and sports officials to track weather conditions. It can also be installed at homes and will still deliver with the same magnificence.
Quick to react, it can pick up the movement of lightning carryings storms occurring within 40 miles. The use of electromagnetic emissions by this SKYSCANX unit ensures that the direction and magnitude of the storm and lightning are made known to you as soon as it picks up an activity.
It is the swiftness of the unit that makes it a top-quality material. The hallmark SKYSCANX characteristic lets you know whether the storm moves towards your direction, away from your direction, or parallel to your direction.
This ensures that you know the storm's location, so you will not fall into a storm trap. The instrument can function excellently even during strong precipitation, as nothing can impede the device's effective performance.
SKYSCANX Lightning Detector also facilitates identifying the nature of the storm, whether it is the harsh and fast movement of winds, heavy precipitation, tornadoes, or sand storm.
These kinds of storms can have a major impact on you and the people around you, and thus, the internment lets you know the severity of the storm by activating the Severe Thunderstorm Alarm.
This alarm is easily distinguishable from the regular alarm as it continues to buzz like a siren for straight for 15 seconds. The range of coverage of the unit is approximately 40 miles but has all authentic alerts if lightning is detected within 1 to 2 miles.
Because of its vast area of detection, one can have plenty of time to plan their course of action to avoid meeting the storm's fate.
A highly versatile unit that renders information on all aspects, this device will tell you the precise location of your storm with respect to yours, its movement with respect to yours, and the nature of the storm. This is a highly enlightening instrument that will not keep you in the dark from any fact whatsoever.
8. AcuRite 06075M - Best Lightning Detector for Early Detection
Overall Rating - 3.9/5
AcuRite 06075M Lightning Detector module serves as an additional ad piece to the Atlas Weather sensor's integrated system, which gives information about weather elements such as temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, dew point, wind speed, and wind direction.
The complete installation will facilitate the Atlas sensor's ability to detect lightning that occurs within its range of functionality. The readings appear on its informative LCD, which will allow you to see the detection, direction, and severity of the lightning carrying storms and reliably lets you know its movement.
Its ability to display other elements of weather helps enormously as well. Early detection and early warning will make it abundantly more comfortable for you to plan your course of action with all the time at your disposal.
The addition of AcuRite 06075M gives your Atlas sensor a rejuvenated life, and you will get information and warnings about virtually all the natural catastrophes that the system is completely consummated.
9. Talos SFD-1000-G - Best Lightning Detector for Loud Alarm
Overall Rating - 3.7/5
The TALOS's 24/7 service will give your house eyes and ears that are always on the look-out for lightning. You will never be vulnerable to storms and lightning strikes because you will know about their nearing way before they actually reach.
The unit works independently of an internet connection, so you are never off-guard. It is highly durable and functions on all sorts of terrain and weather conditions.
The weather-resistant exterior of the lightning detector protects it from water and dust and gives you wonderful performance all time.
It gives an accurate warning about cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-ground, and intra-cloud movement of lightning that occurs within the range of 25 miles.
You will be relieved of false warnings and alerts, which are common in lightning detectors due to its feature of false warning rejection.
The LED lights of three different colors incorporated with the device relay information about the nearness of the epicenter detected so you have a vague idea about the location of the storm to your own.
The most outstanding feature of the unit that sets it apart from most lightning detectors is the sheer loudness of the device.
The high-frequency sound is enough to alert everybody within a short distance of the device. So, if you are out with friends on a camping trip, one lightning detector will alert the entire party of the approaching catastrophe.
Lightning detectors are generally pricy and ask a lot of commitment due to the high cost of maintenance, which is high in many cases.
However, TALOS made the unit by keeping the needs of a common person in mind. Thus, the initial deposit and the cost of maintenance, owing to its durability and weather-resistance, are low and easily attainable by an average person.
10. Ecowitt WH57 - Best Lightning Detector under Budget
Overall Rating - 3.65/5
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning Detection can give Live updates daily about the developments or potential formation of lightning-carrying storms if connected to WiFi.
It allows you to keep close surveillance on your region's weather pattern and the precise magnitude of lightning (whenever it occurs) that occur within the range of 25 miles. This viewing can be done on the WS view app.
The Lightning detector app shows comprehensive information about the weather with all sorts of graphs and figures, allowing you to make a meticulous comparison to understand the pattern.
It not only gives you information about the current storm events and lightning, but it also gives you the entire history of storms and catastrophes with meticulous charts and graphs, giving you unbound information.
Best Lightning Detector Buying Guide
Factors Need to Consider Before Buying a Lightning Detector
Personal lightning detectors are a state-of-the-art invention. They are used by regular people such as campers, hikers, law enforcement agents, sports organizers. They found lightning detectors are highly useful because they can be vulnerable to lightning strikes during their endeavors, and little heads up go a long way.
Thus, personal lightning detectors have emerged as a popular product on these lots. If you are thinking of getting yourself a lightning detector, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind before buying the instrument.
These determinants will have a major impact on your final choice, and thus, a minute of thought over them will help you in the long run.
The location where the lightning detector will be used plays a notable role. The location can be categorized as your geographical location and whether you are indoors or outdoors.
Many regions have a geographical policy when it comes to instruments like lightning detectors. This policy is, though, only limited to the setting-up of a comprehensive ground-based system. There is a set of protocols you need to follow, which can be gathered from your local authority office.
In some areas, setting up such a comprehensive system is even prohibited. However, there are no protocols in the case of personal lightning detectors. Nonetheless, it is suggested that the local authority is consulted before buying such a thing. The next spatial category that is of prominence is whether the lightning detector is indoor-based or outdoor.
If you want a lightning detection system for a sports field, you might go for an integrated ground-based lightning system that will carry out its functioning without a break. The lightning detection system can remain functional for a long time, and when the lightning strike is about to dawn on you, you will be warned as per the alert system of the device.
Suppose you are a person residing in a coastal region and are prone to thunderstorms and lightning strikes. In that case, you can use the portable lightning detector from indoors, and a comprehensive ground-based system is not needed.
Instead, the best option for you is to go for a personal lightning detector which is easy to buy, easy to use, and cheaper to get. It is to note that even indoor usage of lightning detectors requires a set of rules to be followed.
2. Warning system
The most prominent thing to consider while buying a lightning detector is its mode of giving warnings and alerts. The mode of warning should be loud and alarming.
The alert modes can range from minor vibrations to loud sirens, depending upon the quality of the device. The advanced models offer a variety of modes of warning to choose from.
Often, a single lightning detector will vibrate strongly while giving loud sirens, and some also have an audio-based warning system that pronounces the warning in a robotic voice. Again, these are advanced than most other models and may have a hefty price tag on them.
It would help if you decided whether the purpose of your purchase requires a voice-based warning system extravagance or a good old siren is sufficient.
We all want our electronic devices to be as accurate as possible, don’t we? The accuracy of lightning detectors is much important. Otherwise, they can do more harm than good. Let’s keep the robotic talk out of the way and talk the basics.
If you are out with your family and if a lightning-carrying thunderstorm is approaching and your lightning detector fails to pick it up or misguides you with the location and direction of the lightning. What will happen?
The most likely situation is you will be caught up in the storm because you relied upon an inaccurate and faulty device. You are even likely to be subject to a lightning strike. To avoid such predicaments, it is advised to go for an accurate device, and you can always rely upon the information given by it.
The information on whether or not a lightning detector is accurate can be gathered from the review section of the device. The reviews are dropped by those people who have already had an experience with using the instrument and who can share their experience with you, guiding and influencing your choice.
Durability concerns itself how long the device is going to serve its central purpose. Most lightning detectors, or electronics in general, needs high maintenance, which ultimately determines their durability.
So you can say to some extent, it is YOU who determines the durability of the device. The second aspect of durability is, taking personal efforts out of the equation; brands with good names produce highly durable devices because of the material used to make them and reliable mechanisms.
Because of their names, these brands are going to charge you for the durability, but if the maintenance factor is totally absent from the usage, you will probably have that device used up in about a year.
The third aspect of durability is the warranty period guaranteed by the manufacturers. The period of warranty says much about the product than the free services you will be getting. It ensures unobjectionable performance during the warranty period. It is the manufacturer's word that you are not likely to face problems that tell us about its ultimate durability for this period.
Devices with a longer warranty period are likely to be more durable than devices with shorter warranty periods. This can become a deciding factor for you if you want a long-serving lightning detector.
The last determinant and the most important one for a few is the price and cost of investment of the lightning detector. When I say the cost of investment, I include all the costs that are likely to incur after the initial purchase of the device, primarily the maintenance cost.
Several cheap detectors can be bought for as low as $50, but these are naturally likely to be dysfunctional easy and early. The advanced products that guarantee much accuracy and durability are bound to ask for more money, and they will also require large sums after the initial purchase.
This includes the maintenance costs exclusive to the reparations, as these are covered under warranty. Furthermore, after your warranty period comes to an end, you will incur additional expenditure in the form of reparation and replacements.
The estimates of such expenditure need to be taken into consideration, and a final budget must be formed before you begin looking for prospects. Between the cheap models and the advanced and expensive models, there is a category that involves an inexpensive investment and renders a fair quality of service. Seasonal users can go for such products as you are getting quality at a fair price.
Lightning detectors make it evident that the determination of all-natural catastrophes and the issuance of warnings against each kind is plausible and entails saving lives on a large-scale.
Although such warnings are widely issued on radios and television, a handful of people who are out of the reach of such instruments can also be on guard at all times by means of lightning detectors.
Therefore, choosing the best lightning detector that matches your need is imperative. I hope you found this article helpful.
About the Author
I am Tim, a weather enthusiast who loves to watch hurricanes and all other harsh weather conditions. I studied B.Sc(Meteorology) at the University of Miami. With excellent knowledge of Weather Forecasting, Meteorology, and Environmental Science, I am currently working in San Francisco as a Meteorologist. Also, I am a member of The Weather Channel and AccuWeather. In this blog, I will write a detailed review of Weather instruments that you need for survival and other activities.