The 10 Best Lightning Detectors

As the name suggests, a lightning detector can provide you with protection against lightning by detecting the electromagnetic pulse of a lightning strike. Advanced models can calculate the direction of a storm, helping its users get to a safe place before anything disastrous occurs.

Lightning detectors are highly recommended for people who spend a lot of time outdoors, such as campers, golfers, members of the military, police, and other law enforcement officers.

In choosing a lightning detector, some of the things you should consider are price, build quality, features, and accuracy.

Here are 10 of the best lightning detectors today.

StrikeAlert Personal Lightning DetectorStrikeAlert Personal Lightning Detector

This personal lightning detector comes with a graphical display that makes it easy to use and understand. It will notify you of imminent lightning through audible and vibrate warnings. This is highly recommended for hikers, construction workers, campers, and other individuals who work or play outdoors.

This personal lightning detector is handy and portable. It weighs less than an ounce and measures 8 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches. With its size, the device is easy to bring along anywhere.

Aside from its portability, one of the strengths of this personal lightning detector is its colored graphic display. You don’t need to be a meteorologist in order to understand it. It can display strike distances from up to 40 miles away.

It is smart enough to record and display storm trend data. Moreover, it will work the moment you power it on, so it can alert you of upcoming lightning even if it is stored in your backpack.

This device is powered by a couple of AA batteries. It last up to 80 hours before needing to change them


Xtreme Research Skyscan Lightning/Storm DetectorXtreme Research Skyscan Lightning/Storm Detector

If you want more detailed information out of your lightning detector, consider getting this device from Xtreme Research.

Like the StrikeAlert Personal Lightning Detector, it can detect lightning from up to 40 miles. But it makes use of advanced technology capable of detecting storms. Its display indicator provides four ranges: from 0-3 miles, 3-8 miles; 8-20 miles, and 20-40 miles.

Aside from lightning and storms, this device can alert you if heavy rains or dangerous winds are on your way. It will make a 15-second alarm whenever it detects a severe storm on the horizon. As far as accuracy is concerned, this device gets good grades. According to the manufacturer, it is up to 97% accurate within 1-2 miles.

Since it is designed to work in a vertical position, the SkyScan should be placed on a flat and stable surface so that it will operate properly. This makes it different from the StrikeAlert Personal Lightning Detector that can be slipped into your pocket. This device is more appropriate for use in places like golf courses or poolside.


Robic Strike Alert Personal Lightning DetectorRobic Strike Alert Personal Lightning Detector

Lightning detectors are fairly affordable, as most units are in the $100-range. But if you want something that’s even more low-priced yet reliable, then this model from Robic Strike should be on your shortlist.

Similar to the StrikeAlert Personal Lightning detector, this one is portable. It is about the size of your palm and can be stored in your pockets. You can also clip it to your bag, belt, or backpack.

It is powered by two AAA batteries and can last for 100 hours. This device is also easy to operate. You simply need to flip a switch in order to check the lightning strike distance. The same goes for tracking storm direction or viewing battery life.

While it is affordable, this unit is not the best when it comes to accuracy. You can count on it to accurately detect lightning with a six-mile radius. But the accuracy suffers when the distance goes up. Still, this is not a bad choice for an affordable lightning detector, especially if you are a casual user.


Acurite 02020 Portable Lightning DetectorAcurite 02020 Portable Lightning Detector

This is another portable lightning detector that may come in handy during your outdoor adventures. It is tough and weather-resistant. It is also designed to prevent false warnings with its enhanced interference rejection technology.

Weighing less than 4 ounces, this lightning detector is compact. It comes with a no-slip clip, so you can easily attach it to a backpack or belt loop.

With this device on hand, you can have peace of mind while outdoors. It works silently in the background, scanning for incoming lightning storms. It continuously works even when inside the house. And when it detects lightning, it will notify you with an audible and visual alert. The alarm may not be loud enough for some people, but you certainly won’t miss the visual alert that this device makes.

Perhaps the main downside of using this lightning detector is that it has a limited range. With a mere 25-mile detection range, this may not be the best choice for professional use.


Skyscan EWS ProSkyscan EWS Pro

If you are after a professional-quality device, then the Skyscan EWS Pro is something you have to take a closer look at. You’ll have to pay more, but you’ll also receive features that other less expensive units can’t give you.

You can’t find another professional-grade lightning detector other than this model. The Skyscan EWS Pro is capable of detecting lightning over 40 miles away. It’s a bit heavy, though, so this is not the most portable of lightning detectors.

This device is placed in a heavy-duty case that’s also water-resistant and built to last for years. Weighing 6 pounds and measuring 9 x 10 x 5 inches, the EWS Pro is easy to move around.

The Skyscan EWS Pro utilizes a sophisticated electronic detection system that can alert you of lightning strikes and storms. Large LED visual alerts go along with the loud horn that is built at the back of the case. The horn pumps a 95-decibel alert and can be set to sound off at any mileage range.


General Tools LD7 Lightning DetectorGeneral Tools LD7 Lightning Detector

Here’s another pocket-sized, easy to operate, and reasonably priced lightning detector available on the market. The LD7 from General Tools can be easily attached to a bag or belt. It is also quite accurate for a low-priced device.

Like most of the units in this list, the LD7 detects lightning in four ranges with a maximum range of 24 to 40 miles. It is powered by two AAA batteries and should last for many hours. The unit itself is compact with measurements of 3.25 inches high, 2.1 inches wide, and 1 inch deep.

This is a device that’s simple and easy to operate. General Tools does away with LCD screen and instead, uses four light indicators to indicate the range. And when it detects lightning strikes, the LD7 will make an audible alarm and vibrating alert.

In short, the General Tools LD7 is a no-frills lightning detector that even your grandparents should be able to use.


Thunderbolt X2 Lightning DetectorThunderbolt X2 Lightning Detector

This may be the most accurate portable lightning detector today. It is small enough to slide into a handbag but reliable when it comes to detecting lightning strikes and incoming storms.

Weighing about a pound and measuring 5.5 x 2 x 3.5 inches, the Thunderbolt X2 can be easily placed into your backpack. It is made of rugged ABS plastic, so it should be able to withstand the usual bumps and drops. It is also water-resistant.

This lightning detector does not have the farthest range as it can only detect lightning strikes within 25 miles. But it is quite accurate in detecting incoming lightning thanks to its advanced false disturber rejection technology.

It will notify users of lightning and storm through audible alerts, vibrating alarms, and warning lights. It also has a large colored LCD that provides updated information on storm status.

Powered by two AA batteries, the unit boasts of long operating hours.


INO Weather Pro Handheld Weather StationINO Weather Pro Handheld Weather Station

This is not the cheapest lightning detector on this list, but its price is justified with the numerous functions it has.

This product from INO is practically a compact weather station with seven functions, including lightning detection. It can determine lightning strikes up to 40 miles away, giving users enough time to seek shelter.

It is a portable device with measurements of 7 x 6. 1.7 inches and a weight of around 13 ounces. It comes with a wrist strap that you can fasten it to your belt or bag.

The Weather Pro uses lithium polymer batteries which can last up to 17 hours of operation. The batteries are also rechargeable.

Apart from lightning detection, this device can also tell you the temperature, heat index, and atmospheric pressure. It also provides humidity and altitude readings. All those details can be seen on an easy-to-use touchscreen display.

Don’t worry, this handy device does not use the Internet or cellular connections. Rugged and weather-resistant, this lightning detector can withstand the most punishing outdoor conditions.


AcuRite 01024M Pro Weather StationAcuRite 01024M Pro Weather Station

This is a 5-in-1 weather station that not only detects lightning strikes but also makes weather forecasts and displays indoor temperature and humidity levels, among others. This is a smart system that you will love to have at home.

The lightning detection function of the Pro Weather Station from Acurite has a maximum range of 25 miles. It’s not the most impressive in this area, but it should give you accurate and timely information that can guide you in protecting your loved ones.

Once it detects lightning strikes, it sends an audible alarm to notify you. Data is transmitted every 8 seconds whenever the system detects lightning strikes.

The system is also capable of detecting other weather conditions such as wind speed and direction, rainfall data, temperature, and humidity levels. Those details are displayed on the FTF screen. You can toggle between various data easily with the different buttons of the screen.

This system includes a couple of solar panels, an internal aspirating fan, and mounting brackets.


AcuRite 06045M Lightning Detector SensorAcuRite 06045M Lightning Detector Sensor

Rounding out our list is this lightning detector sensor from Acurite. It can work as a standalone lightning detector or as an accessory to a compatible weather station model from AcuRite, including models 01021 and 06047.

As a standalone lightning detector, it flashes intermittently whenever it detects lightning strikes within a 25-mile radius. It will not, however, tell you how far the lightning is or whether you have to flee to a safe place.

You may get more information out of it if you use it with any of the five weather station models from AcuRite. Additionally, it can give more details such as temperature and humidity levels. This sensor is easy to install as it is totally wireless.

This is low-priced lightning detector that is a good option if you have a limited budget.