It is a metal rod with a pointed or round tip that allows the lightning to be caught and safely diffused through conductor cables to ground rods buried in a safe place. All three components together make up a complete lightning protection system.

Things you need to know

Aluminum has been related to failures in the past, but new alloys offer improvements in conductivity, creep resistance, strength, and workability. Aluminum connections must be installed more precisely than copper, but if they are, aluminum actually runs at a lower temperature. Aluminum cable is not able to carry as much load as copper cable, so the wires would have to be much bigger for the same purposes.

Also known as

Lighting Rod, Finial, Strike Termination Device

Cost Considerations

Aluminum is a much cheaper material than copper, and its price is steady, whereas the price of copper is generally higher and fluctuates wildly. For example, the price of copper has varied from $2 to $4.50/lb over the last 5 years, and aluminum has varied between $0.65 and $1.25/lb. According to a national survey, the price difference between copper and aluminum for lightning protection for residential properties was $1.34/$1.18 per sq. ft. of roof and $0.80/$0.71 per sq. ft. of floor.

Costs vary greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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