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Surge Protection for
Pole Mounted Lighting Contactors

Intelligent LED Street Lights

Today's increased reliance on very sensitive electronics makes surge protection an important topic for LED Lighting. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety study found that $26 billion dollars was lost due to non-lightning power surges. In addition, there are about 25 million lightning strikes in the US each year that cause between $650M to $1B in losses according to the Insurance Information Institute, State Farm©.

Pole mounted lighting contactors are typically used in parking lots, intersections, highway entrance ramps and sub stations where multiple outdoor lights are wired into one location.

Given their exposed mounting locations, lighting contactors can be damaged by surges caused by lighting, power cross and power switching. To assure system uptime and reduced maintenance costs, a comprehensive approach to surge protection should be considered.

Immunity Against Surges

The latest release of ANSI C136.2-2018 provides surge protection requirements for luminaires and control devices. Based on performance requirements and transient immunity testing, these devices can be classified into three categories:

Exposure LevelSurge Rating

The ANSI C136.2-2018 standard can also be used as guideline for evaluating the surge immunity of other devices attached to light poles such as lighting contactors. In cases where internal protection of equipment is insufficient a reccommended external Surge Protection Device should be installed to assure long and reliable performance.

Lighting Contactor

| Lighting Contactor |

This table shows the recommended C136.2-2018 transient immunity levels for common outdoor lighting applications:

Lighting Application Electrical Transient Immunity
Building entrance, building exteriorX
Parking garage, parking lot, tunnel X
Street roadway, Smart Pole, airport X

Selecting the appropriate SPD

Surge Protective Devices (SPDs) shall be UL1449 Type 4CA or better including Type 1, Type 2, Type 1CA and Type 2CA. Per ANSI C136.2-2017, it should be tested to the appropriate exposure level based on the application or installed location.

The UL1449 Type 4CA Surge Protective Devices (SPD) have undergone more stringent safety testing than UL1449 Type 5 Components including the critical abnormal overvoltage - limited current testing.

Contactors can be tested to ANSI C136.2-2018 with the SPD installed. The coordination of the SPD is key in making sure that the contactors pass testing and not only the SPD passes by itself. CITEL can provide manufacturers with full C136.2 surge testing for all exposure levels in our surge laboratory in Miramar, FL.

Recommended Surge Protectors for
Pole Mounted Lighting Contactors

Lighting Contactor: Input 120/240Vac
120Vac Control

SystemSurge Protector Model#Link
Internal Mount
Hand Hole
Line Voltage
120-240Vac DS73US-120T/G DS73US-120T-G
Control Voltage
120-277Vac MLPXUVG-277S MLPXUVG-277S

Lighting Contactor: Input 277/480Vac
277Vac Control

SystemSurge Protector Model#Link
Interna Mount
Hand Hole
120-480Vac ​ DS74US-277Y/G DS74US-277Y/G
Control Voltage
120-277Vac MLPXUVG-277S MLPXUVG-277S


1NFPA 70 edition 2020, Article 670 Industrial Machinery, 670.6 Surge Protection
2NFPA 70 edition 2014, “Data Assessment for Electrical Surge Protective Devices”
3NFPA 79 edition 2018
4NFPA 79 edition 2018, Annex C, Examples of Industrial Machines Covered by NFPA 79
5ANSI C62.41, Low-Voltage AC Power Circuits
6ANSI C136.2, Roadway and Area Lighting Equipment - Dielectric Withstand and Electrical Transient
7UL8801, Outline of Investigation for Photovoltaic (PV) Luminaire Systems
8UL1598, Luminaires
9UL924, Emergency Lighting and Power Equipment
10UL1449 5th Edition, Surge Protective Devices
11UL497B, Surge Protectors for Data Lines and Fire-Alarm Circuits
12UL497E, Antenna Lead-in Conductors
13UL508, Industrial Control Equipment
14IEC 61643-11, Low-Voltage Surge Protective Devices - Part 11: Surge Protective Devices Connected To Low-Voltage Power Systems - Requirements And Test Methods
15IEC 61643-21, Low Voltage Surge Protective Devices - Part 21: Surge Protective Devices Connected To Telecommunications And Signalling Networks - Performance Requirements And Testing Methods
16IEC 61000-45, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) - Part 4-5: Testing And Measurement Techniques - Surge Immunity Test
17CSA 107.1, General Use Power Supplies
18CSA 141, Emergency Lighting Equipment
19CSA 250, Luminaires
20NOM-001-SCFI, Standard for Electronic Equipment
21NOM-003-SCFI, Electrical Products - Safety Requirements

Contact us to develop a surge mitigation solution for your application

Where to purchase Citel SPD's

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