As an active person that enjoys the outdoors one of the concerns I always have is changing weather conditions. Nowadays we can receive text alerts on our phones or carry a weather radar with us. But if we are outside of phone coverage or in a situation where monitoring the phone isn’t possible- then devices like the Acurite 02020 Personal Lightning Detector are not only handy but essential for being prepared for severe weather.

The Acurite is a personal lightning detector. These devices work by sensing the electromagnetic pulses that are generated by lightning strikes. It can also measure the relative strength of the pulses as storm systems move towards or away the detector giving you an estimated distance of the strikes. But these simple detectors aren’t infallible and false reports can be generated by electromagnetic pulse generators like car engines or fluorescent lights. So while they may have limited use indoors their outdoor accuracy can be amazingly good.

Acurite-LIghtning-Detect-Product-Focus-1Specifically with the Accurite Lightning Detector its size is about that of pager and comes with a clip so you can wear it on your belt or waistband. The sensor will detect and count strikes either cloud to cloud or cloud to ground with 25 miles. As for notifications it has a loud alarm and flashing light along with a test message display. The unit is self calibrating and according to the description it uses patented technology to help reject interference.

To use the device first insert 2 AAA batteries which are not included and turn the device on. The device goes through its initialization process and is soon ready to detect. That’s it- pretty simple operation. The batteries last about 8-10 months so they will carry you through an entire storm season. As for myself I’ll be carrying the unit outdoors when threatening weather is likely. This will also be a part of my kit when camping biking or hiking. Plus I think just keeping it on in the house may be a good early warning system to disconnect my antennas due to an incoming storm.

Acurite-LIghtning-Detect-Product-Focus-2There you have it- the Acurite Lightning detector is lightweight sensitive and easy to use. Retail price is $44.95 and with a street price under $30 this is cheap protection for severe weather notification. You can find them online at or at via Amazon.