AreaMax Highlights – Robust, Redundant Surge Protection

What’s new about the updated AreaMax? We’ve developed a set of blog posts that we hope you will find to be a handy reference. We have a lot to talk about.


The updated AreaMax includes the same 20kV/10kA IEEE/ANSI C62.41.2-2002 surge protection you’ve come to depend upon from all of our lighting products. At Evluma, robust surge protection comes standard. Other manufactures may offer similarly rated surge protection packages, but as an upgrade and with upgrades come extra cost. Since maintenance is one of the highest costs associated with lighting why take the chance on having to replace a luminaire because of inadequate surge protection?

Large transient surges typically associated with a lightning strike are very rare, but it does happen. Surge events also come from other sources: temporary over-voltages caused by substation switching events in response to events on the high voltage feeder lines, nearby electrical equipment switching, load cycling and more. But there are also many lower level surges occurring every day and these low-level surges can degrade low capacity surge suppressors and shorten the life of a luminaire. Lower surge capacity means shorter life even if no single surge approaches the high-end of the rating. If someone tells you that 20kV/10kA is only necessary for ‘extreme’ conditions, that’s not exactly true. Long-life LED luminaires must be designed to withstand temporary and transient overvoltages if they are to have a 20-year or greater life.

AreaMax uses 20KV/10KA surge protection with four progressive layers of surge limiting to ensure that failure does not occur due to either a large transient surge, or the frequent repetition of common, low-level surges. Want to know more about how we accomplish this? Any one of our sales people would be happy to setup a time for an in-person presentation.

A common question we get is “What is Category High C?” There are three categories, or zones, defined by ANSI/IEEE C62.41.2-2002. Categories A and B are indoor locations, and the surge protection devices used in those locations are designed to withstand the highest level of surge to be expected from electrical sources used within those locations. Category C, however, is outdoors. “Studies have shown that the highest-magnitude natural and manmade surge currents and voltages originate in this Category C zone.” 1 Most LED outdoor lighting is located in the Category C zone.

Each Category can be further broken down into Exposure Levels: Low, Medium and High, with High being the location with the greatest rate of surge occurrence. Level L (Low) has a maximum surge current of 6KV/3KA. Level M is 10KV/5KA. Level H, the level we attain, is 20KV/10KA. Category C Level H 20KV/10KA surge suppression circuits are pulse tested at 3000 joules. Note that a 10KV/5KA pulse is approximately 750 Joules. So a level M surge suppression circuit has only 750/3000, or one quarter the energy and life capacity of a level H device, not half the capacity as it might seem at first glance. Level L, at 6KV/3KA, is down at 270 Joules or less than one tenth the capacity of a level H rated luminaire such as the Areamax. On average, Evluma’s 20KVA/10KA is greater than ten times the life capacity of our competitors.

Obtain a copy of IEEE/ANSI C62.41.2-2002 HERE.

1. Evard, “Surge protective categories defined by ANSI/IEEE C62.41,” (June 28th, 2013) accessed January 4, 2019,

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