jacklance wrote:What is the difference in surge suppressor and lightning rod protection? Is one better than the other?
...essentially ZERO similarity!
An appropriately-designed Surge Protector will "detect" any incoming Voltage Surge within the Utility Company's electric supply line to that (1) duplex outlet into which it is plugged.
Then, (again, "..IF.." properly-designed and itself appropriately-earth grounded!!} that will "sacrifice" some of those internal solid state devices within the timing interval required to NEVER allow that "voltage surge" to become sent to the HDTV ..or.. P.C., etc plugged into it. ...and, remember, we are now meaning within the time it requires electricity to travel a few feet of copper wiring @ the speed of light!! [.. nanoseconds !! ..]
Those "Electrodes" upon one's Roof Ridge simply provide for a "Grounded Target" to attract lightning instead of perhaps having it simply explode onto the entire roof structure instead. BUT - - usually, the size of conductor utilized plus it's earth-grounding network is Totally-inadequate to ever "DO" it's job & the house STILL explodes & burns! ... In this case, it's about the technical-capability to carry HUGE amounts of Power, not strictly voltage as in the case of the Surge Protector.
LOTS & LOTS more, absolutely !!! ..."search" UL1449 for more!
AND - - now, new Homes usually should be constructed w/ "Total House" protection, involving an "Electronic Collar" plus two copper-clad Rods six (6) or more feet apart, driven their full length into the earth near the Meter & connected w/ bare #6, preferable stranded .... only "protects" the 240V Appliances, however!