***AcuRite lightning detectors should be used for general safety and lightning awareness.***
The lightning detector system uses a radio that listens for lightning at 500 kHz, it listens for a particular radio signal pattern. The lightning signal pattern is generated by the electrical “spark”, that is the lightning itself. The lightning detector system can be susceptible to detecting erroneous lightning strikes. The same signal “spark” can be artificially generated by many different man-made sources. Such sources could be radio towers, power plants, garage door motors, the ignition system on a car, starting an electrical motor, flipping a light switch, and more.
The system does utilize filters to isolate and reduce as many errors as possible, but some “erroneous” signals will still get through. If the filter system is made to be more robust and more discriminating, it will also be less sensitive to lightning and may not pick up the small distance strikes.
The lightning detector system will not provide a perfect count of actual lightning strikes with perfect distance estimates. In most cases, the system will be rather accurate, but there will always be a few discrepancies.