How Does My Lightning Detector Work? Your Guide to Getting Started

How to Use

Remove the Mounting Base

Remove/Insert the detector from the mounting base by placing on a flat service and pressing on the side tabs, then slide the unit out.

Install Batteries

  1. Install 4 AA batteries (recommend new AA Lithium batteries for longer battery life).
  2. Remove the 4 battery door screws and open battery compartment. Note: Care must be taken not to damage the water-protected seal. Make sure all 4 screws are tight to prevent leaks.

Install batteries into the SFD-1000 Series Lightning Detector

Power On/Off

  1. Turn on the detector by pressing the ON button momentarily.
  2. A single green LED will walk across the display indicating the detector is listening for lightning/storm activity.
  3. To turn the detector off, press and hold the OFF button for 5 seconds and release. A single red LED will walk across the display and the unit will then turn off. If you do not see the red, hold for an additional 5 seconds and release.

Auto-Sleep Mode (SFD-1000-G Only)

Pressing the ON button a second time puts the detector into motion detection mode. The mode will flash amber every 10 seconds. In this mode, the detector will sleep until motion is detected, then it will turn on. If no motion is detected for 30 minutes, the unit goes back to sleep.

Low Battery Warning

The Low Battery LED will flash red and the beeper will sound to indicate the batteries need to be replaced.

Lightning Detection

When lightning is detected, all 8 LEDs will flash once every 2 seconds. The LEDs will flash for 15 mins and will reset the timer after each strike. If no additional lightning is detected for 5 minutes, the unit goes into power save mode and only 4 of the LEDs will flash for the remaining 15 minutes. The distance of the approaching or departing storm determines the audible beeps and the color of the LED flash.

Lightning Detection Alerts:

  • GREEN with 1 beep: 25 miles away
  • BLUE with 2 beeps: 16 miles away
  • RED with 3 beeps: 6 miles away

Silencing the Beeper

  • Press the OFF button for 1 second. The detector will beep one time to let you know the beeper will turn off. The LEDs will continue to provide visual alerts and the beeper will remain off until the lightning activity ceases.
  • The beeper will automatically turn back on the next time a separate lightning event occurs.

Mounting the Lightning Detector

Mount the detector a minimum of 3 feet from cell phones, wearables, or any other devices emitting electrical noise to prevent interference (disturbers). To maximize sensitivity, mount with lens facing skyward. Do not mount where device will be surrounded by metallic enclosures.

Warning: Place detector in a location where the temperature does not exceed your battery temperature specifications.


If the detector is unable to detect lightning due to electrical noise interference, the detector LEDs will display a sequence of all colors on the top 3 LEDs. Please relocate.

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Looks and works great!

Easy to set up and install on our boat. It provides assurance knowing we have an advanced warning system in place for storm fronts.

John G. - TALOS Lightning Detector
Looks and works great!

Easy to set up and install on our boat. It provides assurance knowing we have an advanced warning system in place for storm fronts.

John G. - TALOS Lightning Detector