Last Updated on August 18, 2023 by Marc Edwards
Have you ever feel overwhelmed with the huge varieties of brands or even models to choose from whenever you are shopping at the malls?
It gets even worse when you are buying your stuff online, be it groceries, gadgets, jewelry, etc.
Shopping for a surge protector is no different, not only do we have to wade through the hundreds and thousands of different brands and models, we have to battle with terminologies like what is Joules rating?
Should you get one with a low or high joules rating?
I feel your pain. The same happens to me when I ordered my very first surge protector device online, I ordered it “blindly” and I got the wrong one for what I needed.
Fortunately, I was able to return it for another model which fits my need.
I hope you will not make the same mistake like I did and hope the information presented below is of help to you.
What are Joules and Joules Rating in Surge Protectors?
If you have never owned a surge protector before, it is very unlikely that you will know what is Joules? Joules is basically is a unit measurement of energy (Watt-seconds).
For example, 400 joules is like leaving a 400-watt vacuum cleaner on for one second.
As for Joules rating, it is widely known as energy absorption rating, which is basically the amount of energy (power) a surge protector is able to absorb before it stops working (as in protecting your devices against power surges).
The amount of Joules inside a power surge suppressor decreases every time it takes a “blow” from power surges from lightning strikes or transients.
Do You Really Need Surge Protectors with High Joules Rating?
The answer is NO.
Having a surge suppressor device with high joules rating in your home or office is definitely NOT an indication of better protection against power spikes from lightning strikes.
Go for one with low Let-through voltage or Response time instead.
Let-through voltage which is also known as Voltage Protection Rating or clamping voltage is the maximum amount of voltage that is permitted into a surge protection device before it triggers its surge protection function and allowing only normalized current to pass through to attached loads (your computers or electronic devices).
Response time is the amount of time it takes for the surge protection to kick in – it is usually measured in nanoseconds.
A longer response time will heighten the risk of connected devices getting damaged by power surges. Try to get a surge protector with a response time of one nanosecond or less.
Having a surge suppressor device with high joules rating in your home or office will not provide better protection against transient events like a lightning strike.
It is NOT a performance measurement of a surge protection device’s ability to minimize the force of a power surge.
While there are other factors to consider when choosing the most suitable surge protector for your home, it is crucial to at least check for both the Response time, Joules rating, and the Let-through voltage/Clamping voltage the next time you buy one.
If you have high-end equipment or appliances at home or in the office, I would strongly recommend that you get a surge suppression device with high Joules rating, fast response time, and a clamping voltage of no more than 400 volts.
Our Pick of Top 3 Surge Protectors
 Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Power Strip Surge Protector w/ 8ft Cord
- 12 outlet surge protector power strip with 8 feet/2.4M cord
- Space saving combination of rotating outlets (8) and stationary outlets (4)
- Safeguards computers, appliances, home theater and office equipment from potentially damaging power surges
- Backed by lifetime warranty and protected by $300,000 connected equipment warranty
- Specs: 4,320 Joule energy rating / 6,000v maximum spike voltage / AC 15A, 125V, 1875W
 Tripp Lite 10 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip
- Protect any electronic device from power surges & spikes
- Powerful AC SURGE SUPPRESSION WITH TEL/DSL Protection: This surge suppressor Features ten NEMA 5 15R outlets, four of which can accommodate transformer plugs
- Safety First High Joule Rating Conforms to UL 1449 Safety Standards
- Convenient options for placement in any environment: 8 feet ac power cord provides to ability to reach distant outlets
- Lifetime warranty, $150,000 insurance: lifetime limited warranty and $150,000 ultimate lifetime insurance covers any connected equipment damaged by a power surge
 Tripp Lite Isobar 10 Outlet Audio/Video Surge Protector
- Surge Protector with ten outlets and coaxial/tel/modem/Ethernet protection is ideal for your entire home/business theater installations Protect high-definition TVs, satellite and A/V receivers, DVD/CD players and more, from dangerous power surges, spikes & line noise
- This surge suppressor offers complete AC protection with ten total NEMA 5-15R outlets, which are arranged in two exclusive isolated filter banks that prevent equipment connected to one bank from interfering with equipment connected to another
- An integrated 12A circuit breaker protects all outlets and shuts down connected equipment in the event of an overload Diagnostic LEDS confirm when you are grounded and protected at a glance 3840 joules mean maximum protection for your equipment Conforms to current UL 1449 3rd Edition safety standards
- This black surge suppressor provides ten total outlets, and color-coded labels above outlets to help identify connections at a glance
- Lifetime Limited Warranty and $500,000 Ultimate Lifetime Insurance covers any connected equipment damaged by a power surge
Do You Really Need High End Surge Protection Devices?
According to Credence Research, the surge protection market is expected to reach 3.15 Billion by 2022 and that obviously means that more people are expected to invest in better surge protection systems, thanks to the continuous emergence of high end electrical and home appliances like home theaters, LCD TVs, PCs and so on.
If you need surge protectors that are capable of protecting the entire house, you may want to check out our reviews of whole house surge protection brands and models.
If you are like me who have invested thousands of dollars into high-end electronic devices and kitchen appliances, I am sure you will want to invest in a reliable surge suppression system with high joules rating that is able to protect all of your treasured electronic and electrical investments.