In South Florida, lightning is a fact of life, particularly in the summer time. Lightning strikes occur frequently, and can be devastating to home automation equipment even if there is not a direct strike.
In the last 20+ years of doing residential projects, the biggest source of processor failure was a lightning strike near to a residence, that allowed a surge to go through the pool equipment into the serial automation to the processor. That would either damage the serial ports on the processor or the entire processor.
Crestron had a solution, which many dealers failed to provide to customers due to the cost. If a project was already over budget, it was an easy thing to cross off. The Crestron CSP-RS232I provided a high-quality gas discharge tube-based lightning arrestor for serial connections.
On marine projects, a lightning strike could come into equipment thru multiple simultaneous paths and not just damage communications ports, but also destroy peripheral and control equipment. There are several times we’ve encountered yachts where every lighting module in the system was damaged.
These days it is more frequent that equipment is connected using Ethernet, or Ethernet with PoE power. Ethernet cabling that goes outside of a structure should always be protected by lightning arrestors, such as these https://amzn.to/3O6OrEh
In residential, marine, and commercial installations, it is common for there to be multiple exterior cameras. Each camera provides an entry path for lightning to reach interior equipment, so should be protected. These lightning arrestors support PoE+ so are suitable for use with network cameras, as well as PoE+ touch screen interfaces that may be in exterior areas such as gazebos, patios, or pool houses.
There are also models suitable for mounting in exterior exposed locations, such as this one: https://amzn.to/3O6OrEh
Use of lightning arrestors will improve the resiliency of your system, at minimal additional cost. Coupled with quality power protection (surge protectors and UPS’s) they will allow your system to have an extended lifespan.