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A sound limiter or noise limiter is a digital device fitted with a microphone to measure the sound pressure level of environmental noise, expressed by the decibel logarithmic unit (dB). If the environmental noise level as measured by the microphone exceeds a pre-set level for a certain amount of time (e.g. 5 seconds), the limiter’s circuitry will cut the power supply to the musical equipment and PA system for a brief amount of time.
The visual indicator on the limiter works most commonly on a “traffic light” system: green = no problem, amber = sound levels approaching the threshold, red = threshold breached. If the light stays red for more than a few seconds, then the limiter will take action and cut the power.
Although there is no legal requirement to install a sound limiter, they are a reasonably inexpensive piece of equipment, which can help prevent complaints as part of a sound control plan and also protect the health of your staff by ensuring that the levels do not exceed those set by The Control of Noise at Work regulations 2005.
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