Hot Surface Igniter - Whenever we talk about electronic ignition systems we must first look at the key components which make these systems work and understand how they work. Hot surface ignition systems work in various ways depending on what the electronic ignition manufacturer and design engineer determined in the design. Some are direct main burner ignition while others light a pilot and the pilot lights the main burners. A vast majority of hot surface ignition systems light the main burners directly without using a pilot light. This is a simpler form of using a hot surface igniter to light a pilot light and then have the pilot light the main burner. There are fewer parts to worry about and therefore less mechanical things which can break down or go wrong to worry about in a direct main burner ignition system. These electronic ignition systems work with both natural gas and propane gas.