Gday StormCapture. I've never used a lightning trigger or an ND filter before. Not that I won't someday. Sometimes a bolt of lightning is all thats needed to turn a good pic into a great pic I seem to be accumulating a collection of daylight shots though purely because a fair percentage of lightning will pulse long enough for you to actually take the picture. A 3, 4 or 5 second pulse is time to snap a picture if you are alert and ready.
The best times for chasing lightning, or pretty well all things for that matter is dawn and dusk. I like it when the light has faded to the extent that you can leave the shutter open long enough to capture a strike as well as the scenery.
I guess having not experimented yet I'm not the one to answer your question. Just letting you know what works for me.
The pic below was taken on my digital Pentax K20d. I watched the skies fill in and I was disappointed when steady rain set in. I watched the odd CG getting nearer and thought I was in with a chance. I noticed that they were all'pulsing' so I simply pointed my camera and waited. I was happy to nail it. I seldom take hand held shots as I have a tremor to frustrate me.