WATCH! Lords of Lightning

Fighting like some sort of primordially energized knights, the Lords of Lightning make for a truly stunning display.

Standing atop two Tesla coils, bolts of electricity arc between them as they reenact a battle that belongs in the clouds.

Carlos Van Camp, the architect behind the project is a native New Zealander, and has been creating Tesla coils for over 20 years.

“I was always attracted to the idea of lightning.”

lords of lightning

What’s a Tesla Coil

Invented by Nikola Tesla in 1891, the Tesla coil is a circuit that has the ability to conduct electricity across short distances, creating lightning like effects.

tesla and magnifying oscillator

Van Camp’s machine draws 25,000 watts with 5-meter-long arcs containing up to 50 million volts of electricity.

Performers wear chain mail suits, which helps conduct electricity and protects from electrocution.

As they move parts of their bodies towards each other, the electricity arcs between the conductive suits, creating a colorful and flashy display.


Though Van Camp no longer performs, he does manage the equipment; he changes voltages to match the performances.

He has no formal education in physics, but has taught himself much about electricity. He suggests the biggest danger of the show is to him as the technician, with some components being deadly if he isn’t careful.

No performers have been seriously hurt, though one reported a tingling in his feet on a humid day. Van Camp says the suits can protect the performers even in rain as long as the connections remain intact.

lords of lightning