Super Weird Tesla Coil Setup

Introduction: Super Weird Tesla Coil Setup

About: Questions? Leave a comment!

Use 1 or 2 CFLs to heighten frequency and act as resistors for your tesla coil power supply (only works for the bug zapper- anything else would be too dangerous and could ruin your CFLs and other components!).

NOTE: Never allow arcs to cross both arms. Keep one hand on your lap or in your pocket when working on live circuits or capacitors!

No pacemakers/ other biomedical devices around tesla coils!

Step 1: Lights?

If you have not seen my previous instructable on bug zappers, you might want to see that first to learn how to remove the capacitor from a bug zapper. Anyway, let's get started!

You will need:
•A tesla coil (only works well with smaller ones because of the smaller magnetic field produced by the relatively low voltage of the bug zapper.)
• a bug zapper circuit with the main capacitor removed, preferably (See first instructable to learn to remove it).
• 1 or 2 compact flourescent lights (Preferably ones which have broken internal circuitry, but the glass tube must be intact). I will show later how to do this.
• Wires with alligator clips, preferably.
Capacitor bank, and the usual circuitry for a tesla coil.

Step 2: Getting the Bulbs

To get cfl bulbs, cut around the line between the top of the light's circuit cover and the bottom, which holds the circuit and the screw-in base. Once finished, cut the wires from the bulb to the circuit board. Remove the glue holding the glass bulb to the plastic cover. Now you have the bulb. This works for most Compact Fluorescent Lights. You could have two, though it works with one, usually, and with 1, it starts up better. These heighten the frequency and act as resistance so your bug zapper is not destroyed.


Attach the bulbs of the cfls to either lead of the flyswatter. Attach the other end of each bulb to your capacitor bank. That then goes to the spark gap of your tesla coil. Basically, use the flyswatter as your power supply, and the bulbs as chokes. You should get some small arcs to your finger or whatever conductor you hold up to it. Have fun, and if you have some other cfls or just fluorescent lights, they should light up wirelessly when held to the coil.

Step 4: Safety

Do not do this around any biomedical device. Never hold an electrical device near the coils. Do not shock yourself or anyone/thing else with your flyswatter or spark gap, or capacitors. IT HURTS. The tesla coil shouldn't hurt that badly at this low of a voltage , but use common sense and do not hurt yourself or others. I am not responsible for damage, etc.

Sorry for this danger stuff, safety is the top priority when working with high voltage. Have fun and good luck!

Step 5: Light Bulb!

Attach a clear incandescent light bulb to the tesla coil as a top load. It makes larger arcs in the vacuum of a lightbulb that look like this.

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    2 Discussions


    6 years ago

    Yeah. Flyswatters aren't really the way to go. At least in terms of high voltage.


    6 years ago on Step 3

    i did this and couldnt get a spark gap going well for the life of me, it had to be so small and precise.