It is especially annoying when monsters zap one against you. A bolt of lightning can destroy almost any ring or wand in your inventory. Even if doesn't hit and even if you have reflection, it is guaranteed to blind you for 1-50 turns up to a maximum of 127 (0-99 turns if zapping yourself, (ulevel/2+1)d50 if your own bounces). Some soldier might surprise you with a bolt that destroys your only ring of slow digestion. You might have guessed this, but one specific ring and one specific wand, the ring of shock resistance and the wand of lightning itself, are immune to this type of destruction.
Like a wand of fire, engraving Elbereth with a wand of lightning makes a permanent E-square. This works guaranteed if you have no impairments. The only problem is that burning any text into the ground with a wand of lightning will blind you. It's less crippling, though, if you also have telepathy or a unicorn horn. However, the wand of lightning is better than the wand of fire in that it won't be destroyed by lightning bolts, which can be a factor if you lack reflection.
Applying a wand of lightning deals quadruple damage to yourself and all surrounding squares. Your inventory is subject to the same effects as though you were zapped with the wand, i.e. your rings and wands may explode. Thus, it is not a very desirable way to inflict damage to monsters near you, unless you have no valuable rings or wands, or are are going to die next turn anyway.
Using a wand of lightning while inside a monster (such as a vortex) will blind you, and may cause the affected monster to sub-divide.
Wands comprise 4% of all randomly-generated items in the main dungeon, 6% in containers, 5% on the Rogue level, and 8% in Gehennom. There is a 4% chance that a randomly-generated wand will be a wand of lightning.