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Save your matchbooks as souvenirs — if you really want a reliable spark you’ll want to pick up one of these lighters. Whether you’re setting up a bonfire at the beach, starting up your fireplace, or keeping warm in the great outdoors, a lighter is an essential part of your everyday carry. It’s important to keep a lighter in your stash bag and emergency kit too. Of course, you’ll always need a great lighter on-hand at home as well, for candles, incense, and other daily uses.
While traditional lighters use gas to spark a flame, we’ve rounded up some alternatives to regular lighters, which utilize an electric “arc” rather than fire. Since these lighters don’t require a flame, they are essentially wind-proof — no more worrying about a gust of wind blowing your light out.
The best electric lighters are also more economical and environmentally friendly. Regular lighters have to be refilled with lighter fluid; the cheaper ones you usually toss out. But electric lighters can be easily recharged to let you use them again and again. Most of the options on our list get you a couple hundred lights on a single charge.
With no lighter fluid being used, you’re also creating a safer environment, with no threat of butane spilling out or the smell of gas in the air. And unlike flimsy plastic lighters, we’ve found rugged, durable lighters made from drop-proof and waterproof materials. They’ll hold up to extended use, and to any wear and tear.
For a cleaner, safer and more efficient experience, make sure you’re lighting up with one of these popular electric lighters. They’re well-priced, well-made and ensure that your light will never go out.
1. RONXS Lighter
Ever try lighting a candle when the wick has sunken into the wax? This extra-long lighter solves that problem, thanks to a flexible, bendable neck that lets the lighter “dip” into hard-to-reach places, so you don’t have to.
The rechargeable lighter gets you more than 500 uses on a single charge. There’s no flame or butane used — only an electric pulse — making it a lot safer, and smell-free.
What we like: an LED display lets you know your battery levels. All five LED lights on means the lighter is fully charged. A safety switch keeps your fingers away from the electric current.
Great for the outdoors, the lighter is designed to be wind and splash-proof, so you won’t have trouble lighting up.
This set includes the Ronxs Rechargeable Lighter, an USB charging cable and a gift box.
PROS: Neck rotates 360 degrees for easy lighting.
CONS: Very easy on/off button but no safety latch. Keep away from small children.
2. lcfun Waterproof Lighter
Whether you’re camping, hiking or just talking a stroll, this waterproof lighter should be an essential part of your emergency kit.
Made from a durable ABS and zinc alloy material, the lighter is housed under a sealed and locking clasp, which prevents water from seeping in. No worries about accidentally dropping the lighter in water either — it can be submerged briefly without damage. The wind-proof design also means the light won’t go out, even in gusty conditions.
This is a flame-less lighter generating a spark through an electric current, rather than through gas or butane. The built-in battery is rechargeable through USB.
This set comes with a thick lanyard that lets you carry the lighter around your neck, or tie it to a bag. A charging cable and gift box are included as well.
PROS: Reusable – no need to refill butane, just recharge the battery and the lighter is good to go again.
CONS: Some say the cover takes a couple tries to lock down.
3. Swiss Safe 5-in-1 Fire Starter
An essential part of any outdoor kit or emergency kit, this compact device includes a magnesium rod fire starter, compass, whistle, steel scraper and a 450 pound 8core paracord.
The magnesium rod is more reliable than using matches, flint or a traditional lighter to start a spark. It works in almost any weather condition too, as it’s wind-proof and waterproof. It won’t freeze up in the cold either. This set gets you more than 16,000 strikes at 5,500°F with the rod.
In addition to the fire starter, the compass and whistle come in handy whether you’re on a group hike or in case of emergency. The paracord is super sturdy, while the scraper can essentially function as a small blade.
This package gets you two, five-inch fire starters.
PROS: Great alternative to traditional lighters. Holds up to all conditions.
CONS: This is best as an outdoor lighter. For everyday at-home use (I.e. lighting candles), consider other options on the list.
4. Tesla Coil Lighter
This Tesla Coil Lighter looks like a traditional lighter, only it uses an electric “arc” rather than butane to light up. The flame-less design is a lot safer and more fool-proof.
To use: charge up the unit, press the “on” button, and watch the electric current appear. A full charge lasts up to 300 uses.
The portable size — just 3 x 1.75 inches — makes this a great lighter for candles and other everyday uses. Stash it away easily in your pocket or bag.
PROS: The lighter has a built-in safety feature and will not light up when the lid is closed.
CONS: The smallest lighter on our list; for larger use cases, you’ll want to consider other options on our list. This lighter is not waterproof.