Skip to Content

Are electric lighters worth it?

Are electric lighters worth it?

Electric lighters provide an alternative to traditional butane lighters. They work by producing an electric arc with the press of a button to ignite whatever needs lighting. Electric lighters have grown in popularity in recent years due to some potential advantages over butane lighters. However, they also come with some downsides. So are electric lighters actually worth buying? There are several factors to consider when deciding if an electric lighter is right for you.

Pros of Electric Lighters

Some of the main benefits of electric lighters include:


Electric lighters don’t require fuel like butane lighters. This makes them reusable essentially forever, as long as the battery has power. You don’t need to worry about running out of lighter fluid at an inconvenient time.


The electric arc produced by electric lighters makes them largely unaffected by wind. This can make them more reliable for lighting candles or starting a campfire outside. Butane lighters can struggle with even a slight breeze.

Works in Any Weather

Similar to being windproof, electric lighters work just as well in cold weather as warm weather. The spark they create is not impacted by ambient temperature like a butane flame. So you can count on an electric lighter to start a fire even in frigid conditions.


Most electric lighters have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery built in. You can plug them into a USB charger when the battery runs low. This means you avoid constantly buying disposable lighters or butane refills like traditional lighters require.

Adjustable Flame

Many electric lighters allow you to adjust the arc intensity. This lets you control the size of the flame and makes electric lighters more versatile for different uses. Some models have multiple flame settings.

Safety Features

Electric lighters are designed with safety in mind. Many have features like automatic shutoff after a certain number of seconds. This helps prevent accidental fires or burns. Child safety locks are also common. These make electric lighters a safer option than traditional lighters around kids.

Stylish Designs

Electric lighters come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and material options. You can find sleek metallic lighters as well as fun patterned plastic ones. The designs make electric lighters a stylish accessory for any occasion.

Cons of Electric Lighters

Despite the advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks with electric lighters to keep in mind:

Battery Life

The battery needs to be charged every couple weeks or months depending on usage. The battery will drain faster if used frequently. You may end up in a situation with a dead lighter if you don’t remember to recharge it.

Not as Hot

The electric arc may not get as hot as a butane flame. This could make lighting things like pipes or cigars more difficult compared to a traditional flame lighter. The lower heat may require holding the arc on the material longer.

More Expensive

Electric lighters typically cost $10-$30, while you can buy a simple disposable butane lighter for under $2. The higher upfront cost of electric lighters may not seem worth it if you rarely need to light things.

Requires Power Source

You need a USB charger to recharge the built-in battery. This makes electric lighters less convenient for activities like backpacking or camping unless you pack a portable charger. Butane lighters don’t rely on external power.

Arc May Degrade

The electrodes that produce the electric arc can wear down over time after extended use. This will gradually make the arc weaker and require replacing the lighter. Quality lighters should provide hundreds of uses first.

Not Ideal for Cigarettes

The short burst of the electric arc may not be the best for lighting cigarettes. The arc often goes out faster than needed to properly light a cigarette. Butane lighters provide a more consistent flame.

Electric vs Butane Lighter Comparison

Here is a comparison of some key factors between electric and butane lighters:

Factor Electric Lighter Butane Lighter
Initial Cost $10-$30 $1-$5
Ongoing Cost None (rechargeable) Refills or new lighters
Convenience Recharges, may need charger Always works without power
Reliability Windproof, works in weather Impacted by wind/weather
Safety Auto shutoff, child lock More prone to accidents
Heat Produced Lower temperature arc Hotter butane flame

As shown, electric lighters excel in areas like reliability and safety due to their windproof design and built-in safety features. Butane lighters are cheaper upfront and don’t require external power. The heat produced also differs between the two lighter types.

When to Choose an Electric Lighter

Here are some of the best situations where an electric lighter would be the preferable option over butane:

– Lighting candles – The long, consistent arc is perfect for lighting candles safely.

– Outdoors/camping – Electric lighters work anywhere regardless of weather conditions unlike butane.

– Emergency kit – Keep one in your car or emergency kit since it doesn’t require fuel.

– Occasional smoker – For someone who only smokes cigars or pipes infrequently. The rechargeable aspect is convenient.

– Safety concerns – Electric lighters provide more safety if you have kids or concerns about accidental fires.

– Style – The variety of stylish designs make electric lighters a cool accessory.

Downsides of Electric Lighters

The disadvantages to electric lighters in certain situations include:

– Frequent smoking – Butane lighters work better for lighting multiple cigarettes in a row.

– Forgot to recharge – You may be left without a working lighter if you forget to recharge it.

– Activities away from power – Electric lighters are useless without the ability to recharge if you’re hiking or backpacking.

– Tight budget – The lower upfront cost of disposable butane lighters may be preferable if you are on a tight budget.

– Fast lighting needed – Butane produces a flame immediately, while electric takes a couple seconds to heat up.

– Reliability concerns – Butane lighters have a very simple design that leaves little to break or malfunction.

Popular Electric Lighter Brands

Some of the most popular and reputable brands of electric lighters include:

Zippo – Known for their classic windproof butane lighters, Zippo also offers a variety of electric arc lighters. Prices range from $10 for simple plastic models up to $50 for heavy duty metal versions.

Tesla Coil Lighters – This company specializes in cool arc lighter designs modeled after Tesla coil high voltage electricity. Most cost between $10-$20.

SaberLight – SaberLight’s lighters ignite with a unique saber arc design. They cost around $20-$30.

plasma300 – Affordable basic electric lighters priced in the $10-$15 range. Lots of color and pattern options.

VERTIGO Cyclone – On the higher end, Vertigo Cyclone lighters retail around $50-$75 but feature advanced triple arc ignition.

RONXS – For budget shoppers, RONXS lighters offer the electric arc functionality for only $5-$10. Just don’t expect advanced features.


Electric lighters provide some unique advantages over traditional butane lighters. The ability to recharge them and use them regardless of wind or weather conditions make them ideal for certain situations. They can also come in cool stylish designs. However, the higher upfront cost and reliance on power make butane lighters possibly a better choice for some people, especially frequent smokers. For occasional use and safety concerns, electric lighters are typically worth the investment. Consider what features are most important to you and your planned uses when deciding between electric and butane lighters. Both have their pros and cons.