About Atomic Lighter

By HighYa Staff
Published on: Aug 10, 2017

Advertised as a tactical rechargeable lighter, Atomic Lighter promises to use plasma arc technology that can quickly create fire, without gas or butane.

The website tells us that this fuel-free rechargeable lighter works anywhere, anytime—including in the rain and the wind—just by pressing a button. We’re even told that it’s sure to light the first time, every time, and to last a lifetime.

The plasma lighter also claims to deliver more than 100 lights on a single charge. And when the time comes, it’s rechargeable by USB.

There’s little doubt that all of these features could be beneficial. But are they necessarily unique to Atomic Lighter? Are there other plasma options that should be on your radar during your research?

Let’s start by taking a look at the lighter’s price.

How Much Does Atomic Lighter Cost?

One Atomic Lighter is priced at $19.99, plus free S&H. During checkout, you’ll be able to purchase a second Atomic Lighter and an Atomic Beam flashlight for a separate $9.99 fee, bringing your total to $29.98.

All purchases come with a 30-day refund policy, less S&H charges. Atomic Lighter is sold through Bulbhead, a division of Telebrands, who can be reached at 855-668-1655.

Now, let’s take a look at the mechanics behind products like this.

How Do Plasma Arc Lighters Work?

At its most basic, Atomic Lighter is a type of plasma arc lighter. What in the world is this?

Without going into unnecessary detail, Timothy Dahl from Popular Mechanics tells us that instead of using fuel and creating an open flame, arc lighters work “by creating a small electrical arc between two electrodes that is much hotter than a flame, and it's windproof.”

Why the ‘X’ pattern? According to one Redditor:

“The current (arc) will only flow between two electrodes with a large voltage difference (i.e. one is positive and one is negative), and the current will follow the shortest available path (here, vertical or horizontal, if available, instead of diagonal). There don't seem to be any combinations of high and low electrode voltages that would produce two simultaneous diagonal arcs.

So instead, the arcs must be produced at different times. The lighter only applies a voltage across one diagonal pair of electrodes at a time, and switches back and forth more quickly than you can see.”

Is this like harnessing lightning in the palm of your hand, as claimed by TV personality Hunter Ellis in the Atomic Lighter commercial?

While both utilize electricity, it might be more accurate to think of arc lighters as harnessing a strong static-like zap, instead of something like a powerful lightning bolt. As an example, Youtuber Gadget Addict reported that it felt like a sting that’s “not that bad” (although we’re by no means implying you should do the same):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD2H4fuwxrM

In addition to mild pain if you carelessly touch the arc, let’s discuss some other considerations to keep in mind if you’re thinking about purchasing something like Atomic Lighter.

What Are Some Potential Pros & Cons For Plasma Lighters?

While we didn’t encounter any in-depth online buying guides at the time of our research, based on many of the customer reviews we read for competing models, many seemed to appreciate the fact that plasma lighters:

  • Can work in just about any condition (including wind and rain)
  • Recharge easily through any USB port and are battery powered
  • Are much safer, since no flammable fluid is required

On the other hand, the lighting surface is limited (usually meaningfully smaller than the end of a cigarette) and when in use, these lighters are reported to emit a high-pitched squeal that some users have claimed can be annoying.

Given some of these advantages and disadvantages, will Atomic Lighter be good for all the different tasks mentioned in the commercial?

While we didn’t test the device firsthand, based solely on the apparent narrow distance between its electrical arcs, it seems like it could suffice for lighting thinner surfaces, like candles, fireworks fuses, or the end of a small rope.

However, since many online reviewers for third-party products often mentioned difficulty lighting something as small as cigarettes, firing up a stogie might not rank at the top of any arc lighter’s list of abilities.

And if you’re going to use one for a bonfire or a backyard barbecue, it’s likely that to catch as quickly as shown in the Atomic Lighter commercial, we’d imagine any materials would need to be soaked in a propellant.

Atomic Lighter vs. Other Plasma, Flameless, & Arc Lighters

In the previous section, you might have picked up that we frequently referenced arc lighters in general. Why? Because by typing any of the above phrases into your favorite search engine, you’ll quickly find that Atomic is competing for the same customers as perhaps hundreds of other arc lighters.

In addition, the majority of these featured the same key selling points as Atomic, such as the ability to light in almost any condition, USB rechargeability, 100+ lights per charge, and lightweight portability.

Given this, based on a quick Google Shopping search, here were some of the more popular options at the time of our research, as well as their differentiating features:

Product Price Special Features
Atomic Lighter $19.95, plus free S&H Lifetime Warranty
Arc Lighter $34.99 A larger 7.6" x 1.0" x 0.7" size, silent ArcLighter Technology, High-end construction and materials
Tesla Coil Lighters $13.99 Compact 3” x 1.75” x 0.5”, 3 oz size; Up to 300 lights per charge
Plazmatic Lighters $29.99-$45 Many different colors and finishes, full recharge in 60 minutes, Whisper quiet design
TekDeals $13 Zinc, steel, and ceramic construction; Can last up to 300 lights
The Inferno Lighter $29 Wider space between electrodes

How to choose the best option? As with many other product decisions, it largely depends on those factors you deem most important. For example:

If the price is your number one factor, TekDeals was the lowest option out of the above. However, while there's no way to know how they match up as far as quality, we found some plasma lighters for sale through independent retailers on sites like eBay and Amazon for as little as $2.

On the other hand, if an emphasis on design and high-quality materials is important to you, the Arc Lighter is perhaps the standout option. However, it was also one of the most expensive flameless lighters we encountered during our research, and was also pending release.

Speaking of expensive, some of Plazmatic’s arc lighters topped the list at $45, although they seemed to offer meaningfully more design options to suit your style.

Finally, it’s important to factor in the manufacturer’s online customer reputation (Is it mostly positive? Are there any common complaints?), as well as their refund policy (including associated fees). How does all of this stack up for Atomic Lighter?

Our Final Thoughts About Atomic Lighter

Like the majority of their other products we’ve researched, Bulbhead (aka Telebrands) stands behind Atomic Lighter with a 30-day refund policy. This means that if you only order one and aren’t satisfied, you won’t be out more than a few dollars in return shipping and a little bit of your time.

And while you’ll also be able to purchase a second lighter and the Atomic Beam flashlight for only $9.99, it’s important to emphasize that this fee is nonrefundable.

Given this, if Atomic Lighter’s specifications seem to match your needs better than other plasma, flameless options, it doesn’t seem you could go wrong.

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27 Consumer Reviews for Atomic Lighter

Average Consumer Rating: 2.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 4 4 star: 5 3 star: 0 2 star: 2 1 star:  16
Bottom Line: 33% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 27
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  • It's a dud

    • Vermont,
    • Feb 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The lighter worked fine for about a month, and then it would work only on occasions. When pushing the the button it would work only half the time or it would come on and off while pushing the button or it wouldn't light at all. This is after it was fully charged. Very inconvenient with also trying to light a cigarette while you're driving when it did work. Did not hold a charge for as long as stated in their advertisement either. Good for a pack of cigarettes at the most.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Trash

    I got it for a present for me and my dad. It worked for thirty minutes, after that you had to charge it. Use once, and charge again. I thought it was just mine but my father's did the same thing. These are trash, and I will not buy any more Atomic B.S.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Junk

    I saw the lighter in the As Seen On TV section in a store. I charge the worthless lighter, it will light 3 times, and then is a dead as a doornail. My 20 bucks would have been better spent on a good old Zippo lighter. Atomic, what a joke, atomic should last more than 3 lights, atomic should be for like 2000 or more lights. Maybe I can use this so-called lighter for something useful, like a doorstop, or a sinker for fishing. I hope whoever makes and markets this crap lighter reads this - your lighter is crap!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Buy at your own risk

    • Atlantic City, NJ,
    • Feb 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This lighter lasted me two days, TOPS! After charging it, I'd get literally one light. Everyone has a different experience with products. I followed the directions with charging before usage. This lighter lasted me two days for $20. Stick with Bic.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Awesome lighter!

    • Greenville, MS,
    • Feb 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I love this lighter. I work outside in the wind, and this thing has never let me down when lighting my cigarette. You should charge it fully right when you take it out of the package for optimal battery performance.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Works great, stays charged a long time.

    • Detroit, MI,
    • Feb 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This lighter works great. I light my cigarettes (20 per day) and never had a problem. It isn't necessary to jam the tip of the cigarette into the plasma stream in order to get it lit. Just get it really close and puff, the tremendous heat will light it very fast.

    I charge the lighter every other day, and it has never gone dead or fail to light. Although I light 40 cigarettes during that time, I like watching the plasma arc and probably could have lit at least 40 more if I didn't activate it just to see the arc.

    The only two things that could possibly be improved would be that the corners are a bit sharp and you can sometimes feel them in your pocket, and it is kind of heavy.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Atomic Lighter

    • Calabash, NC,
    • Jan 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    If I had read the previous reviews before buying this lighter, I probably would not have purchased it, however, I am pleasantly surprised and mostly happy with my purchase.

    My background is industrial maintenance and machinist. The metal case is very well made, thought the corners are a little sharp and noticeable when carried around in one's pocket. The small plastic switch does seem to be a weak point. Mine will not hold a charge all day when charged at night; I overcame this by charging completely before leaving the house and keeping a charger in my vehicle if needed. I do smoke cigars and have no problem lighting one with this lighter.

    The main selling point for me is it's windproof capability as I spend a lot of time outside in windy conditions. Someone made a comment that it had a cheap plastic case, the one I have is a machined metal case which I like very much. I purposely kept pressing the button for each 8 second light to see how many times it would light, and after 50 times, I stopped even though it was still working.

    Bottom line, with a full charge, I feel it works very well. I am glad I bought it before reading the reviews posted on this site.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • It works!

    I was surprised. I figured the lighter was a piece of crap like everything else I bought from As Seen On TV, but I was wrong. It never fails to light, the charge holds for a couple of days, and it is built solid. The noise it makes is pretty cool. I had to brush the electrodes off twice but that's not a big deal. Atomic Lighter is the only lighter I carry now, and I hope I don't lose it like everything else.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Disappointed

    My grandmother gifted us this for Christmas. I can't even use it to light candles. The lid prohibits reaching the wick of a candle that is inside a jar like most candles. You obviously could use it for birthday candles but the noise emitted is a very, very high pitch sound that bothered everyone in our family 40 and under.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Only works 3 or 4 times

    This lighter would probably be great, but you only get about 3 or 4 lights from it before it's dead. It does hold up against wind. I didn't run over it or freeze it. What a joke! I would not recommend this to anyone.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Piece of crap

    • Tulsa, OK,
    • Jan 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received this lighter as a gift for Christmas. I would get maybe 8-10 lights off it from a charge for the first week. The second week was even less. This is the third week, and it has quit working completely. It was nice to see it worked when it did, but I'll stay with a regular lighter for dependability.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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