About Atomic Lighter

By HighYa Research Team
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.


Read 55 Atomic Lighter Customer Reviews and Complaints

Write a Review
Average Customer Rating: 2.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 7 4 star: 9 3 star: 0 2 star: 6 1 star:  33
Bottom Line: 29% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 55
Sort reviews by:

  • Lighter does not work in moist air, won't even charge

    • Oregon,
    • Oct 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Got mine at Walmart. Went camping, the morning dew and moister in the air caused it to not charge. I am a wildland firefighter and this item sucks. What a waste of 25.00 bucks? So bummed out, worthless item, waste of money!

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no

  • Just a gadget

    • Miami Beach, FL,
    • Oct 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This lighter is not efficient. It is difficult to light a cigarette. I would not take this junk in my survival kit! Would you imagine to use this lighter on a desert island? Where would you find a USB plug to charge it? Buy a $1 bic and that’s it!

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no

  • Love the Atomic age

    • Alamosa, CO,
    • Jul 1, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've had my Atomic Lighter (purchased at Walmart for $20) for about a year now, and this lighter still works! I cannot say that about any other lighter I have ever owned, in my life! More than likely, neither can you. The charging port (USB - most convenient) is still intact and functioning.

    Well, the one and only problem I'll always have - everybody trying to steal it! No joke...

    It's Atomic! A good, strong lighter; well worth the $20.

    Plus - girls love it!

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no

  • Bad design charging plug

    • Houston, AK,
    • May 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I bought it for my wife, it worked great until needed to recharge. My wife said it would not recharge. I tried charging it, no luck. Took it apart to check it out, inspected everything. Looking at the USB port on the unit I noticed the center row of pins was pushed to the edge. So inserting a cable bypassed the center pins, therefore it wouldn't charge. Very cheap design of the USB port.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no

  • The lighter is fine, but it would be better if the edges were rounded

    • Virginia,
    • May 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    The lighter is a good lighter, but it would be better if the edges were rounded up some. It pokes into your legs and puts a hole in your pocket. I just rounded them off and it feels so much better.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no

  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    How to properly use and to enjoy

    • Delaware,
    • May 3, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Hey guys, I just want to say one thing first. A lot of the Atomic Lighters are getting bad reviews due to the fact they don't give clear directions on how to properly use this device. Unfortunately, I found out after a couple of months and one return. The biggest thing people have problems with is they say it doesn't last a hundred lights and it goes out after 5 to 10 lights, and that's because people don't realize it when they're lighting objects hand or cigarettes they are keeping it too close to the electrodes prongs. Getting it too close to these prongs are the little pieces that the plasma is discharge from in which the X plasma pattern is generated. Getting it too close to this plasma X discharge will SHORT IT OUT! So to prevent this from happening and causing your lighter to stop working only a few lights into you must always keep the object or cigarette 1/8 and to a 1/4 inch away from the plasma X and draw in like you would a normal Bic lighter, the ax will pull towards the cigarette just like a regular flame so 1/8 of an inch is about to close as you want to be to the blue plasma X. Any disruption of the plasma Ray or crowding and or corrosion, Ash, ETC will cause a misfire, aka no power. If this does happen, do not panic! This does not mean you have to recharge your whole battery. All you do is what I call to "jump it" by the term jumping I mean all you have to do is just plug in your USB charger cable for approximately two to three seconds then unplug. Once you do this it will fire back up basically where you left it or when it shorted out. Ever since realizing this I always keep it at least one eighth an inch and after about every two to three lights I blow off the electrodes and clean them. But the biggest thing is to keep objects at least 1/8 inch away from Blue plasma X.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no

  • Lid falls off.

    • Pennsylvania,
    • Apr 30, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had the lighter less than 3 days and the lid fell off of it, now it keeps flicking off and on when I try to light a cigarette. Should have designed the hinge better, maybe screw on or something, but just tried taking it out of my pocket and the lid just popped off.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no

  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    More cool than functional

    • Alabama,
    • Apr 27, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had seen the TV ads on the monitors at the gym for several months before I picked up one on clearence at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I like to hike (and smoke cigars...often at the same time) and thought having one of these would be cool to have in my backpack.

    As discussed here, the area of ignition is small. Works fine for cigarillo style smokes, but not full size. It also has a problem catching some things on fire. Rather, it would turn the exposed area instantly to ash.

    All that said, it works as advertised. I charge it only once every few weeks and get well more than my 100 uses per charge. It is also kind of cool. People will see me use it and wonder what it is and I get to say, "Plasma lighter." Which does seem kind of badass.

    Would I pay $20 for one? No. But if I did find another under $5, I would get a second.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no

  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Several months and still works great

    • Ellington, CT,
    • Feb 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Like another reviewer, if I had gone by what some of the reviews said, I never would have bought it, but I'm glad I took a chance on it.

    I bought mine at Walmart, so if there was a problem with it, I could easily return it and eliminate the shipping charges both ways, which cost almost as much as the lighter itself. The only problem with buying it that way was I couldn't take advantage of the two for one pricing by ordering it direct, but I also didn't have to wait for it to "maybe" show up so to me it was a good trade-off.

    Some reviewers mentioned the noise that it makes when using it, but I have a few arc lighters by different manufacturers, and they all have the same sound, so it has nothing to do with the Atomic Lighter. It's just a sound that's inherent with arc lighters.

    Several reviews state that it won't hold a charge longer than a day or it doesn't work at all. If you follow the instructions, you shouldn't have any problems with the Atomic Lighter. Make sure the switch on the bottom is off, charge it fully before using it for the first time, and keep an eye on it so it doesn't overcharge. The LED on the bottom tells you when it's charging and when's it's finished charging. Be sure to turn the switch to off when you're finished using it to prevent the battery from draining.

    I only wish it came with a pouch to carry it on my belt, but that problem was easily solved - in the fishing section at Walmart, there is a small $5 multi-tool set of pliers from their Ozark Trail line; this multi-tool comes with a small belt pouch that fits the Atomic Lighter perfectly.

    One other thing I've noticed from a few reviewers is that it's made of cheap plastic. I'm not sure if they sell it that way intentionally for the TV sales to cut costs for the two for the price of one buyers, but the one I bought at Walmart is made of steel, it's heavier than my other arc lighters and has a noticeably solid sound and even feel when closing the lid. You can definitely find less expensive arc lighters, but for the few dollars extra it cost me, it was well worth it. Worth it to the point that all my other arc lighters have taken up permanent residence in a junk drawer and probably aren't even charged anymore, while my Atomic Lighter has become an EDC on my belt at all times and goes everywhere I go.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no

  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Never even worked once!

    • Miami, FL,
    • Feb 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I got this lighter as a gift. I was excited to try it out because I have seen them advertised on TV before and it looked like a cool idea. I charged the lighter when I first got it for several hours and it would not light at all! I was hoping for the best and kept charging it for several more hours and still nothing. Needless to say, I am nothing less than greatly disappointed, dissatisfied, and even feel ripped off, and I’m not even the one who paid for it. I would not recommend this product to anyone at all. It’s not worth your money or time. If it didn’t even work once for me, I’m not confident that it’s a product worth any time or money. Don’t waste your money.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no

  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Junk

    • New York,
    • Feb 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    After one month of use, this lighter stopped working. I wrote to the company and am waiting for a reply. This was a Christmas gift and it was a dud. Plus it is hard to light a cigarette with it because the space is so small.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no

Showing 1-11 of 55

Write a Review for Atomic Lighter!

Share your experience to help others shop smarter & discover great products.

Write a Review