The 5 Best Plasma Lighters You Can Get Now

Last Updated: August 1, 2022

I’m a bit of a lighter addict and like to have at least two of each type of lighter.

While they have their downsides, I love plasma lighters because they can be recharged with a portable solar panel or solar power bank, so they are a good option should you ever run out of fuel.

There are many cheap, poorly made plasma lighters, though, so you’ve got to be careful about which one you get.

Below are the best plasma lighters which you can actually rely on. 

How We Chose the Best Plasma Lighters

We analyzed all the plasma lighters on the market and picked the best ones based on these factors:

  • Battery capacity
  • Design
  • Durability
  • Battery life indicator
  • Extra features like waterproof cases or built-in flashlights

Some of these plasma lighters I tried myself, and others were recommended by survivalists.

If you don’t know much about lighters, I recommend reading this guide to the Types of Lighters.  Also, see our picks for the All-Around Best Survival Lighters.

And, in case you ever find yourself without a lighter, see this guide about how to start a fire without a lighter.

Quick Picks:

Best Plasma Lighters

1. Tough Tesla 2.0

  • Arcs: Double
  • Recharge time: 2 hours
  • Lights per charge: 100-300
  • Battery capacity: 220mAh
  • Indicator light: No
  • Other: Waterproof case, 100-lumen flashlight with 3 brightness modes, whistle on a para-tinder lanyard

Tesla lighter

Check Prices on Survival Frog

The Tough Tesla repeatedly comes out on top as the best plasma lighter and is well regarded by preppers.

I like that the double arcs are set outside the lighter so it’s easy to light tinder and not just cigarettes. The 220mAh capacity battery will last for about 100-300 lights and can be recharged many times without dying (so long as you take care not to overcharge it).

The Survival Frog company offers a very good guarantee, which is a sign that you can trust the lighter.

While some “survival lighters” have gimmicky products added to them, the flashlight on the Tough Tesla 2.0 is actually useful.  At 100 lumens, it is bright enough to do most small tasks.

There is also a lower power mode, so you don’t drain the lighter battery as quickly, and a strobe mode. There is a whistle on a lanyard, which can be torn apart to create tinder.

The best thing about the Tough Tesla, though, is its waterproof case.  I still wouldn’t dunk it in water as they show in the product pictures, but it will keep it safe against most water damage.

The only real downside of the Tough Tesla 2.0 is that there isn’t a battery life indicator.  You’ll have to guess how much juice is left in the battery.  There is a blue light that turns off when the battery is fully charged, though.

Check Survival Frog

2. Explorer Waterproof Plasma Lighter

  • Arcs: Double
  • Recharge time: 2 hours
  • Lights per charge: 100-300
  • Battery capacity: 220mAh
  • Indicator light: No
  • Other: Waterproof case, whistle on para-tinder lanyard

Check Prices on Amazon

This plasma lighter is pretty similar to the Tough Tesla 2.0 reviewed above.  It also has a 220mAh battery and comes in a waterproof case with a whistle on a para-tinder lanyard.  However, it does not have a built-in flashlight.

There is no battery life indicator.  A light turns blue when charging and turns off when fully charged.

Despite this, the Explorer is still a practical, durable plasma lighter.  There are several color/style options for it.  You can also choose whether you want the plasma lighter with the casing or outwards.

Check On Amazon

3. JiaDa Waterproof 2-in-1 Arc Lighter Flashlight

  • Arcs: Double
  • Recharge time: 2 hours
  • Lights per charge: N/G
  • Battery capacity: 350mAh
  • Indicator Light: No
  • Other: IPX7 waterproof, flashlight with 3 modes, overcharge protection

Check Prices on Amazon

The 2-in-1 function of this lighter/flashlight makes it perfect for EDC (everyday carry).

The LED flashlight has 3 modes: high, low, and strobe.  They don’t list how many lumens the flashlight is, but it is pretty bright on the high mode.

The battery capacity is 350mAh, which is much larger than you’d find with other lighters, so it can handle being used as a flashlight.

The plasma lighter function is also well-designed.  There is a flip lid with a safety lock.

The double arcs are set out from the metal casing, so it’s easy to light tinder.

They don’t say how many lights per charge but I’m guessing it’s around 300-400 max because of the larger battery capacity. There is no battery indicator, but the blue light does turn off when fully charged.

I also love that the lighter is IPX7 waterproof and only weighs 1.8oz, so it isn’t too bulky to carry every day.

Check On Amazon

4. iLever Dual Arc Plasma Lighter

  • Arcs: Double
  • Recharge time: 1-1.5 hours
  • Lights per charge: 120-200
  • Battery capacity: 280mAh
  • Indicator Light: Yes

Check Prices on Amazon

The standout feature of the iLever plasma lighter is that it has a battery indicator light.  The blue light on the side of the lighter shows you how full the battery is, so you don’t have to guess.

This is why we picked it as the best plasma lighter for people who use lighters frequently, such as smokers.

I also love that the lighter has a sleek, lightweight design.  The battery capacity is 280mAh, which is larger than most.  Despite the larger battery capacity, iLever only claims that you’ll get 120-200 lights per charge.

This is probably an accurate estimate of the number of lights; other plasma lighters with smaller batteries are probably overestimating.

There aren’t any extras about the iLever plasma lighter, though.  It isn’t waterproof, doesn’t have a flashlight, and doesn’t even have a safety lock.  So, don’t plan on taking this camping or putting it in a survival kit.

Check On Amazon

5. Vehhe Plasma Candle Lighter

  • Arcs: Single
  • Recharge time: 0.5-1 hour
  • Lights per charge: 500
  • Battery capacity: 300mAh
  • Indicator Light: Yes
  • Other: 360-degree rotation

Check Prices on Amazon

There are a lot of cheap plasma candle lighters for sale.  This one stands out from the rest because of a few great features.

They claim that it will get 600 sparks per charge, which seems accurate since it’s only a single arc (which uses less energy than a double arc).

There is a battery life indicator on the case, so you know when to recharge.   They claim that the battery can be recharged 600 times, and they have a 1-year guarantee on the product.

The only annoying thing about this candle lighter is that there is no cover for the plasma arcs.  You should keep it in its case, so the ignition beam area doesn’t get dirty.  It then becomes too bulky to carry with you, so this is a plasma lighter best suited for home use.

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6. Lytown Two Pack of Candle Plasma Lighters

  • Arcs: Single
  • Recharge time: 1 hour
  • Lights per charge: 500*
  • Battery capacity: N/G
  • Indicator Light: No
  • Other: Safety lock

Check Prices on Amazon

If you want a cheap plasma lighter to have around just in case, this is a good option.  It is of better quality than most cheap plasma lighters.  The slim design makes it practical for many purposes, from lighting candles and grills to starting fires outdoors.

To use this plasma lighter, you first have to push the child safety button and then hit the “on” button.  The ignition beam area pops up from inside the case, which is cool since the beams aren’t exposed when not in use, so you can keep it in a purse without worry.  This beats covering the beams with a little plastic cover that you will inevitably lose.

While the design of the plasma lighter is great, it is still a cheap lighter.  Some people had issues with the battery dying out quickly and not recharging.  And it lacks some basic features that anyone who uses a lighter regularly would want.

So, I’d only recommend this if you are interested in trying out plasma lighters but will probably stick to fuel-based lighters.

Check On Amazon

Notes about Choosing a Plasma Lighter

Lights per charge:

The number of lights you’ll get from a fully-charged plasma lighter varies drastically depending on factors like:

  • Number of arcs
  • Operating temperature (lithium-ion batteries perform poorly in hot and cold temperatures)
  • How long you hold the ignition button

Don’t expect to get the full number of charges listed by the manufacturer.  Battery capacity is a much better indicator of how many lights you’ll get per charge.

Battery life:

Plasma lighters use lithium-ion batteries.  These batteries are susceptible to overheating and overcharging.

Be careful not to let the battery charge too long, or it might permanently lose some of its capacity.

This is why some people say their plasma lighter worked fine at first but then stopped charging. For more on this, please read our post about types of batteries.

Beam Position Design:

plasma lighter beam position design

Pay attention to how the beams are positioned on the plasma light.  The beams can be set outside the case (shown on the left with the Tough Tesla 2.0 lighter) or set inside the case (right).

In general, it’s easier to light wide objects or tinder when the beams are set outside.  Plasma lighters that set the beams inside are better for lighting cigarettes.  They aren’t great for lighting candles or starting fires. 

Do you use a plasma lighter? Let us know what you love or hate about it in the comments section below.

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