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Updated April 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Extremus Outdoor USB Rechargeable Flameless Lighter
Extremus
Outdoor USB Rechargeable Flameless Lighter
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Durable & Rugged
Bottom Line

A variety of features, from its sealed cap to its included survival gear, make this a go-to USB lighter for outdoor activities.

Pros

Designed for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities with an included survival whistle and paracord. Recharges in under 2 hours and provides 300 uses between charges. Available in a variety of colors. Dual arc lighting head is protected by a water-tight cap.

Cons

The charging indicator light is less exact than other lighters. Emits a high-frequency sound that some can hear.

Best Bang for the Buck
LEUEK Electric Candle Lighter
LEUEK
Electric Candle Lighter
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

A safe-to-use USB lighter that can be used 600 times on a single charge and is easy to use.

Pros

A single charge can be used up to 600 times thanks to the efficient battery and the automatic shut-off. Multiple safety features ensure user protection. Lighter is wind-proof and splash-proof.

Cons

No USB-C charger means it takes longer to charge up.

Suprus Electric Arc USB Lighter
Suprus
Electric Arc USB Lighter
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Easiest to Use
Bottom Line

Big battery capacity in a nice handheld design that makes it easy to light almost anything.

Pros

Huge battery capacity in a USB lighter that can deliver up to 1,000 uses on a charge. Includes a child-resistant switch to prevent accidental ignitions. With the wand-style design in this USB lighter, it's easy to use.

Cons

Some problems with quality control, as the USB lighter occasionally stops holding a charge after a few uses.

Power Practical Sparkr Wick Candle Lighter
Power Practical
Sparkr Wick Candle Lighter
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Safest Option
Bottom Line

A long-neck candle that is ideal for candles, grills, and fireworks that comes equipped with important features.

Pros

The long-neck design promotes safety and makes it easy to light up candles and grills. The 15-degree angled head makes it easier to use. Safety features including 3-click activation make this a safer option.

Cons

No USB-C charger.

LcFun Dual Arc Plasma USB Lighter
LcFun
Dual Arc Plasma USB Lighter
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Handy Helper
Bottom Line

The sloped head of this highly rated lighter is designed for easy candle lighting, and the elegant appearance and box make it a great gift.

Pros

Available in a gold or silver zinc alloy with an attractive dragon design. Features a sloped dual arc head. Up to 500 uses per charge and can be recharged in 1.5 hours. Has 7-second auto-shutoff. Single LED light indicates when it is charging.

Cons

Scattered reports of recharging issues soon after purchase.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

57
Models
Considered
171
Consumers
Consulted
24
Hours
Researched
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Buying guide for Best USB lighters

Whether you keep a lighter near your humidor for evening quiet time or use one to light candles for mealtime ambiance, you’re likely tired of the mess and smell of refilling it or adding disposable ones to the landfill when they’re empty. If you’ve ever struggled to light one in the wind or rain while camping, you know the frustration. The solution is a USB lighter.

Regardless of what you need a lighter for, you can’t go wrong with a flameless USB lighter. These rechargeable lighters can go from mountaintop to cocktail party with the ease of recharging your phone. They’re wind- and water-resistant, and one can really make an impression with its plasma arc display.

usb electric lighter
Because they don’t burn petroleum-based fuel or take up space in a landfill, USB lighters are more environmentally friendly than disposable lighters.

Key considerations

Nodes

USB lighters don’t produce a flame, but they still need a way to light your candles. The technology involves arcs of highly charged plasma (its temperature can reach 1,100°F) that pass between two or more nodes. The number of nodes can vary.

Single arc lighters have one arc of plasma passing between two nodes. Dual (or double) arc lighters have two arcs and four nodes. While less common, you can also find lighters with three arcs and six nodes.

Charge

The more uses a USB lighter gives you per charge, the longer you can go before having to recharge it. This use range can vary considerably depending on the lighter, with some USB lighters providing 150 uses per charge and others providing 1,000. The average for lighters of this type is around 500.

You also want to verify how long it takes to recharge the lighter because some can take hours to fully power up. The average recharge time varies, but a few hours is fairly common.

Design

USB lighters come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles. While some look like traditional butane-fueled lighters, others are more elegant, and some are long (some with a flexible neck) and excel at lighting container candles. They all tend to be lightweight, but some are more compact and better suited for slipping into a purse or pocket. 

Quantity

Most USB lighters come one to an order, but you can find some in pairs, particularly the long, flexible-necked lighters. If you’re interested in getting more than one lighter, you can usually save some money by getting two. Make sure you know how many you’re getting when you place your order.

flexible neck usb lighter
Did You Know?
The flexible neck on some USB lighters makes it easy to light container candles, grills, and gas burners.
Staff
BestReviews

Features

Materials

While some manufacturers of USB lighter use some form of composite or plastic (for better waterproofing or to keep the price low), the usual material used for the outer shell is stainless steel or a zinc alloy. Zinc alloy is particularly prized because it’s both lightweight and durable and can be easily textured to provide a better grip.

Flip top

We mentioned some shapes earlier, but we also want to briefly touch on the flip top that some USB lighters have that provides several key functions:

  • It protects the nodes of the lighter from damage.
  • It protects users in case the arcs somehow become engaged when the lighter is in a pocket or purse.
  • It provides extra protection against water damage when you’re camping or hiking. 
  • It protects children by preventing them from using the lighter (on lids that lock). 

Buttons/switches

The buttons and switches that operate USB lighters vary, but you won’t find many on most of these lighters. Some use buttons to turn on the plasma; others use a switch or touch-sensitive LED screen. Whatever buttons or switches the device has, they should be easy to use so you aren’t constantly fiddling with a misfiring lighter.

In addition to a lockable flip top, some lighters have a built-in child safety switch that must be pressed and unlocked before the power button can be pushed. This can also keep the USB lighter from triggering accidentally when it’s in your purse or pocket.

Some USB lighters designed to light cigars, cigarettes, and pipes have a dual ignition switch that allows you to change from cigar to pipe safely and comfortably.

Auto shutoff

Another safety feature on USB lighters is an auto shutoff, which shuts down the lighter after several seconds to keep it from getting damaged by the high temperatures.

Charge indicator

Look for a USB lighter with an indicator to notify you when the charge is running low. This can be as simple as one LED that lights up when it’s time to plug in the lighter, or a series of several lights that provide you with a more detailed view of the amount of charge remaining. Some USB lighters have an LED screen that tracks the current charge level.

Extras

Your USB lighter should come with a charging cable (which you’ll probably need to use right out of the box). While you won’t find a lot of other extras with these lighters, some common ones include the following:

  • Instruction manual
  • Storage box
  • Cleaning brush (to clean the nodes)
  • Carrying strap
usb lighters
Did You Know?
USB lighters don’t rely on burning fuel so they produce no noticeable scent.
Staff
BestReviews

Pricing

Inexpensive

USB lighters start at $7 to $10. In this range, the lighters are simple and small, often in the form of no-frills, single arc candle lighters. They have fewer uses per charge (usually under 500) and little in the way of special features.

Mid-range

In the $10 to $15 range, you can find more durable USB lighters in more designs, everything from simple personal lighters to sturdier candle lighters. They may be single or dual arc and have more uses per charge (around 500). Safety features like flip tops and childproof switches are common here.

Expensive

In the $15 to $20 and higher price range, USB lighters have a more accurate charge indicator and more elegant designs. Multipacks and uses per charge of up to 1,000 are common here.

thin usb lighters
Did You Know?
Thin USB lighters are more portable, but their compact design means they have less battery storage and fewer uses between charges.
Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • Clean the lighter periodically. You can wipe it down with a little rubbing alcohol. Some come with a small brush for cleaning the nodes.
  • Give a USB lighter as a gift. A USB lighter makes an inexpensive and stylish gift. Get one that comes in an attractive storage box.
  • Check the number of nodes and arc size. These dictate how you can use the lighter. For example, a small single arc lighter will be less effective for use with deep pipes or large cigars.
  • Upgrade your old lighter. If you like the idea of a USB lighter but can’t seem to toss your old Zippo, you can upgrade it to a USB with a plasma insert.
  • Don’t use a USB lighter on metal. This can result in an electric shock.

 

usb lighter reusable
USB lighters tend to be more expensive than disposable lighters to buy, but the fact that you can reuse them and inexpensively recharge them means they are cheaper to use over time.

FAQ

Q. What can I use to recharge my USB lighter?

A. USB lighters use a standard connector, so anything with a standard USB port, such as a desktop or laptop computer, power bank, or USB car or wall outlet adapter, should be able to power them.

Q. Are USB lighters TSA approved?

A. Some retailers claim that you can legally travel with their USB lighters, but this isn’t currently the case. While the TSA does say that any final decision rests with the officer screening you, you’re generally not allowed to travel with any type of USB-powered lighter in either your carry-on or checked bags.

Q. Do USB lighters make a sound when they’re used?

A. One unique aspect of USB lighters is that they can make a high-pitched noise that some people find annoying. This noise varies depending on the lighter and the person using it. Some people can detect the frequency of the sound while others can’t.

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