In the mid to late 2015 a new type of lighter was launched which was nothing like it’s predecessors and in terms of functionality it performed better as well. The only thing common between these new plasma lighters and the conventional old lighters was the design and nothing else. Initially they were used to light candle among few other things but due to it’s consistent performance, the plasma lighter became the next popular item even for campers and frequent users of lighters. These plasma lighters mainly consist of three types single arc, dual arc and a triple arc 360o. All three of the types will be discussed along with their pros and cons in this publication.
The plasma lighters are battery operated and produce no flame at all making them fuel-less and increasing their overall lifespan. The ability to function in windy and rainy conditions is the only reason that the plasma lighter has gained in popularity overnight and the best thing along with that is the convenience in the usage, a full charge will last for around 100 to 200 lights depending on the use and type of plasma lighter being used and once you run out of charge you can easily charge the plasma lighter with a USB cable connected to your PC or a Laptop or you can use conventional mobile phone mini USB charger.
As we mentioned that the elimination of fuel dependency in the lighter has led to increase in the lifespan of plasma lighter which means it is more environmental friendly then it’s predecessors the old disposable lighter of which 1.5 billion units ended up in the land fills every year imagine the raw material that goes to waste with that and recycling it takes a lot of effort as well.
Overall the lighter has more of a high pitch sound which is louder compared to the old disposable lighter but it is not annoying to most of the people but if it does annoy you, well it is a small price to pay for such a great product.
Types of Plasma Lighter
As we have mentioned above that there are mainly three types of Plasma Lighters available in the market today. Which types are there? Let’s get into it.
- Single Arc
- Dual Arc
- Triple Arc 360o
- Single Arc
So let’s start with the first type of plasma lighter you’ll notice which will be the single arc plasma lighter which you can say is the basic model of the plasma lighters. The single arc plasma lighter has two electrodes, if you don’t know what electrodes do in a plasma lighter we’ll get to that further on in this publication. The two electrodes on the single arc plasma lighter generate a small light/plasma which makes it suitable for use to light small sized items and it is energy efficient as well. The battery on the single arc plasma lighter lasts for the most time out of the three types.
- Long Battery Life
- Low Generation of Heat
- Cannot light objects that have large surface area
- Dual Arc
Dual Arc Plasma Lighters are next, the dual arc lighters have four electrodes instead of two creating a stronger plasma/light and more heat is generated by these electrodes. The dual arc lighters are more powerful than the single arc lighters and they can light objects with considerably wider surface areas and in a shorter time. When it comes to the power consumption, dual arc lighters are not very efficient and consumer twice as much power compared to the single arc lighters.
- Ability to light up objects faster
- Can light up objects that have a wide surface area, capability is more than the single arc lighter
- More strong plasma/light generated compared to single arc lighter
- Not efficient when it comes to power consumption
- Triple Arc 360o
The last of the types that you will find available in the market is the triple arc 360o. The triple arc plasma lighter has six electrodes in general but another variant of 360o is available in the market which has four electrodes. Both of these variants of 360o plasma lighter have totally different design and electrode placement making it different in functionality from both single arc and dual arc plasma lighters. The light/plasma formed by electrodes faces upwards which makes it capable of lighting a much larger surface area than the single arc and double arc plasma lighters. 360o plasma lighter is not only powerful because of more electrodes installed in the design but also makes it suitable for outdoor activities such as camping.
- Versatile Usability
- 360o top facing plasma beam makes it easy to use it from any angle
- Can be used on a larger surface area
- Powerful plasma generates more heat and makes it less safer to use
What Makes Plasma Lighter So Special?
The one thing that everyone asks if they are recommended to get a plasma lighter instead of the conventional disposable lighter is what’s so special in a plasma lighter? To be honest there are quite a few things that makes the plasma lighter special. What are they? Let’s find out.
First of all plasma lighters do not have any kind of liquid or gas fuel to light up instead they use built-in batteries which are also rechargeable so your plasma lighter is not there for a one time use.
- Strong Weather Conditions? No Problem
With the disposable conventional lighters strong weather conditions were a big no no as the flame is always blown off by the winds or the rain. This is not the case with the plasma lighters because they can be easily used in strong weather conditions whether it’s windy or rainy. Just don’t submerge the plasma lighter in water, it will not work.
- Electric Current
Plasma Lighters use electric current from the battery to produce plasma with the help of electrodes. The conventional disposable lighters use liquid or gas fuel to produce a flame, making them not very environmental friendly.
- Safer To Use
Plasma Lighters are safer to use compared to conventional lighters because the flame in the conventional lighters move around and the risk of burning your hand is always there. With plasma lighters the plasma doesn’t change shape and remains between the electrodes eliminating or minimizing the risk of burning your hand while using it.
How Do Plasma Lighters Work?
By this stage of this publication you might have gotten some kind of idea about how plasma lighters work or at the very least you must have realized that the plasma lighters are all electric and no liquid based or gas based fuel is used in them like their predecessor. Let’s start with the details of the workings of plasma lighters.
Plasma lighters have different configurations of electrodes assembled onto them which also help them classify among three types. These electrodes are the main component in a plasma lighter. These electrodes receive electric charge from the battery and these electrodes which are placed opposite to each other ionize the air between them to create a plasma or an arc. Now the number of electrode pairs determines the number of arcs or plasmas which are produced in a plasma lighter. The higher the number of electrodes in plasma lighter the more powerful it is and of course uses more power from the battery.
The plasma produced by the electrodes can be labelled as mini lightning and direct plasma to skin contact should be avoided as it generates a lot of heat which can cause severe burns on skin if direct contact is made with it.
What Happens When You Touch The Plasma?
The area between the electrodes is not much and any accidental touch of that area when plasma is being produced is highly unlikely. But if you do manage to make direct contact with the plasma then it will prove to be quite painful and may cause skin burn as the plasma is generating a lot of heat.
Can Plasma Lighter Be Used During Rain?
Yes, plasma lighter can be used during the rain. It will still produce and effective plasma to light up a cigar or a cigarette. Avoid submerging the plasma lighter in the water as it will lose it’s effectiveness when submerged.
Temperatures of Plasma Lighter
Plasma lighter can generate quite a bit of heat as the plasma generated by the electrodes can reach the temperatures of 2012oF or 1100oC.
What Should I Burn Using Plasma Lighter?
It depends on the type of plasma lighter you got for yourself. The space between the electrodes determines the object you can light up using the plasma lighter. Any object that has bigger surface area then the distance between the electrodes will disrupt the circuit and the plasma will not be produced due to the disruption of circuit. But you can light a piece of paper to light large surface area objects using plasma lighter.
What is the Duration of Holding A Plasma Lighter?
On a full charge a plasma lighter can last for 200 to 300 lights. Even though there are internal safety mechanisms that are in place inside plasma lighters which cut the plasma off if you light it up for more than 10 seconds at a stretch. But it is recommended that you don’t wait for internal safety mechanism to kick in and should light the plasma for no more than 8 seconds on a stretch.
How Long To Charge Plasma Lighter?
Most of the plasma lighters available in the market have LED notification light to let you know if the charge is full or not when charging your plasma lighter but if you don’t have an LED notification light on your plasma lighter to notify you of that it is recommended to charge your plasma lighter for anywhere between 1 and 2 hours.
Is The Battery Replaceable?
Yes the rechargeable battery of the plasma lighters can also be replaced with an identical one.
Using Plasma Lighters Safely
Even though there are safety mechanisms in place in a plasma lighter such as activation delay, manual safety lock and a guard to prevent direct skin contact with the tip but there are certain things that you can do on your own to make the use of your plasma lighter as safe as possible. Such as …
- Extinguishing the beam as soon as you’re done using it
- Maintaining a safe distance between the lighter tip and your skin and clothing
- Do not place your fingers between the electrodes
- Always use recommended replacement battery model and recommended charging cable
- Do not expose the plasma lighter to direct sunlight or temperatures above 50oC