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How to Choose the Best Candle Lighter | Product Review Included

There are a ton of options to consider when shopping for a new lighter. When you look beyond the classic plastic sparkwheel lighter, you’ll encounter a variety of designs and even different fuel/power sources.

Certain features, like safety locks and durability, are essential across all lighters. But you have a huge range of choices in terms of design, price, and fuel/power source, so it’s important to understand the pros and cons of electric lighters and butane lighters.

Candle lighter adjustability is less important than flame reliability. Safety features are highly important. The lighter should be easy to hold and use. There are pros, cons, and safety considerations for different fuel/energy sources. Durability can vary, but the price must match.

Features of Candles Lighters to Assess

1. Flame Size and Adjustability

Lighters are either fixed flame or adjustable flame.

An adjustable flame can be an advantage because it can accommodate different candle sizes. For example, if you’re lighting a small tea light at close range, you want a smaller flame. If you need to reach a candle at the bottom of a jar, a bigger flame will be easier (but you also risk burning your thumb!).

On the other hand, some companies (like Bic and Cricket) argue that a fixed flame lighter is more reliable and, as long as you have a consistent good-quality flame, you shouldn’t need to adjust it.

You should look for a small, precise flame that is easy to control, especially if you opt for a fixed flame lighter.

Adjustable flame lighters will typically be labeled as “adjustable.” Otherwise, fixed flame is the default for a butane lighter. Electric lighters are not adjustable.

Lighter with adjustable flame illustrator

Butane torch lighters are more often adjustable because they shoot a long, intensely hot blue flame that generally needs to be toned down.

If you can’t tell from the packaging, search for demonstration or review videos. Look for a wheel with + and – signs on either side.

2. Safety Features

The following considerations are most important for lighter safety:

  • Automatic shut off. The lighter should immediately turn off when you take your thumb off the sparkwheel, remove your finger from the trigger, or stop pressing the switch. That way, if you drop the lighter, it will not ignite whatever it lands on.
  • Safety lock. This prevents accidental ignition and serves as a child safety mechanism. On some lighters, this is an extra switch that needs to be turned on. On a standard sparkwheel lighter, it’s the metal strip on the spark wheel that requires you to apply more pressure than small children can.
  • Fuel type. Butane lighters contain flammable liquid, although the risk is minimal. Electric lighters contain no flammable liquid. Still, in all cases, you should avoid exposing the body of your lighter to significant heat.
  • Refueling/charging up. For lighters with fuel sources, the process of refilling them should be easy. Difficulties here can mean uncontained fuel in the presence of a flame. Charging an electric lighter should be easy and safe (i.e., the connections should be secure and the wires insulated).

3. Design and Ergonomics

A comfortable grip and easy-to-use trigger are important for a candle lighter. People have very different preferences, so think about what design will fit your hand best.

For example, I always have trouble with matches and sparkwheel lighters because I find them finicky to ignite. Plus, I often burn my thumb when tilting the flame downwards to light a candle.

I prefer lighters with a trigger or switch. I also prefer a long neck so that the flame is far away from my hands.

Long neck lighter with flame

However, I have a friend who dislikes long-reach lighters with triggers because their finger does not fit comfortably in the trigger loop.

Some people dislike sparkwheel lighters if their thumb is too large for the sparkwheel and gets slightly burned during ignition. I also know someone who just cannot work them for love or money.

If you’re interested in a long-neck design, flexible necks can be even better for hard-to-reach candles.

Additionally, think about where you’ll use the lighter. Do you need a small lighter for portability? Do you want a lighter with a magnet to attach to your fridge? Some lighters also have rings for hooks for easy storage.

4. Fuel Type or Power Source

Candle lighters are primarily powered by either butane or electricity. Both are safe, and both have their pros and cons in terms of functionality.

Lighters powered by butane emit an actual flame, while electric lighters emit a wire-like arc of electricity that burns much hotter and is much smaller than a typical flame.

Standard butane lighters burn yellow-orange, but you can also get exceptionally hot butane lighters that burn blue (torch lighters). These are not designed to light candles, though! That would be like using a ladle to stir your tea.

Other than that, the main difference comes down to refueling/recharging. No lighter lasts forever, but an electric lighter will need to be recharged before a butane lighter will need to be refilled or replaced.

The trade-off is that electric lighters are easier to repower. You can simply plug them in for 1-2 hours. Butane lighters need to be either replaced or refilled. Butane refills are cheap (a matter of dollars), but you’ll want to look up some tutorials if you’ve never done it before.

I clearly remember an incident that happened when I was in my mid-teens. My cousin, who is the same age as me, was refilling a lighter with lighter fluid.

The fluid dripped down the side of the lighter and onto his hand, but before I could tell him to wait, he pressed the switch, and his whole hand caught on fire.

Thankfully, he’s quite cool under pressure, so he managed to extinguish it within about 20 seconds, but it was quite a scary experience and very painful for him. I have been really cautious around lighters ever since.

Butane lighters don’t work well (or sometimes at all) at high altitudes. Additionally, wind and rain can prevent some butane lighters from igniting. Electric lighters work at any altitude and in any weather conditions.

5. Durability

A good candle lighter should be sturdy and durable enough to withstand frequent use. In particular, the triggers should not be flimsy or feel loose.

First, if you’re looking for a butane lighter, decide whether you want to replace it or refill it. If you plan to replace it, plastic lighters are fine.

If you want to refill it, look for a lighter made from high-quality materials that can withstand wear and tear. People often keep lighters for years and years through good maintenance, which means cleaning the lighter and replacing certain parts, particularly the wheel.

For refillable lighters and electric lighters, look at the spaces where the fuel is added or where the charger is plugged in. Use care when refilling or charging the lighter.

Consider that certain brands, like Zippo and Xikar, have lifetime warranties that cover repairs and replacements.

6. Price

Candle lighters can range in price from a few dollars to over $50. Plastic sparkwheel lighters (like the classic Bic) can cost as little as $2, and you can buy packs of 5 lighters for $7-$15.

Plastic long-reach lighters with triggers cost around $5-$12, but you can also get value packs that cost only a few dollars for 3 lighters. 

Some of these cheap plastic lighters are refillable, but they’re so cheap that there’s not much incentive to refill them. No incentive, that is, other than sustainability.

Three plastic lighter in blue, red and green

Electric lighters tend to cost around $10-$20, with some higher-end models costing $30 or—with extra features like a flashlight—around $45.

A good quality metal butane lighter with a warranty can cost as little as $20. If you’re more particular about design and aesthetics, that price can increase to $50.

Consider your budget and how often you will be using the lighter when choosing a model. If you’re not accustomed to carrying a lighter in your pocket, start with carrying a cheaper lighter because you might lose it!

REIDEA Electric Candle Lighter

The REIDEA Electric Candle Lighter features a precise electric arc and long neck, which make it easy to light candles of all sizes.

The REIDEA electric candle lighter arrives in a sleek package with instructions printed on the box and a USB charging cord. The lighter itself consists of a pen-like tube 17.7 cm (±7 in.) in length and 1.4 cm (±0.55 in.) in diameter.

The bottom of the light contains the charging port and safety switch. After charging, flip the safety switch, and you’ll see four blue lights towards the bottom of the tube.

REIDEA lighter parts, charging port, safety switch and blue light

You simply press the larger ignition switch on the middle of the tube. Two prongs will emerge from the top with a purple electric arc between them.

Flame Size and Adjustability

The two prongs together are 7 mm (±1/4 in.) in width, and the lighter itself is 1.4 cm (±0.55 in.) wide. The electric arc is approximately 5 mm (±1/5 in.) wide. The electric arc is extremely thin, which makes it very precise.

The electric arc cannot be adjusted in size or intensity.

Holding REIDEA lighter with the ignition on

However, I never found myself needing a smaller or larger flame. The small, precise arc made it easy to light everything from candle wicks to newspaper/kindling. And because you don’t need to worry about burning your fingers with a flame, you can take your time to aim the REIDEA lighter.

Safety Features

The REIDEA lighter cannot be ignited accidentally as you need to flip the tiny safety switch on the bottom before the larger ignition switch will work. The two-step ignition process makes the lighter more childproof, as the safety switch is hard to find.

REIDEA lighter safety features

Four blue lights at the bottom of the lighter will let you know that the safety switch is not engaged. If the lighter is not used within a few seconds, the safety switch will turn on automatically, and you’ll need to prime it again.

The lighter will turn off automatically after approximately 6 seconds, even if you keep pressing the ignition switch.

If you drop the lighter, it will shut off as soon as your finger leaves the ignition switch. Additionally, the lack of an open flame makes dropping the electric lighter much safer than dropping a match onto a tablecloth or dry grass.

Still, there are some safety considerations to keep in mind when using this product. Do not touch the electric arc. It’s hotter than a typical lighter flame. However, you don’t need to worry about electrifying yourself unless you stick a piece of metal directly into the arc.

The lighter should not be exposed to heat greater than 122 °F (50 °C), so don’t leave it in the car on a sunny day. Prolonged heat exposure could cause a decline in function or even a fire.

Contact with water can also cause the lighter to short circuit and may damage the lifespan of the product.

Design and Ergonomics

The REIDEA electric lighter is sleek and aesthetically pleasing. You can choose from 9 color options—all subtle and with a frosty metallic finish. The electric features (the blue lights that indicate the lighter is turned on and the purple electric arc) feel refined and high-tech.

9 color options of REIDEA lighter

The shape of the lighter suits my hands well. Igniting it is as easy as clicking a pen and requires much less force than a trigger lighter or sparkwheel lighter.

The REIDEA would be a great choice for someone who struggles to apply enough pressure to ignite traditional lighters, for example, someone with arthritis.

My favorite part of the REIDEA lighter is that I have no chance of burning my fingers!

The elongated pen shape of the electric lighter gives you just as much reach as a typical long-neck or flexible-neck butane lighter, and the lack of flame means that you can angle the lighter in any direction without worrying about your hands.

The safety switch on the bottom of the lighter is very small and took me a minute to locate on my first use. But now that you know where it is, you won’t have any issues.

The only other thing to note is that the electric lighter uses a lithium ion battery, which means that you can’t bring it in on a plane in a checked bag, according to TSA.

Power Source

Because it’s electric, the lighter needs to be charged.

The power cord is not particularly sturdy but connects well to the lighter and has not posed any issues during testing.

The cord has a micro USB connector that connects to the port in the lighter, and a standard USB connector that plugs into the power source. This end plugs into charging blocks, laptops, and USB outlets.

REIDEA lighter with USB port for charging

REIDEA reports that one charge can supply 60 uses (i.e., you can light 60 candles) and that the lighter can support 300 charges in its lifetime.

I have heard of one person reporting that the lighter ran out of charge after about 10 lights. However, this seems to be an anomaly.

My testing supports the majority of users’ opinions, i.e., that the lighter holds its charge well. Depending on how long I kept it ignited while lighting candles, my lighter held its charge for 50-60 candles. The four blue lights at the base indicate the power level.

The safety switch turns off automatically after several seconds, but you might save a little bit of power by manually turning it off after each light.

The product only takes about 1.5 hours to charge.


I typically light 2-3 candles per day. With my typical candle use over 10 days, I did not need to recharge the lighter until I started deliberately using it excessively to wear down the charge for testing purposes.

After having tested the lighter for 2 weeks, I have seen no signs of wear and tear.

Lighting a candle using a REIDEA lighter

The lighter is lightweight (only 33 g or ±1.16 oz.), which is great for portability. However, I would not be surprised if the metal dented or scratched if you dropped the lighter or took it on a few camping trips.

Still, in my research and testing, I have not come across an electric lighter that uses significantly different or more durable materials.

In the past, I’ve used long-reach butane lighters for grilling and campfires. I end up throwing one away every summer. If you’re deciding between disposable butane lighters and the REIDEA electric lighter, you’ll get more life out of the REIDEA.


The REIDEA electric lighter falls in the lower range of electric lighter prices. It’s a few dollars more expensive than a pack of disposable Bic lighters and several dollars cheaper than a refillable metal butane lighter.

In my opinion, this is a good deal because you get the best of both worlds: the REIDEA electric lighter is almost as cheap as a standard plastic lighter, but you get the elegance of a metal finish.

In terms of longevity, the REIDEA electric lighter strikes a good balance. It does not have a lifetime warranty like some metal butane lighters, but it will last longer than a disposable plastic lighter. Additionally, you can recharge it without the hassle of learning how to refill a lighter.

REIDEA Lighter S4 Electronic Candle Lighter USB Rechargeable with Security Lock, Windproof Fast Heat Sinking, Non-Slip Switch Electronic Lighter for Candle, Grill, Camping (Mint Green)
  • Safety Lock: A two-pronged safety switch protects against accidental touch, enabling the bottom switch to be opened and the top switch to be pushed up to ignite it, another safety feature.
  • Safety Protection Design: Upon ignition for more than 7 seconds, the spark will automatically stop to protect you from excessive temperature burns while protecting the electronic lighter.
  • Windproof and Fast Heat Sinking: This flameless electric pulse lighter is perfect for outdoor use, as it won't be blown out by high winds. It is the perfect lighting tool for outdoor.
  • Upgraded Design: Upgraded electric pulse lighter, USB charging, equipped with a USB cable, rechargeable battery, computer, phone or power bank charging at any time.

Last update on 2023-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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