What is an arc lighter and how does it work?

See this, dear readers, it is called a box of matches. But many readers today may never have seen such an ancient piece of cardboard. Today’s millennials are all in to modern day contraptions that work quickly and well and make their lives easier and optimize their productive processes. They are doing things a lot quicker and smarter than others who fall outside this generational grouping. Suffice it to say that many readers here, old school or millennial are regular smokers. Most smokers have for some reason or another ditched those old boxes of matches.

Two significant reasons, however, do come to mind. Using matches is both a health hazard and highly inconvenient. The match tips are heavily loaded with sulphur and ask any smoker who has used matches before what it does to the already suffering chest. And then try lighting up a cigarette with a match outdoors. It does not seem to work, does it? It does not even seem to work well when lighting up a barbecue fire either. The proverbial lighter has replaced matches, but even still, it still does not seem to work.

The wind still blows and it gets at the weak flame. Also, these lighters are highly toxic and unsustainable. They are disposable and are heavy on the chest in terms of polluting the environment. So, out the window (well, not quite, it needs to be disposed of responsibly, but sure enough, you get the picture) that one goes. Electric and gas lighters have been around for quite some time already and many cigar afionado’s or pipe smokers continue to derive a lot of aesthetic and esthetic benefits out of utilizing these.

arc lighter

But perhaps not much is known (specifically) about the arc lighter. Is it one and the same as the electric or electronic lighter, or is it entirely different? Let the rest of this article serve as a brief introduction to this innovation in lighting up if you will – bearing in mind that the functional lighter has a number of uses besides just lighting up cigarettes. In actual fact, while arc lighters are regarded as a recent innovation, the technology has been around since the nineteenth century. That is a long time ago. During that century, the use of the Tesla (not to be confused with today’s famous company) coil was considered a revolution.  

It remains a method of generating alternate current (AC) electricity. During that industrial century, the AC was eventually implemented into radio transmissions and wireless communications. While the technology was understandably quite expensive to utilize then, today, it is quite sustainable and affordable, requiring only the use of small batteries and USB recharges to power. Power from the battery turns into a high voltage and low current electric beam that flips from one point to another. This transference of electrical current is known as the plasma arc, hence the name of the lighter.