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Ditch the matches: This rechargeable lighter ignites stuff with a tiny electrical arc

If you use a lot of candles in your house, it’s pretty easy to burn through a bunch of matches (or hell, even an entire lighter) in a relatively short span of time. Sure, buying replacements isn’t a huge financial burden by any means, but wouldn’t it be nice if you never had to worry about fuel refills or spare matches ever again?

That’s the idea behind the ArcLighter, a freshly launched Kickstarter project from Canadian outfit Ignite Lighters. Unlike fuel-based lighters, this unassuming little stick only needs electricity to function and runs on a long-lasting lithium-ion battery that can be recharged hundreds of times before it needs to be replaced.

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So how does it work? Rather than using the spark/fuel setup that most lighters use, ArcLighter works by creating a small electrical arc between two ceramic electrodes. This arc is smaller but drastically hotter than an open flame, so it lights the candle wick faster and more efficiently. Furthermore, because the device doesn’t use a flame, it can be used upside down without any risk of burning the user.

The company’s website pegs ArcLighter’s primary use as lighting candles, but waxed wicks aren’t the only thing it can light up. The device’s high-heat electrical arc can be used to ignite a broad range of different things, including gas stovetops, incense, fuses, and pretty much anything else that’ll fit between the electrodes.

To get the ArcLighter past the prototype phase and into production, the ligher’s creators have recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, where they’ve already blasted past their initial funding goal. At time of writing, the project is rapidly approaching the $100K mark, and there’s still 25 days left in the campaign. Back the project now, and you can lock down an ArcLighter for about $40. Ignite Lighters expects to ship sometime in November.