Noodlers Lightning Blue

Noodler's Lightning/Electric Blue Review

lightning blue label
 Noodler's Lightning Blue on Clairefontaine 90gsm paper. Jinhao X250 and a  Pilot Parallel 3.8. 

Noodler's Lightning Blue on Clairefontaine 90gsm paper. Jinhao X250 and a  Pilot Parallel 3.8. 

 Lightning blue on inkjet copy paper. Pilot Parallel 3.8—3 passes, 1 pass, 1 pass, 2 passes.  Text: Noodler's Ottoman Azure Review

Lightning blue on inkjet copy paper. Pilot Parallel 3.8—3 passes, 1 pass, 1 pass, 2 passes. Text: Noodler's Ottoman Azure Review

Noodler's Lightning Blue (formerly known as Electric Blue) ink is one of the most peculiar inks I've come across. This is mostly due to the fact that, unlike most fountain pen inks, it is not meant for writing. Rather, it was designed to be a highlighting ink.

There are only a few of these specific inks that are designed exclusively for highlighting. Matter of fact, there are really only two common brands that offer them: Pelikan and Noodler's. Pelikan's offering comes both alone and bundled with their M205 Duo BB highlighter fountain pen. However, Pelikan only offers these two colors: yellow and green. On the other hand, Noodler's offers many different highlighter inks, divided into the normal 'Electric Color' series, and the UV-glowing 'Dragon' series. Both of these series have a yellow, a green, an orange, and a pink offering. However, the blue ink, Lightning Blue, is exclusive to the Electric Color line. 

And for certain, Lighting Blue is a mightily peculiar ink. However, as opposed to some of Noodler's other inks (Ottoman Azure for example—reviewed here), Lightning blue's name actually seems to match its color, that of the shade of blue that lightning leaves behind just as it fades from the sky. In fact, the actual color of the ink is actually nearly indistinguishable from normal highlighter blue. However, that is where the similarities between this ink and plastic highlighters end, as this ink was designed with nibs in mind. However, the real question is, which pen works as a highlighter? Personally, I use a Pilot Parallel 3.8 mm pen, which is not only eyedropper-convertible, but it also is an extremely wide pen which allows for me to highlight the entire contents of a line of text. However, if you rather a narrow highlighter, it also works brilliantly in a normal fountain pen (currently I have it in a Jinhao X250 as well). 

The ink comes in the standard Noodler's box. And, just like all of the other 3 ounce tinted Noodler's ink bottles, it is filled to the brim (so be very careful when opening). The label of the ink itself has the Noodler's Catfish covering the picture, although he seems to have his tongue, as well as his pupils, colored in with the Lightning Blue so that he matches the ink. The label also features the standard Noodler's WordArt logo, along with the 'Electric Color Series' inscription on the left-hand side denoting its highlighting capabilities. 

The properties of Lightning Blue, for lack of a better word, are quite interesting. The ink takes between 20 and 50 seconds to dry (depending on paper). Copy paper dries almost instantaneously, however, with a gratuitous amount of bleed through. And as this ink is for highlighting, it does not have much saturation to it, which, personally, I do not mind. However, it does feather, bleed, and ghost quite a bit—not quite at the level of Baystate Blue—but close. Spotted bleed-through and ghosting even occurs on papers like Rhodia and Clairefontaine. However, unlike BSB, it does clean quite easily and does not stain (it's even decently easy to get off of your hands). As such, it is not water resistant in the least, and will be completely lifted from the paper with just one drop. It has mediocre shading (mostly due to its light color), and does happen to flow quite wet. And while some of these properties may sound somewhat discouraging, the ink does its job of highlighting on copy paper well—even though it will go through to the other side of the page. 

I also tested the ink with some highlighting. And, unfortunately, it did manage to make most inks blur—with the exceptions of Noodler's Black and Baystate Blue. Lamy and Montblanc inks failed the worst here as they became completely illegible. And, unsurprisingly, the 1¢ ballpoint pen fared the best out of all. On copy paper, the ink in the Pilot Parallel worked just fine—highlighting well, without smudging the inkjet text. However, it did manage to bleed through the copy paper all the way. 

In conclusion, Noodler's Lightning Blue is a picky, picky ink. However, this did not mind me so much given that this ink has a relatively difficult job to accomplish. It needs to be watery and light, and as such, does not have ideal properties. However, it does perform its job brilliantly, and I recommend trying it if you're looking for a highlighting ink. It is available on Goulet Pens for $12.50 and on Amazon for $13.85 with Prime Shipping (this link is not an affiliate link). 


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