A microdischarge is driven by short pulses (80 ns FWHM) with peak current levels up to 80 A, with a repetition frequency of 1 MHz (1 pulse/μs) allowing for ∼550 W input power. Experiments in pure argon (Ar2*, 127 nm) and argon-hydrogen (Lyman-α, 121.6 nm) were conducted. Using short pulses, the argon excimer emission was not observed. Alternatively, Ar-H 2 operated at both higher power and efficiency (0.63%) whenever pulsed. Using Ar-H2, the experiments result in an average generated vacuum ultraviolet power just above 3.4 W with a peak power of 42.8 W, entirely at Lyman-α.