The 10 Best LED Candles
This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in September of 2015. No need for all that messy wax if you want to create the perfect ambiance, whether it's for a meal for two or a party for plenty. Battery-operated, electric LED candles are safe, flameless, and drip-free, and can be placed anywhere. Our choices are great for any occasion, especially an outdoor dinner or relaxing bath, as you don't have to worry about them blowing out or getting wet. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 10, 2020:
While we still find that the Hero-LED Inductive Rechargeable remain the best option for most, simply because they don't require you to continually buy new batteries, we were pleased to find upgraded versions of some of our choices.
We selected the Frostfire Mooncandles over the Ontel Glow on the strength of their superior durability, but this doesn't mean they aren't without flaws. They glow in a range of fun colors, but the exact shades may not be uniform from unit to unit. This isn't terribly noticeable, but if you're quite picky about such things, it may be enough to turn you away.
We chose the Hanzim Ivory instead of the Ry-King Pillar; the sets are very similar, but the Hanzim version comes with two remote controls for nearly the same price, making it the better value — especially if you're prone to losing things.
We added the GenSwin Tapering in place of the Yeahbeer Flickering. The former are more elegant and realistic, and can help you set the mood whether you use them for a formal dinner or to complete your holiday decorations.
One upgrade we weren't able to find, however, is a worthy solar-powered LED candle. Simply put, we just aren't impressed with the current options. If you want to create ambiance with a light that runs on the sun's energy, it might be best to stick to solar backyard lights, or even a cute camping lantern, at this time, although we hope to see more choices in the future.
Also note that if you're buying a set of LED candles to liven up an outdoor event, be cautious about choosing those made from real wax. They can become misshapen if left in direct sunlight or extreme heat. And, finally, many of our choices do not include batteries, so you may need to invest in either AA or AAAs.
May 22, 2019:
Joining the list is the Vivii Flameless, which includes 36 white tealights with one-inch, flame-shaped bulbs. They’re great for safe accent lighting as well as for use in fun craft projects (think snowman faces or placed in a jar with some fall leaves). With the button cells pre-inserted, all you have to do is switch them on. And you can hardly go wrong with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
The Hero-LED Inductive remain in the top spot, since they’re rechargeable and easy to control with the handy remote that’s included. And you can conveniently choose from among different flame colors when ordering. Another strong choice is the Ry-King Pillar, which comes in a set of nine pieces in tapered sizes – and guests probably won’t even realize they’re not real, thanks to their dancing flicker and real wax build. Leaving the list in this update is the VonHaus Flameless, due to availability issues.
Crate & Barrel Indoor/Outdoor Pillar The Crate & Barrel Indoor/Outdoor Pillar will make your life easier with its automatic timer, which can ensure it turns on at the same time each day. It will then shut itself off after five hours, so you don't drain the required C batteries by accidentally leaving it on all night. crateandbarrel.com
Williams Sonoma Flameless Pillar It may cost a pretty penny, but this ivory-colored selection offers quality and longevity that won’t disappoint. It’s crafted from hand-poured wax, and the swiveling bulb creates a realistic, flickering glow. It features convenient automatic shut-off settings after either five or 24 hours. A compatible remote control and batteries are sold separately. williams-sonoma.com
The Candles That Never Burn Out
And indeed flame would be the only source of light human beings enjoyed well into the 19th Century, when electricity was finally put to use.
Humans first harnessed the awesome power of fire hundreds of thousands of years ago. Definitive evidence of paleolithic fire control can be traced back to locations spread across Africa, Asia, and Europe. Controlled use of fire meant a much richer, more productive diet, and it meant a ready source of light even after night had fallen. And indeed flame would be the only source of light human beings enjoyed well into the 19th Century, when electricity was finally put to use.
Even today, many generations past the first electric lightbulb (which was perfected by Thomas Edison, but was in fact invented by British scientists many decades before his bulbs first illuminated), humans are still captivated by the flickering beauty of fire. We still enjoy candles adorning our dinner tables or softly glowing in the corner of the bedroom or bathroom. But enjoying candlelight doesn't mean we need an actual open flame to take in the timeless beauty of fire. LED candles can look great without the mess of dripping wax or the dangers of actual flame.
An LED, short for light emitting diode, is simply a diminutive semiconductor system that, when exposed to the right voltage, emits photons, AKA light. LEDs can shine for hours and hours while barely heating up and while consuming a minimal amount of energy.
A light emitting diode is, in fact, an elegantly simple piece of technology. One might think that while an LED candle might be a viable option in terms of aesthetics and safety, their added cost when compared to a standard candle makes them an inferior choice. The fact is that many LED candles can "burn" for as long as 1,000 hours on a single set of batteries, so an LED candle can prove to be a much more economical option than a wax candle that invariably burns itself out.
Choosing An LED Candle
The broad variety of LED candles available these days will come as a surprise to most consumers. Far from simple columns that have no function beyond glowing when switched on, modern LED candles can create flickering light shows, set the mood for an entire room, and can even sweeten the air with their soft scent.
However so too are there LED candle options that far surpass such basic function.
If all you're looking for is a safe battery-powered unit that looks for all intents and purposes like a regular candle, you certainly won't be disappointed when you browse among the many LED candles available. There are many options that mimic the look of a traditional wax candle with a burning wick. This even includes options with wicks that dance and move, creating an excellent verisimilitude of genuine flame.
However so too are there LED candle options that far surpass such basic function. You can choose LED candle sets that glow and flicker in a range of different colors, helping suit or set a mood or beautifully integrating with the color scheme and tableau of a holiday meal, a retail window display, or anywhere else some colorful light is needed.
A great choice for candles used for display or decoration purposes is any of the LED candle sets that can be controlled via remote control. These options are surprisingly affordable and wonderfully convenient. (Remote controlled candles also make a great nightlight.) LED candles with timers are perfect for holiday decorations that you want to leave glowing well into the evening but shut down after everyone has gone to sleep.
Some Bright Ideas For Enjoying LED Candles
Above all else, an LED candle provides a degree of safety that a traditional burning candle just can't match. For that reason, LED candles are safe for use around kids, pets, or in environments especially prone to fire danger, such as around a Christmas tree, drapes, or used outdoors near foliage.
Falling asleep with an LED candle illuminated is perfectly safe, while sleeping with an open flame burning is wildly dangerous.
LED candles can also be the perfect nightlight, providing just enough light to see if you have to make your way across a darkened room to the bathroom or closet yet shining softly enough not to hamper your ability to sleep. Falling asleep with an LED candle illuminated is perfectly safe, while sleeping with an open flame burning is wildly dangerous. And unlike a regular candle, a remote controlled LED candle can be instantly "lit" again even from across the room, so if you wake up at night needing some light, you'll be all set.
LED candles are also great for use outdoors. Unlike a traditional candle, an LED candle can't be extinguished by a gust of wind, and if an LED candle were to be knocked over by the breeze (or a bumped table) it presents no fire danger. Many LED candles are even highly water resistant, so one can leave them outside and glowing even in the rain or snow.
Yet another great use for LED candles is as props used during stage performances of plays or pageants. No matter how old and/or mature a person is, they're always safer performing in a show using artificial flame as their prop. And when you have a group of youngsters who need candlelight as part of their performance, it's a bright idea to make sure that flame is synthetic and safe.