Best LED Candles

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

17 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
178 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best LED candles

Last Updated December 2019

Ah, the beauty of a candle’s warm glow. But the mess of dripping wax, burnt fingers, and tipped candles that risk a fire hazard makes it easier to flip on the light switch instead. There’s a solution if you love candles. Smokeless, flameless LED candles, which have a tiny embedded LED light circuit board that runs on batteries, can often look like the real deal.

LED candles can be used in situations where traditional candles shouldn’t be left alone. They’re ideal if you have little kids or pets in the house but you yearn to dine by candlelight. You can use them for party and wedding decorations without worry. You can go to bed with LED candles left on and know your house will survive the night. Another benefit: they always look perfect. They’re never misshapen or discolored like real wax candles.

You’ll find a variety of LED candles in all sizes, shapes, colors, and designs. Our shopping guide covers how to choose the best individual or pack of candles that will softly illuminate your home or party space.

LED tea lights can fit into larger toy Easter eggs for nighttime egg hunts.

Key considerations

You’ll want to keep six main considerations in mind when choosing the right type of LED candle for your needs.

Shapes and sizes

You’ll find LED candles in the same popular shapes and sizes as traditional candles, such as tea lights, votives, pillars (round and square), and tapered candles. Diameter and height may vary between brands, but they are meant to fit into standard candle holders, except those with spikes to hold pillars. A typical size for a tea light would be 1.5 inches in diameter by 2 inches tall. A typical votive measures 1.5 inches in diameter by 1.9 inches tall. Pillars may be 3 inches in diameter and 4 to 9 inches tall. Tapered candles typically measure 9 to 12 inches tall.

Packs and sets

LED candles can be bought as singles or in groups or sets. Tea lights and votive candles are often sold in packs of 12, 24, or 36, which is ideal for parties, weddings, and holiday decorations. Pillar candles can be purchased in various ways. For example, you could buy a set of three pillars in different heights, or you could buy a set of 12 pillars of the same size.

Aesthetics

LED candles look realistic, but you may want them to emit a particular “flame” color. The light of a flame can range from warm white to deep gold or amber. It depends on what type of glow you prefer. There are LED candles designed to show a flickering flame. Other designs hide the flame. You can also buy LED candles that are made with a real wax exterior, like traditional candles. However, LED tea lights are typically all plastic. Some pillar candles have curved tops that appear to be slightly melted, just like real candles; others have uniform edges without any curves.

Control mechanisms

There are three ways to control LED candles. Tea lights, votives, and tapers are turned on and off by a tiny switch under the candle. Larger pillar candles can also be turned on and off this way, or they can be managed with a remote control provided with the set. Candles can also be set on timers using the switches or the remote control. If you choose, you can program the timer to turn on and shut off the candles at the same time every day.

You may also be able to control the movement of the flame using the switch or remote control. An LED candle flame can dance and flicker, or it can glow as a steady flame.

Batteries

Tea lights and votives typically come with a button or cell battery already installed. If you pop open the bottom cover, you can replace a worn battery, but it may be more cost-efficient to buy new LED candles. Pillars and taper LED candles use regular AA, AAA, or D batteries, depending on the brand and design. You’ll likely want to know how long your LED candle will stay lit on one set of batteries. The answer to that question depends largely on how fresh your batteries are and possibly what brand you use. LED candles can stay brightly lit for hours before becoming dim. The smallest candles may run for 24 to 50 hours before burning out. Some candles can go much longer — from 300 to 500 hours.

Weatherproof

If you’re using LED candles outdoors or on an uncovered deck or patio, consider candles that are labeled rainproof, waterproof, or weatherproof. There are also weatherproof solar-powered LED candles that are meant to stay outdoors for consistent mood lighting and garden use. Solar LED candles have rechargeable batteries pre-installed in the candle. The batteries recharge when the small solar panel sealed in the base is placed in direct contact with sunshine.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

If you unbox your set and one or more candles don’t work, check if you’ve removed the plastic tabs from the battery compartments or from the remote’s battery compartment. Always remove all the plastic tabs and coverings from candles and remote before using.

Features

When comparing LED candles, look for features you may prefer to make your home or event look special.

Flame: Depending on the design of the candle and your preference, the flame (also called the wick) can be exposed or hidden. An exposed flame is typically a tiny flame-shaped piece of plastic off of which LED light reflects. Sometimes, the flame is actually a flame-shaped cap placed over the LED bulb. And in some designs, the LED bulb is hidden behind the outer waxy shell so no flame is exposed — all you see is a glow coming from inside the candle.

Dimmer: Do you want to be able to control how bright your LED candles are? When shopping, look for candles with a dimming function on the remote control.

Color changing: Typical LED candles have an ivory outer sleeve of wax or plastic to mimic the look of traditional candles. However, some pillar candles can be set to rotate colors for a fun, festive ambience during a party or event.

Timer: Most, but not all, LED candles can be set to go on and off using a built-in timer.

Remote: Sets of pillar LED candles likely have a remote that controls each candle. The remote will control candles from the set even if they are separated and placed in different rooms. Remotes typically have a 15- to 16-foot range, so you can control the candles in hard-to-reach places.

Scented: You don’t need give up scented candles if you opt for LED candles. Look for the scents that you’d find in traditional candles, such as vanilla, rose, cinnamon, and orchid. Bear in mind, however, that not all LED candles are scented. In fact, LED tea lights are usually unscented.

Rings: Tapered LED candles may have a set of latex rings that slip onto the bottom of the candles to help them fit snugly into candleholders.

Motifs: Some pillar LED candles have etched, printed, or other colorful designs or motifs embedded into the outer wax. You can also find glittery LED candles that exude a special holiday look.

Batteries: Sets of pillar and tapered candles may be sold with batteries. However, the batteries that come with LED candles are not always the most durable.

LED candle prices

Inexpensive: In the $7 to $10 range, you’ll find sets of basic LED tea lights and votives in packs of 12 to 24. You’ll also find single LED pillar candles with or without remotes. Color-changing LED candles may also be found here, but the plastic outer shell of these candles may not look as realistic as those that cost a bit more.

Mid-range: In the $10 to $19 range, you’ll begin to find LED flameless taper candlesticks. Some single LED pillar candles may be larger in diameter or may come in sets of three to five with varying heights. Scented LED candles also begin to appear in this price range. Most sets have a remote control. The outer sheath of mid-range LED candles tends to look more realistic, and you’ll have your choice of exposed or hidden flames.

Expensive: Above $19, you’ll find larger sets of LED candles. A set of nine pillars in this price range, for example, ranges from four to nine inches in height, so you can arrange them artistically inside a fireplace or across a mantel. In this price range, candles also appear more decorative, with everything from textured birch-bark effects to silver- or gold-coated wax sheaths.

EXPERT TIP

Gently remove dust and debris that accumulates in the little pinhole where the bulb sits by using the tip of a paper towel or other soft cloth. Removing the debris keeps the bulb bright. Never submerge your LED candles in water to clean them.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If your candles take regular AA or AAA batteries, consider using rechargeable ones to cut down on costs if you frequently use your candles.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • To use an LED candle remote control, aim it at the candles to turn them on or off. Depending on your set, your remote may offer other features, such as changing colors, setting a timer, or altering the way the flame moves.

  • If you lose or break your remote, you can still manually control each candle using the switch on the bottom of the candle. Contact the manufacturer to find out if you can purchase a replacement remote control. Most don’t offer this option, but there are a few that do.

  • LED candle timer mechanisms and time increments can differ between brands. Notably, not all LED candles have timers. But for those that do, you should be able to set the timer using the switch or the remote control.

Other products we considered

We love the way the way the exposed wicks flicker and dance on this set of three LED YIWER Flameless Candles. The flames of these pillar candles are shaped pieces of plastic on which light reflects from the hidden bulb.

If you love the look of tapered candlesticks for your dinner table, this pair of ivory GiveU Battery Operated Real Wax Candles are received well for their realistic look and feel. These candles can also be purchased in a three-pack.

Recycle your real (and probably costly) pillar candles by placing an LED tea light down into the well that’s been burned away. Scrape away enough wax so the tea light sits evenly on the surface.

FAQ

Q. Can LED candles made of real wax melt?
A.
LED candles made with paraffin wax sheathing should be placed away from direct sunlight or near other heat sources because they may melt.

Q. Can I use LED tea lights as floating candles in a pool?
A.
Typically, LED tea lights can’t be put directly into water, or they will short out when water seeps through the bottom battery compartment. However, there are specialty LED candles designed for floating on water. They have sealed button batteries that turn on as soon as they touch the water and turn off when they are taken out, eliminating the problem of water leaking into the battery compartment.

Q. Do LED candles get too hot to touch?
A.
All parts of LED candles are always cool to the touch, including the bulb and the plastic flame (if your model has one). In fact, LED candles are safe to use in holiday luminary bags and will also stay lit inside carved pumpkins.

Q. How long will the actual bulb on my LED candle last?
A.
The beauty of LED is that one bulb last for years (as long as you replace the batteries). Regardless of size, one LED bulb has an average lifetime of 50,000 hours, even when left on for hours every day.

The team that worked on this review
  • Marilyn
    Marilyn
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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