LED Candles Buying Guide

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LED Candles Buying Guide

For years, concerned parents have fussed about their children, and have often made significant sacrifices to keep them safe. For those who have longed for the flickering ambience only provided by a candle, but don't want to compromise on safety, an LED candle is just the thing.

About LEDs

The Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a light emitting semiconductor. These devices, invented in 1962, have been widely utilised in hundreds of different applications because of the variety of colour, and the surprising intensity they provide. LEDs provide a great many advantages over conventional light bulbs, making them ideally suited for use in safe, child friendly applications such as LED candles. A selection of the advantages provided by LEDs is listed below:


Low Power Consumption

LEDs produce more light per watt than traditional light bulbs, and so will allow those expensive batteries to last longer without compromising on brightness. The lower power consumption also allows the candle to achieve greater brightness without relying on dangerous mains electricity to run.

Low Heat Production

LEDs are much more efficient that other types of light producers, due in no small part to the fact that their design allows them to produce much less heat than their incandescent counterparts. While even the new energy saving light bulbs and small filament bulbs can heat up to incredible temperatures, LEDs will stay cool no matter how long they operate.

Fast Switching Time

Because LEDs turn on and off almost instantly as current is applied or taken away, they are the perfect components for an LED candle system where the flickering of the light source is a key aspect to creating a realistic effect. Certain electrical circuits can also be implemented to vary the brightness and speed of this flickering, and some clever programming can have the flame tossed about in the wind, or allowed to lazily lap against the edge of the candle to complete the effect.

Broad Range of Shapes and Colours

Unlike traditional light sources, LEDs maintain 100% of their efficiency no matter what their shape or size. Because of this, many candles are now being designed to take advantage of these capabilities, and can change colour when set to do so. The LED itself can even be manufactured in the shape of a flame.


A member of the solid state component family, LEDs contain no fragile or moving parts, making them very resistant to external forces. Because LEDs are such versatile components, they have become a key part of a number of interesting designs and have been engineered for many different applications. There is no need to be concerned about children knocking an LED candle. Since LEDs have no filament or glass within their structures, this makes them perfectly safe for kids to use, and are in fact virtually indestructible. These tough little devices can resist falls, bumps, and scratches with astonishing resilience, so are ideal for houses where clumsy children abound.

Long Lifetime

With an impressive lifetime of up to 50,000 hours (compared with fluorescent tubes of up to 15,000 hours, and filament bulbs of just 2,000 hours), LEDs will require replacement much less often than other types of bulb. LEDs are also not damaged by frequent on/off cycling, allowing them to be used to their full potential in the LED candle applications described here.

Choosing an LED Candle

Power Source

Choosing an appropriately powered candle is important. Standalone, battery powered candles are child friendly, portable, and can be placed anywhere without worrying about the location of an outlet. Mains power has some advantages of its own, though. Although not as kid proof as their battery powered alternatives, mains powered candles have the advantage of removing the need to purchase expensive batteries for candles which are used frequently. To get the best of both worlds, a collection of rechargeable LED candles are available. These give the advantages of cheap mains power, without the associated restrictions and risk, and ultra portable battery power, without the associated expense. These candles come complete with a charging base, and complementary port on the candle underside. The simply set the candle in the charger at night before going to bed, and take it out as soon as it is required for use.

Bulb Type

Some candles are built with replaceable bulbs, and so it is important to investigate which of the common bulb fittings are used in the candle before purchasing replacements. E27 screws and bayonet fittings are both common, but not interchangeable. Another point to consider is how many LEDs are contained within the candle's bulb. Some candles contain just one LED which can be made to flicker, but others may have two or more LEDs within. When these LEDs alternate, the impression of movement of the flame is given, but consequently will require a more sophisticated fitting to facilitate this.

LED Candle Type

The three most common candle types are described below.

Tea Light

For a few small candles sitting discretely on shelves about the house, or scattered around a dinner table, tea lights are just right. Tea lights are small and compact enough to be placed anywhere, but because of their size, the LED 'flame' must be clearly visible in this type of candle. Some consider this a disadvantage, and fear it takes away from the realistic look of the candle. For those who would like to see the flame, however, tea lights are the best option.

Dinner Candle

Long, thin dinner candles are the item of choice for placement on a dinner table while entertaining or having a special family meal. These candles also have the flame visible, and, therefore, bear the associated disadvantages described previously.

Cylindrical Candle

Cylindrical candles are available in several forms. The more realistic cylindrical candles have a warm orange LED at their heart, with a shaped plastic body giving the impression of melted wax, only slightly allowing the flame to protrude from beneath the walls of wax. The second form makes full use of the array of colours in which LEDs are available, and will allow selection of precisely the ambience sought after for the space available. These candles are often surrounded by a frosted glass cylinder, masking the flame to give a more realistic effect, despite the colour.

Remote Controls For LED Candles

A multitude of candles come with a remote control as an extra added feature. A remote will allow a remotely controlled change the mood of the room with the click of a button, conferring the ability to turn the candles on with the click of a button as the sun goes down to give the room a cosy glow. A remote control is a handy complement to any candle collection.

Potential Pitfalls

There are a few additional points to look out for when purchasing LED candles.

Hazardous Chemicals

Despite the fact that LEDs contain no mercury, unlike the new energy saving bulbs, they do, in fact, contain other hazardous heavy poisons, such as small amounts of lead and arsenic. These materials, however, are contained deep within the LED casing. Considerable effort, and often specialist tools, are required to remove these dangerous chemicals from the protective plastic in which they are encased. Because of this, it is nearly impossible for children to somehow gain access to the harmful substances within.


Although it is true that today LEDs cost more per lumen produced than the older style of bulbs, for a small LED candle this will be of little consequence. There are, however, plenty of bargains to be found on sites such as eBay. Tips for finding a candle to suit everyone's needs are shown in the section below.

Buying LED Candles on eBay

eBay is a great place to find LED candles. There is a wide range of choice available with just a few clicks. Trawling through the results, though, can be baffling and cumbersome, so this section will provide tips to give the best chance of finding exactly the type of candle required. Begin the search by clicking Shop By Category at the top of the page, and select Home & Garden. From here, hover over Furniture & Living and click on 'Lighting' to narrow the search to the appropriate category. With these filters in place, search 'candle' on eBay to get a more concentrated set of results, which can be further narrowed down by searching more specific terms, such as 'tea light candle', 'remote control candle', or 'rechargeable candle'.


Whether a dinner candle is required to brighten up meal times, or a set of rechargeable cylindrical candles is necessary to set the ambience in a living room, click onto eBay to find any number of candles suitable for every need right in one place.

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