The best flameless candles you can buy

  • Flameless candles are great for decorative illumination and elegant ambiance without messy wax or fire hazards.
  • Made of wax, LED Lytes Pillar Candles resemble the real thing with flickering lights that add mood and luminosity to any room.

I fell in love with flameless candles when I realized how convenient yet classy they are. I use them everywhere: in the kitchen during pre-dawn (and pre-coffee) mornings, in the bedroom for relaxing in the evening, and in the bathroom as a nightlight. They're a quick and easy way to add a soft touch of light without cleaning up dripping wax or remembering to blow out the flame to prevent the house from catching on fire.

Flameless candles also are friendly to the wallet and environment because these LED gadgets don't burn down, emit heat, or smoke. This reusable item can run on rechargeable batteries and even solar power. Also, you can put them anywhere without worrying about kids or pets knocking them over, nearby objects catching on fire, or a breeze blowing them out.

Flameless candles come in many different shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. You can choose between tall pillars, long and thin tapers, short votives, and small tea lights. They can stand alone, fit in candlesticks, sconces, and serve as centerpieces or decorations. Other features to consider in flameless candles include:

  • Brightness: Do you want a soft amber glow or a more intense white light? Also, some candles let you adjust the level of brightness/dimness.
  • Flickering vs. steady light: Most candles mimic flame-burning wicks and/or emit a steady glow or offer both options.
  • Construction material: Wax bodies are more realistic while plastic can be used indoors and outdoors.
  • Power control: In addition to manual on/off switches, some candles have remote controls for handy hands-off operation.
  • Color options: In addition to a neutral-colored (e.g., white, yellow) light, some candles glow in different hues, like blue, green, red, purple, orange, and more.
  • Timer: You can set or program the number of hours (e.g., four, six, eight, twelve, etc.) you want a flameless candle to be "lit" and then turn off automatically.
  • Scent: Like real candles, flameless candles come unscented or in different scents. Personally, I've paid more attention to a model's visual aesthetics than its scent.
However and wherever you plan to use your flameless candle and no matter which ones you choose, you'll enjoy the peaceful ambiance and graceful radiance it brings to your space.

Here are the best flameless candles you can buy:

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The best flameless candle overall

The best flameless candle overall
The remote-controlled LED Lytes Pillar Candles look realistic with wax exteriors and a soft, flickering amber glow.

Emitting a warm amber-yellow light, LED Lytes Pillar Candles can enhance any decor and occasion. This set contains two candles, each measuring 3-inches wide and 5-inches tall. Constructed of ivory-colored, unscented wax, they have wavy and smooth hand-carved tops to look like actual candles.

As LuxuryHomeStuff pointed out, the LED-lit flame is "hidden by the candle itself," sitting deep inside the hollow center to make it look like the candle is burning. LED Lytes Pillar Candles' light has been described as "soft and natural" by BestAdvisor and "romantic" by ExpertProductReviewer. While its glow is bright enough for some users and not enough for others, one Amazon reviewer articulated a fitting compromise: "t=The lighting is a realistic 'candlelight' level of brightness."

Most owners liked the amber yellow color while a few felt it a little too yellow (and to some, orange or even green). The LED Lytes Pillar Candles' color and glow make this model popular for use in sconces, in hanging lanterns, and as a night light. Each candle requires three AAA batteries (not included).

Although LED Lytes Pillar Candles do not have a timer, they can be turned on and off by a remote control unit powered by a pre-installed CR2025 battery and reaching up to 10-to-12 feet in distance. Many users noted that the candles' batteries have a short life, and advise manually turning off the candles with the on/off switch on the bottom in order to save battery juice. ExpertProductReviewer noted, "Leaving [a candle] switched in the "On" position, even if the timer shuts it off, will still drain its battery." Although the remote control feature is convenient, there were reports of the candles turning on and off when a nearby remote (e.g., of the TV, cable box, or stereo) was being used.

LED Lytes Pillar Candles were ranked among the top five picks of flameless candles by Adversify, BestAdvisor, LuxuryHomeStuff, and TopRateTen. Among more than 1,300 Amazon reviewers, it earned an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. Especially worth noting is the high praise for LED Lytes Pillar Candles' customer service.

Pros: Soft glow, realistic wax exterior, convenient remote control

Cons: Batteries run down quickly if candles are not shut off manually, no timer

The best budget flameless candle

The best budget flameless candle
Illuminate your space with the versatile and economic set of 12 Homememory Wavy LED Tea Lights with Warm White Light.

Homememory Wavy LED Tea Lights with Warm White Light don't exactly form a "thousand points of light" (a phrase popularized by 41st U.S. President H.W. George Bush and now the name of an international volunteer organization) but they come close. This set of twelve tiny tea lights (measuring 1.4 inches in diameter and 1.3 inches in height) can be used in votives, table settings, wall sconces, jack-o-lanterns and more; buy additional sets for mass use (e.g., on the lawn, at wedding receptions, candlelight church services, etc.) LuxuryHomeStuff suggested placing "them in paper bags to create luminance on a sidewalk or … on a floating material to put them on water" to form a luminous decorative raft. One Amazon customer thought of a unique use: "I carry one or two of these in my purse to use in restaurants without candlelight to brighten up the ambiance."

Radiating a warm white and twinkling glow, the unscented plastic Homememory Wavy LED Tea Lights run on CR2032 button cell batteries (included). Whatever they lack in convenience (they don't have a timer or remote, so you need to turn them off one by one) they make up with a lengthy battery life of more than one hundred hours. Several Amazon reviewers were pleasantly surprised at how long these mighty little lights lasted: during hours-long power outages, through 12-hour parties, even on outdoor decorations "24/7 for around three weeks at least."

BestAdvisor described Homememory Wavy LED Tea Lights as having "gently glowing candle flames." The flickering light is fine for many, too bright and white for some, and not bright enough for others. LuxuryHomeStuff conceded that these lights need to be used "in a large mass to create luminance." BestReviewExpress declared these lights "the most realistic flameless candles of present time" but Amazon reviewers qualified that description by stating that these tea lights looked realistic more from a distance.

In any case, the set of 12 Homememory Wavy LED Tea Lights is a fantastic deal; TopRateTen dubbed them the "Best Affordable" flameless candles, especially since you receive so many candles a one low price. Best of all, each tea light candle is tested and guaranteed to work right out of the box or you'll receive replacements and/or a full refund. Reviewers gave kudos to customer service.

GlowDecorations and Paramatan ranked Homememory Wavy LED Tea Lights their #1 picks. Adversify, BestAdvisor, BestReviewExpress, and LuxuryHomeStuff listed these candles among their choices for the five best flameless candles. More than 2,400 Amazon reviewers awarded this model 4.5 out of five stars.

Pros: A great deal economically, small and compact but long-lasting, versatile in use

Cons: No timer or remote

The best with a tapered shape

The best with a tapered shape
For any special occasion, this set of 12 tall, thin, and elegant Youngerbaby Yellow Mini Battery Operated LED Taper Candles.

Ever try to host a romantic candlelit dinner, only to have the mood spoiled by candles that won't light or that blow out, burn out, and/or spew hot wax at inopportune times? For any special (not necessarily just romantic) occasion requiring elegant tall, thin candles, turn to Youngerbaby Yellow Mini Battery Operated LED Taper Candles. This set contains twelve unscented ivory candles (each measuring 0.9 inches in diameter and 6.5 inches in height) that flicker with golden-yellow fake flames. Each candle's body is made from smooth plastic featuring fake wax dripping down the side.

Ideal table dressing for holidays, wedding receptions, dinner parties, birthdays, and other celebrations, Youngerbaby Yellow Mini Battery Operated LED Taper Candles also look beautiful in decorative pieces like candelabras and mantel pieces. Users said that these tapers fit well in some candlestick holders, but not in others; be sure to check the diameter of whatever holder you plan to use because these candles' hard plastic base aren't malleable like wax.

Youngerbaby Yellow Mini Battery Operated LED Taper Candles can and have been used in other creative ways, like Harry Potter's floating lights and haunted house candelabras. People have held them for candlelight services and while caroling, but several said that these candles grow hot during use, probably from the batteries.

Each sturdy taper candle requires two AA batteries (not included). Turn on the Youngerbaby Yellow Mini Battery Operated LED Taper Candles by tightening the bottom completely and off by loosening it a bit. Many users weren't thrilled by this imprecise system and felt that they had to take the batteries out in order to turn the candles off. On the other hand, many people were thrilled by their longevity, reporting that they stayed lit continuously for two months.

LuxuryHomeStuff and TopRateTen included Youngerbaby Yellow Mini Battery Operated LED Taper Candles on their "top ten" lists of best flameless candles. 53% of more than 150 Amazon reviewers awarded this set five out of five stars.

Pros: Slim and elegant, versatile in use, long-lasting,

Cons: No timer, grows hot with use

The best with color-changing flames

The best with color-changing flames
Suit your mood with the trio of Frostfire Mooncandles Weatherproof Color-Changing Candles, which glow in twelve different shades of red, blue, green, yellow, and white.

Trust the triad of Frostfire Mooncandles Weatherproof Color-Changing Candles to create and customize any atmosphere and look you wish. All about three inches in diameter, the LED candles are three-, four-, and five- inches tall, respectively. Made of weatherproof resin, they can be used indoors and outdoors (although the battery compartment's door on the bottom might let in water).

There are more than 12 colors (including red, blue, green, orange, yellow, pink, purple, and more) at your fingertips with a palm-sized, easy-to-use remote control. Effective in reaching a range of up to 20 feet, the remote allows you to choose not only colors but also modes (solid vs. flickering, single vs. multiple rotating colors, four- and eight-hour timer settings). One Amazon reviewer wrote, "While using these in a theatrical production, we found that we could change six of them at once with a single remote." Try icy blue for a winter wonderland, red for a fiesta or romantic evening, green for St. Patrick's Day, orange for Halloween…the possibilities are plentiful. And if you can't decide on just one color, then press the "multi-color" button and watch the candles switch through the various pretty hues.

Frostfire Mooncandles Weatherproof Color-Changing Candles' flickering glow is realistic and attractive for some users; however, many feel the flicker mode is too fast, not realistic, and "like a fast fade off-on so it appears electronic and not like a candle" (as described by one Amazon user).

Although advertised as requiring two AA batteries per candle, the Frostfire Mooncandles Weatherproof Color-Changing Candles actually need three AAA batteries each (not included). This error understandably annoyed many users.

Frostfire Mooncandles Weatherproof Color-Changing Candles are ranked among the top five models on BestAdvisor and Paramatan; Adversify and Wiki.ezvid included these candles on their lists of the ten best flameless candles. Of more than 1,000 Amazon reviewers, 53% awarded these candles five out of five stars.

Pros: Twelve different colors, can shine one color or rotate through different colors

Cons: Flicker mode is a bit fast and not realistic in appearance for some

The best flameless candle for outdoors

The best flameless candle for outdoors
Illuminate al fresco settings with LampLust Outdoor Black 11-inch Solar Candle Lanterns, which harness the power of the sun to glow in attractive weatherproof metal-and-glass cases.

Create an elegant exterior look with this set of two LampLust Outdoor Black 11-inch Solar Candle Lanterns. Hang these sturdy classic lanterns (measuring 5.5 inches by 5.5 inches by 11.5 inches)–that house 3-inch-diameter, 4.5-inch-tall solar-powered flameless resin candles–by their convenient circular handles to add ambience to any outside space.

Each lantern is constructed of a black powder-coated steel frame with four glass panels (one that opens provide to access to the candle). OutsideModern noted that although the hardy "units are wet-rated, [they're] not 100% waterproof. They can be exposed to water, rain, and snow, but it is not recommended that they get submerged for any period of time in the water, such as being soaked with a sprinkler or covered in heavy snow." A few Amazon customers experienced rusting after a few months to a year.

Nonetheless, each candle's pre-installed rechargeable 1.2V AA 600 mAh Ni-Mh battery still charges up well via solar panels located on top of each lantern. The LampLust Outdoor Black 11-inch Solar Candle Lanterns require eight hours to charge fully in order to remain lit for another eight hours. Although direct sunlight is best for a full night of illumination, a few Amazon reviewers noted that their candles still lit up on cloudy days, on rainy days, and even with only four hours of sun for "low lighting." When you set up the LampLust Outdoor Black 11-inch Solar Candle Lanterns, just turn on the bottom switch to activate the solar panel to charge the battery; the candles then automatically turn on at dusk (when they sense darkness) and shut off at sunrise if fully charged.

LampLust Outdoor Black 11-inch Solar Candle Lanterns are great for ambient lighting over a small area, but probably not bright enough for shining up a walking path. Many users liked the candles' warm glow that appears more yellow/amber than white to some. This item flickers like real candles; Renewable Resources Coalition noted that "unless you get really close, you might not even notice it's a solar-powered candle, not a real one."

Several Amazon customers found that only one of the solar candles worked; fortunately, they were in the minority.

Renewable Resources Coalition named the LampLust Outdoor Black 11-inch Solar Candle Lanterns "Best Overall Hanging Solar Light." OutsideModern and Paramatan included this model in their top five solar lights, in its top ten solar lights. 58 out of 100 Amazon reviewers gave it five out of five stars.

Pros: Energy-efficient solar-charging design, warm glow for ambience, elegant appearance

Cons: Not inexpensive, prone to rusting, not bright enough to light up walkways

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