If you love the look and ambiance of a candle, but don't want to have to worry about the open flame or the scents that go with them, consider purchasing some unscented, battery-operated candles. With LED lights and often real-wax frames, battery-operated candles give you the look and light you're after without the drawbacks of using the real thing.
Purchasing Unscented Battery-Operated Candles
Battery-operated candles are a relatively new item. While candles have been used for centuries, the idea of using the look and style of a candle with a battery and small light hasn't been around nearly as long. The idea is catching on, though, which means that more styles and features are available today than ever before.
Battery-Powered Candles to Consider
Flameless candles come in nearly as many shapes and sizes as standard candles do. They also come with several features not found in regular candles you can consider as well. Check out these styles as you make your selection.
Battery-operated tealights are a great, economical choice that can be used for years. They come in the same size and shape as standard tealights, so you can use the same holders, or just place them down on a surface without a holder at all. Find them at retailers like:
- Amazon, who carries Instapark LED candles in 24 packs for less than $15. The candles have a realistic, flickering light with an amber color meant to recreate a true tealight look and style.
- Save-On-Crafts, who carries a pack of 20 LED candles with a flickering light and a realistic, wax-like swirl at the top of each candle for about $25.
Flameless votives are available in a wide range of different colors and styles, including those that come in a cup ready for use. Find them at retailers like:
- Lights.com, who carry a party pack of white, flickering flameless votives inside cups for $23. Each battery lasts about 60 hours; the batteries are already installed.
- Amazon, who carries the 6-pack of votives by Inglow in both white and cream pictured to the right. The candles are coated on the exterior with real wax, and when unlit, look exactly like a regular candle with only a black wick visible. They retail for $13.
Just like regular candles, flameless candles come in pillars of all sizes. Some are coated in real wax, while others are plastic. Many have faux-drips on the side, or a melted-wax look on the top.
Often pillar candles are available with timers that shut off automatically, as well as remote controls so you can turn them on and off from across the room. It's also possible to find pillars made to look like a piece of a tree, or those that are metallic or covered in glitter for festive occasions. Find flameless pillars at:
- BatteryOperatedCandles.net, which carries a smooth mottled flameless six-inch pillar. It has a realistic looking black wick, and comes with a five-hour timer. It retails for about $17.
- Lights.com, which carries a set of three silver metallic pillars that have a timer and a remote control, which has eight different functions. The candles measure 4-, 5- and 6-inches in height with a 3-inch diameter, and they retail for $17.
If you like the look of tapers at the dinner table without the smoke and scent, consider purchasing some battery-operated taper candles. Tapers are available in a wide range of colors, most coated with either resin or wax to give them a realistic look and feel.
Tapers often have timers that go off automatically, and some may have remote controls as well. Find flameless tapers at:
- The Amazing Flameless Candle, which carries smooth resin and wax tapers in a variety of different colors, including taupe, white, red, ivory and cream. The candles have a 5-hour timer, as well as an on-off switch with a battery life of about 100 hours. The candles take AAA batteries, which are sold separately. They come in 2-packs for about $20.
- BatteryOperatedCandles.net, which carries a birch bark-look taper candle that measures 10-inches in height. The candle is coated in carved wax and has an on-off switch located on the bottom. It takes AA batteries, which are included and sells for about $14.
Shaped and Novelty Candles
Just like standard candles, it's possible to find battery-operated candles in a variety of different shapes to fit any occasion, from holidays to parties. Flameless candles may have carved and decorated exteriors, decorative holders or the candle itself may be carved into a unique shape. Find different and novelty flameless candles at:
- Save-On-Crafts, which carries a hanging black lantern with a battery-operated candle inside. The lantern has a criss-cross lattice pattern on the exterior with a handle for hanging at the top. The candle has a 5-hour timer and can be used indoors and out. It retails for about $12.
- Amazon carries a set of 5-inch tall white candles carved into the shape of angels as pictured on the right. These candles operate on CR2032 Lithium batteries which come with the set. Each set retails for under $15.
Benefits of Battery-Powered Candles
Purchasing battery-operated candles has several benefits that make them attractive to users, including points such as:
- They have no scent, and don't give off any smoke, which makes them ideal for allergy sufferers and people who are sensitive to smells.
- Many are vegan friendly, so you don't have to worry about hunting down the type of candle wax to make sure it doesn't come from bees.
- They're safe around children and pets; you can even leave them unattended without worrying about the risk of a fire.
- You can use them for years, just changing the battery when needed.
- They don't make a mess; no worries about candle wax drips or spills.
- Candles with an LED light are environmentally friendly, not giving off any emissions or gasses, while using relatively little energy.
Most battery-powered candles also come in nearly as many shapes, sizes and colors as standard candles as well.
Like a real candle, the cost of a battery-operated version will vary based on numerous factors, such as size, style and other features. Typically, though, you can expect to spend a little more than a real candle for smaller options like tealights, and a little less than real candles for larger pillar and jar options. It's not uncommon to find battery-operated tealights for around $15 for 24 - or .60 a piece, and larger lantern style candles for about $10 a piece. Most battery-powered candles do come with batteries included, but for those that don't, you may need to factor that into the cost as well.
The vast majority of battery-powered candles today use energy efficient LED lights. Many candle makers claim that the lights used in their candles will last up to 10 years of 100,000 hours, often making flameless candles the longer-lasting option. Batteries may not last as long; some may need to be replaced in about 60 hours. Keep in mind that when the battery or the light does burn out, these components are replaceable, often for only a few dollars.
Drawbacks to Using Flameless Candles
While using a battery-operated candle has several benefits, there may be some drawbacks as well. Keep these in mind as you search for your candle:
- Like any item with moving parts, such as switches, remotes and light bulbs, there is always the option for a circuit to come loose or something to break, making flameless candles slightly more fragile than traditional wax candles.
- The type of flickering light produced will vary from candle to candle; some will produce a realistic light, while others will produce a steadier light that doesn't have quite the same look or ambiance.
- Colors of candles are often more limited, as most colored candles are associated with scents.
Light Up Your Home
Using an unscented, battery-powered candle is a great way to include the look and ambiance of a real candle safely. No matter what your candle needs are, consider using a flameless variety to light up your home.