LED candles are a safer, simpler alternative to real ones, but not all look especially convincing. When shopping for the
best flameless candles, flame-effect makes or breaks the overall aesthetic. Low-quality options tend to have a plastic, teardrop-shaped dome over the lightbulb, and while the illumination itself may flicker, it's still easy to spot as fake — especially when the candle is off.
If you're looking for something more realistic, find an option that hides the plastic flame deeper inside the candle (which adds to the authenticity since real candles melt downwards, leaving a wall of wax around the flame). For those who want closer to the real thing, more advanced "moving flame" candles utilize a thin paper or plastic piece that physically flickers. So when the candle is on, it's virtually indistinguishable from afar.
Another factor to consider is the
candle's body. Most high-end LED options are made from genuine wax; irregular shapes, specifically around the candle's rim, make it appear as if it's been burning for a while. If you'll be placing the candle inside another fixture (often done with tea lights or smaller votives), these features aren't necessary — but for larger candle sets that'll be out on display, they make a big difference.
Last but not least, think about your preferred power source. Most flameless candles run on batteries, so to minimize the hassle associated with changing them, opt for a set that runs on easy-to-find types.
You might even opt for rechargeable sets — though they're usually more expensive.
You might also want to think about whether or not you want to have your candles set on a timer, or if you prefer a remote. Some varieties of candles even let you personalize colors and brightness levels. Whichever size, shape, or design you're looking for, these are the best flameless candles the internet has to offer.
1 The Overall Best: Antizer Flameless Candles Real wax: Yes Flame effect: Moving flames with LED lights Power source: AA batteries (not included) Remote control: Yes
It's not easy to find a set of flameless candles that's convincing, well-reviewed, and affordable, but this
three-piece set from Antizer does the impossible. With three different sizes in a set, each pillar is made from genuine wax with an irregular rim, and the LED lights, which have a 50,000-hour lifespan, are topped off with a moving, flickering flame that buyers call "elegant and so realistic." This set even comes with a remote control that allows you to personalize the brightness and set 24-hour automatic timers. One reviewer wrote: “For the price, this is an amazing deal. The “flame” rocks and moves randomly like a real candle. I am very happy with this set of LED flameless candles. I ordered the first set and quickly ordered 4 more! I’m about to purchase a few more sets for each bedroom in my house, and for my mom. Immediately after seeing how these LED candles added the right ambiance to my house, I was so relieved because now I can enjoy the ambiance without the worries about [an] accidental fire.” 2 The Budget-Friendly Set: Enpornk Flameless Candles Real wax: Yes Flame effect: Flickering LEDs Power source: AA batteries (not included) Remote control: Yes
If you're looking for a great deal on LED flameless candles, look no further than
this set from Enpornk. Nine various-sized pillars cost just $21, which works out to a little over $2 a candle. While the flames don't move, they're set deeper inside the genuine wax and feature a flickering light effect for a more realistic appearance. The remote control has brightness settings and four different timer options. You can purchase a set in one of three styles. One reviewer wrote: “This set has the flame down inside which is out of sight if placed up anywhere. The light still glows through the side of the candles in a very realistic 'flicker' and it gives the appearance of a candle that is burning down into the center. Yes, the flame is still visible from the top down, but much much more realistic this way. Love these and have given several sets as gifts to friends with allergies to smoke, a friend in a nursing home, students in dorms, etc.” 3 The Best Outdoor Candles That Are An Editor Favorite: Candle Choice Waterproof Candles Real wax: No Flame effect: Moving flames with LED lights Power source: 2 AA batteries (not included) Remote control: Yes
With more than 2,000 perfect five-star reviews, it’s safe to say that these
waterproof, battery-operated candles with a remote are a customer favorite. It’s also the pick of Bustle Editor Amy Biggart, who says: “These white flameless candles looked amazing at my sister's wedding. I helped set up about 100 of them, and they were super easy to program and worked flawlessly. The flickering feature made them look like real candles, and the timers allowed us to turn them on for the entire night with just one button.” These come in both white and ivory exteriors, and a large number of heights and packs to choose from. There are even Halloween-inspired options that would make excellent interior decor. One reviewer wrote: “I live in Florida and keep these outside on my covered lanai and they are amazing! Neither the damp nor humidity takes a toll on these excellent candles. The remote is so nice since I have them in hurricane glasses with sand and shells around them and with the remote I don't have to pull them out of the hurricane, switch them on, then switch them off, disturbing my shell arrangement. I have purchased several sets.” 4 The Best Glass Jar Flameless Candles: Aku Tonpa Flameless Jar Candles Real wax: Yes Flame effect: Moving flames Power source: AA batteries (not included) Remote control: Yes
Many real candles come inside a glass container, which is why these
LED glass jar candles have such a realistic appearance — especially considering the moving flames. Made of wax, the flameless candles are set in a glass jar, and the candles have a built-in timer to preserve battery life and for convenience. One reviewer wrote: “These particular candles are probably the best that I have ever seen. Personally, I think they are better than the luminaria candles. Each candle is encased in a glass jar which subconsciously gives you the impression that they are real. Furthermore, the top of the candle is flat which is rarely seen and the flame dances in such a way that it also gives the subconscious Illusion that this is a real candle.” 5 The Best Tea Lights: Homemory Flameless Flickering Tea Lights Real wax: No Flame effect: Flickering LEDs Power source: CR2032 button batteries (included) Remote control: No
best-selling tea lights have over 2,500 reviews and an overall rating of 4.5 stars. They come in a set of 12, and while the non-moving flame is visible and the base is plastic, they're still well-suited for use inside fixtures because of the warm, flickering LED-light effect, and with a battery life of 100 hours, these little candles last awhile. In other words, when placed inside jars, votive holders, pumpkins, and lanterns, reviewers say they "look fairly realistic." One reviewer wrote: “They actually look like the real thing if you put them in a frosted glass tea holder. They flicker like real candles and stay cool all night long. I turn them on at night so they can "burn" when the house is asleep. They've been going for eight to ten-hour cycles for the past week and seem to be going strong. I bought a box of 12 along with a pack of replacement batteries. So far I've not needed to replace anything.” 6 The Best Color-Changing LED Candles: ACROSS Flickering Flameless Candles Real wax: Yes Flame effect: Flickering LEDs Power source: AA batteries (not included) Remote control: Yes
While most flameless candles give off a warm, white light, this
three-piece LED set allows you to personalize your mood lighting to virtually any color. The included remote offers 12 different shade options plus auto-off timers at four- and eight-hour intervals. One reviewer wrote: "My husband thought they were real and couldn't figure out why I would burn candles on our wooden mantle. Sure, he may be in need of glasses, but the flickering wick is a really nice touch and adds realism. The timer option on the remote is very handy.” 7 The Best Flameless Candlesticks: GiveU Flameless Candelabra Candles Real wax: Yes Flame effect: Flickering LEDs Power source: AA batteries (not included) Remote control: No
Perfect for candelabras and table centerpieces,
GiveU flameless candlesticks are thin, 9-inches long, and come with varying silicone adapters to fit most holders. They feature an automatic timer that runs for six hours and then turns off for 18 hours — and come in 9- or 12-inch heights, as well as in packs of either two or three. Best of all, the synthetic flame is hidden inside the wax coating, so they won't give themselves away, unlike most other flameless candlesticks. One reviewer wrote: “I have purchased these 3 times. I just love them. For the price, they are quite natural-looking, made of wax, and have a nice subtle flicker, also a nice ivory color. The batteries last through several dinner parties usually on for 3 hours at a time.” 8 A Waterproof Flameless Lantern: YMING Outdoor Solar Lantern Real wax: No Flame effect: Flickering LED Power source: Solar Remote control: No
For candle-like ambiance outside, this
waterproof flameless light looks and hangs like a lantern but is powered by the sun. Each order comes with two rustproof metal lanterns with light sensors so they can automatically turn on when it gets dark outside. With a 4.7-star overall rating, customers definitely approve. One reviewer wrote: "I am absolutely thrilled so far, I've even bought other styles of lanterns and I still keep coming back to these because of their quality and the amount of light it gives off and the beautiful pattern it displays across the yard. I've only had them a few months, but they've been through several rainstorms and they have kept their charge consistently. I've even had them inside too because of how beautiful they are and the charge has lasted all night through the next morning.” 9 A Set Of Rechargeable LED Candles: HERO-LED Rechargeable Votive Candles Real wax: No Flame effect: Flickering LEDs Power source: Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries Remote control: Yes
For those who don't want to deal with the hassle and added expense of batteries, these
candles from HERO-LED are rechargeable with a charging base and remote control. Plus, the lightbulbs have a lifespan of 50,000 hours. While not made of wax, reviewers say they're "well worth every penny" because of the realistic flicker and the long-lasting charge. One reviewer wrote: "I use these candles on my coffee table, dinner table, and around the pool. They are bright enough and have a slight flickering when you choose the option on the remote. They provide a nice ambiance and last about two evenings of 5 hours each before recharging is required. The remote is very handy as you don't have to turn them on individually except after charging them.” 10 A Birch-Effect Candle: Comenzar Flickering Candles Real wax: Yes Flame effect: Moving flames Power source: AAA batteries (not included) Remote control: Yes
Birch candles provide a more rustic or festive aesthetic, and
these ones from Comenzar are battery-operated, remote-controlled, and made with a realistic-looking moving, LED flame. You can even personalize the brightness levels, mode, and timer functions: choose between four different multi-hour intervals to preserve battery life. And the bulbs last 50,000 hours for all your candlelit activities. One reviewer wrote: "This set by far is the most realistic set of candles I have purchased yet. They have the look AND feel of real wax! They are designed with uneven melted wax tops that resemble what an actual candle in use looks like and have a lovely design of what is like an older wooden stump on them so they are attractive with multiple scenes and decor. I am planning to use mine surrounded by fall-colored silk flowers as a centerpiece for my table for fall and then switch it up for the Christmas season.”
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This article was originally published on
Aug. 27, 2019