Are Flameless LED Candles Safe Compared To Wax Candles?
December 13, 2022
Flameless LED candles have become an exceptional substitute and in some cases replacement for traditional wax candles. They are an efficient lighting solution and can fill the same purpose as a regular wax candle.
But that said, how do these candle types compare in terms of safety?
Flameless LED candles are safe to use and are generally much safer than regular wax candles. Unlike traditional wax candles, LED candles will never catch fire due to its low operational temperature and its lack of a live flame. As a result of this LED candles also don’t produce smoke or other toxic fumes.
What Makes Flameless LED Candles Safe?
As mentioned, LED candles are generally pretty safe to use and are much safer to use than traditional wax candles. But how do they actually compare to regular wax candles in terms of safety?
LED Candles Have No Live Flame
The biggest difference between LED candles and regular wax candles is the flame itself, or the lack thereof.
Wax candles produce their ambient light by slowly burning down its wick which produces a soft glow. LED candles on the other hand make use of a LED (Light Emitting Diode) chip to produce light.
These chips are rather small and produce light via a process known as “electroluminescence”. Electroluminescence can be defined as the process of a material producing photons (light particles) as the result of an electrical current passing through it.
What this essentially means is that there is a small electrical current that goes through the LED candle, which passes through a material in the diode which then emits light.
These different principles for producing light have a lot of impact on the safety of them.
Since wax candles use a live flame to produce its light it comes with the risk of it accidentally burning any object it comes in contact with.
While you can be careful and cautious with wax candles and limit your risks it is always a risk you are taking by using them.
With LED candles however, there is no such risk. You simply turn the LED on and let it run. It will never burn its surroundings and can be in contact with anything around it without it being a risk.
LED Candles Are Cool To The Touch
Another perk of flameless LED candles is that they will always be cool to the touch. LEDs generally operate at temperatures around 20-80 °C (68-140°F) but since LED candles are normally a very small LED application they operate on the lower end of that spectrum.
This is a very cool operating temperature when compared to traditional wax candle. While the temperature can depend on the candle itself, normally the flame will reach temperatures of around 1000 °C (1832 °F).
This means that generally speaking, a regular wax candle will be around 10-50 times as hot as the LED candle is when producing light.
This can be beneficial for a few reasons. For one, you run virtually no risk of ever burning yourself while touching an LED candle.
Another benefit of this can be if you have small children or pets around your candles. While you might understand that candles shouldn’t be touched your kids or pets might not.
For this reason it can be advantageous to use candles that don’t actually get hot, so you don’t run the risk of having one of your loved ones accidentally burn themselves.
LED Candles Have No Hot Wax
Another benefit of LED candles is that they will produce no hot wax. While there are some LED candle manufacturers who make candles with real wax for aesthetic reasons, none of them will ever get hot enough to actually melt the wax.
Paraffin candle wax melts at temperatures of around 37°C (99°F) but can get hot enough to cause discomfort or even injuries when in direct contact with it.
Another benefit of not having melted wax is that it can be a bit inconvinient to clean it up. Traditional wax candles can get pretty messy when allowed to burn for a long time.
LED Candles Don’t Produce Smoke
As already expressed, there are a lot of reasons to opt for LED candles, and one that isn’t normally talked about is the fact that LED candles don’t produce any smoke.
Wax candles will always produce some smoke, some candles more than others. Candles with modifications such as artifical scent or special effects tend to produce more smoke than normal candles.
There are a few reasons to why you’d want to have candles that don’t produce any smoke.
Firstly, to eliminate the risk of having your candles produce any toxic fumes. While there is no scientific link to candles having a direct negative impact on your health, it has been noted that scented candles may release chemical compounds that can potentially be harmful.
While the risk of these smokes being toxic and potent enough to cause any significant harm is pretty low, it is a risk worth eliminating given the option.
Secondly, while you may not find candle smoke problematic, you may have kids or pets that do. An adults tolerance to harmful chemicals is far greater than that of a small child or pet, meaning that you may do them a favour by opting for LED candles.
Lastly, using candles that produce no smoke will never accidentally cause the fire alarm to go off. While this rarely ever happens, it is possible for candles to trigger your fire alarm and it’s not a bad idea to limit the possibility of this happening on accident.
Some Flameless LED Candles Have Timers
Another benefit with the technology of LED candles is that it’s possible for them to have timers. This function is usually only available on the larger versions of candles but can also be found on tea light sized candles.
The reason why timers make a light safer to use is because the timer will cause the light to turn itself off after an extended period of time.
This is a lot contrary to a wax candle, because if you forget to blow out a wax candle before you leave it it will continue to burn until it eventually burns out fully or burns itself out of control.
While LED candles won’t set anything on fire if they happen to be left on anyway, it is nice to know that they will turn themselves off if you leave them alone for too long.
Are There Any Risks With Flameless LED Candles?
We have discussed a whole lot of factors that contribute to LED candles being rather safe, is there any reasons to why LED candles would be less safe than a regular wax candle?
Flameless LED Candles Use Batteries
The only main risk with flameless LED candles worth considering is the fact that they use batteries.
Batteries themselves can be a risk as they have the potential to be the cause of several health hazards when misused.
One example of this is that they are able to cause sparks when the ends of the battery are close to meeting.
Batteries are normally also filled with some chemical compounds such as nickel–metal hydride and nickel–cadmium. These compounds could definitely fuel a fire if these batteries ever were to overheat. While the likelyhood of this happening is very low, it can still be worth considering.
As long as you keep your batteries away from kids and animals as well as handle the batteries with care you shouldn’t run into any major dangers with batteries. Batteries are commonly used and don’t usually pose a threat unless treated very poorly.
To summarize, flameless LED candles are pretty safe to use. They will produce light safely for thousands of hours before breaking, though you might have switch out the batteries in them every once in a while. Click here for an article on How Long Batteries Last In Flameless LED Candles.
They are much safer to use in comparison to wax candles due to their live flame and hot temperature being very real potential dangers.
If you have the choice between these two light sources we’d recommend you go with LED candles as they are generally much safer and can still provide the same level of ambiance if the quality of the LED candle is good.
Hello, I'm Daniel, the author behind this article and owner of this website!
I'm a young soul at 23 years old with a passion for everything lighting since I find it very fascinating in general.
I studied light planning for 2 years in Stockholm, Sweden and now work with light planning full time.