- Price: $30 at Home Depot
- Recommended: for certain applications
- Also Available: LED candles from many makers are becoming available
Candles are a popular form of accent lighting, especially around the holidays. Recently LED candles have appeared on the market, or more precisely, LED accent lamps in the form of a candle. Designs vary somewhat, but most of the available models use rechargeable batteries, and electronics that flicker the LED gently to simulate a flame.
The rechargeable LED candle set under review is from Hampton Bay, one of Home Depot’s house brands for lighting products. You may find this set elsewhere under a different label, but the Hampton Bay mark is a Home Depot brand. the set retails for just under 30 dollars, and includes a charging base and three polyethylene candles that contain an LED assembly. The LED assembly consists of magnetically-coupled charge circuit, plus two 1.2V NiMH batteries and an LED with the electronics to make it flicker. There are no exposed electrical connectors on the candles, which makes them usable as outdoor lighting even in wet conditions. The charge stand uses a transformer to connect to the mains and must remain indoors.
Product packaging, in case you go looking to buy these
set of three candles
Since the candles are sealed, there are no switches exposed either. but you can switch each candle on or off by lightly tapping it on the table top. A switch sealed inside the unit toggles it on or off this way. The candles will also light when removed from the charger, or when power to the charge stand is removed.
The light cast by each candle is a warm yellowish hue and is diffused considerably by the polyethylene candle body. Each candle body is made to have the appearance of a candle that has been burned. Each has a dark wick made from a bent piece of threaded metal rod (nice in case someone tries to light one–it won’t burn). All three candles in my set appeared to be made from the same mold. Each candle is a cylinder 4-3/4″ tall with 2-1/4″ diameter (approximately 12cm tall with 6cm diameter). This is somewhat smaller than a typical 3″ diameter pillar candle. The sides and top of the candles are free from any visible seam, but there is a seam at the bottom edge where it will not be noticed. The top of the candle housing has a 1/2″ deep molded depression that is asymmetrical, with the wick placed slightly off the axis of the candle body and the depression offset to match. The top lip is intact, but the off-center depression gives one side an appearance of having a thinner candle wall. The light cast by the LED forms a slightly uneven pattern within the body of the candle as well, which gives a fairly realistic look with the exception that the wick is visible near the top while the light appears within the candle body as if the wick were burned down to half of the candle height.
Closeup of the faux wick
Candlelight with no flame
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