After spending endless days researching and trying different LED candles I can finally say that I am ready to write this post and confidently make a recommendation for the most realistic flameless candles out there.
I love the natural light and ambiance that comes from natural candles. However, I will be the first to admit that sometimes having an open flame in your home can be a worrisome thought, especially when you have multiple going, all in different rooms, at the same time.
This is why it is nice to have some flameless candles on hand, for when you want that cozy atmosphere without the worry of any potential danger. But if you’ve ever seen any amount of these battery operated candles in person, you’ll know that there are some that just look god awful.
Also, if you have searched on Google for something like ‘best LED candles’ or something similar you have likely encountered one of the many awful articles which recommend some pretty questionable choices (in my opinion).
That’s why I decided to go on a hunt for the most realistic flameless candles and do my own list.
What Should I Look For In Flameless Candles?
Before purchasing any flameless candle, there are some decisions you will have to make because these candles vary wildly in their features, size, and look.
1. The Candle Size
First, you really need to decide where you are going to be using the flameless candle because certain sizes don’t work well in certain situations.
For example, if you are planning to place your candle inside a hurricane or some other type of holder, some sizes just won’t fit properly and it won’t look right. For a more visual example of what I mean, watch this video below by Youtuber ‘Candledancer’ in which she compares how different sized candles look in different holders.
2. Flame and Wax Style
I will try my best to explain the different styles here. If it is confusing, I’m sorry! You can skip to the next point if it does get a little hard to follow.
Another big decision presentation-wise is going to be what style of flame you prefer and also what style top you think looks best. What I mean by the top is that there are a few different styles representing the look of a pillar candle burning at different stages. This will play a big factor in determining what looks the most real to your eyes.
Below are the different stages of burn that you will typically find.
There are flat top flameless candles which show off that freshly lit pillar candle look. This style will pretty much always feature some style of flame on top rather than just having an LED light placed inside which the ‘inset’ styles have.
Next there is the ‘tunneling wax‘ scalloped style, which looks like the candle has been burning for a while. This is probably the most common style that you will see.. Usually, these still have a flickering flame because the place where the wick would be is still showing.
There is also a heavy wax drip style like the ones pictured below. This style is great for decorating with an old-timey rustic look or that classical look of aged candles which have long been burning.
These ones do have the typical Luminara flame which looks very impressive in the dark. While typically these flames are perfect in the daytime, the heavy wax drip style has their flame sunken in a bit and it actually looks quite impressive in the daytime as well.
For you Amazon Prime members out there, I did see these for sale on Amazon as well, so you have a few options on where to pick them up from.
This next style often times will just have an LED inside the candle and will just look like a pillar candle has tunneled straight down.
These are probably the kind that I would say look the most real in the day time when the candles are not on, especially if you get one that has the fake burnt wick inside. However, when it is dark and you can see the artificial flame flicker on one of the good candles from the styles above, it looks much more realistic than these do.
When it comes to the different flickering flames styles, I find the 360 degree flickering style will be the most realistic looking candles if you will be viewing them from many different angles and in low light situations.
Many of the flames have a flat plastic flame that doesn’t rotate which will look perfectly fine if placed up near a window or on a mantel where you will only be viewing them at one angle but if they are in the center of a table, some angles won’t look quite as good.
Some of the better brands remedy this by allowing the flame to rotate 360 degrees at random with a magnetic field beneath where the flame is.
Nearly all of these flickering flames don’t look too great in broad daylight in my opinion. You can decide if that will be an important factor for you but I feel like it is just something to be aware of before buying.
3. Candle Prices
Price will be another major deciding factor when it comes to these candles. There are so many cheaply made LED candles popping up everywhere online that are usually pretty crap quality.
Some of the more expensive ‘big name’ brands such as Luminara or others from Pottery Barn will be your safe bet when it comes to quality.
There are some good quality candles at a fraction of the price, but you’re rolling the dice if you just buy any random one. I will recommend my favorite cheaper option below as well.
Some other, less important factors to consider
I won’t go into detail on these factors in this post. They may be important to you however, so look them over just in case.
- Weather proofing if your plan is to use them outside
- Scented or non scented
- Remote control features and timers
- Battery type
- Real wax coating or not
- Dimmer settings
The Overall Most Realistic Flameless Candles
In my opinion, the most realistic looking flameless candles are the ones from Luminara. They come with a hefty price tag, but if you are looking for the absolute best looking and best quality flameless candles that I’ve seen, than these are the ones for you.
- Extremely realistic looking flame when in a dimly lit setting
- Flame is able to rotate 360 degrees for a realistic flicker
- Lots of variety in candle styles and sizes
- Multiple colors available
- Build quality and comfort in knowing you won’t end up with a junk candle
- Scented and non scented varieties
- Real wax exterior
- Timer with remote that works up to 5 meters
- The plastic ‘2d’ flame doesn’t look great in broad daylight
- Pricier candles than those found on Amazon
- Remote should come with more options
Other Styles Available From Luminara
Tradition Scalloped Pillar Candle
This is the traditional ‘scalloped’ style pillar candle with the sunken in flame. It’s a great all-round option for the home, especially when grouped with other candles of varying heights.
The Various sizes can be bought online by following the size links below.
Glitter Wax with flame
While these glitter candles don’t necessarily look realistic, they are quite nice for decorating in certain situations. They still have the great looking flame and are made of real wax like the rest of the Luminara candles.
I found these online and you can purchase them at HSN. They also have a little video they did describing them if you want to see them in action below.
Heavy Wax Drip style
This style was mentioned above as well. A good option if you are going for the classic long-burned wax look. Features the sunken in flame and looks great day and night because of it.
Smtyle Candles – The Cheaper Option That Still Looks Great
I couldn’t leave you with just one option that was expensive. The Luminara candles are excellent, but if they are out of your budget, then these candles from Smtyle on Amazon are great alternative.
They are however, incredibly popular I’ve noticed, and they are often out of stock. If that’s the case, be sure to check their shop on Amazon frequently as they seem to restock fairly quickly as well.
- Look great, maybe not quite as good as the Luminara ones, but pretty close
- Flame looks very realistic and flickers
- A few different colors available
- More timer options
- Real paraffin wax exterior
- Not as much variety in styles and sizes as Luminara
- Similar ‘2d’ flame that doesn’t look very nice in broad daylight
So there you have it! My picks for the most realistic looking flameless candles you can buy online. Both options are great, it all depends on how much money you have to spend.
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Have a great day!