Tuesday, January 17, 2012

LED "candles"

I have to admit, I think these things are genius.

I love the look of tealight or votive candles in my house, but I rarely used them for two reasons:

1. I'm very paranoid about open flames. Even though I keep the candles in a holder (and usually one that's taller than the candle, like tealights down in a glass), I worry if I get called to the phone or something. And you can't light them and forget them, or leave the room for long.

There have been several bad fires here in the past few years that were attributed to unattended candles. Now, granted, the person may have been less careful with them than I am, but still.

2. The smoke that candles - even "eco friendly" soy candles - can bother my allergies. (And most scented candles I can't have - the scents bother me. And it's increasingly hard to find unscented candles in just ordinary stores. I do keep a bunch on hand for power outages but I don't like to use them for "everyday" in case I need them and then don't have them).

But I bought some LED "candles" recently. They're not perfect - the light they give off is more orange than a true candle flame, and the flicker seems a little artificial looking. But those two problems are minor compared to the benefits of the things. I like having LOTS of tealights on the mantel in my house, so I bought a pack of 24 LED candles and lined them up, and scattered some throughout the room (coffee table and such). I really like the way they look all lit up. And they don't make smoke that makes me cough or that leaves deposits on the wall.

And, best of all: I could light them, leave the room, and not worry. In fact, one night I had an evening meeting and I lit the "candles" and left them going when I left the house.

Because I live alone, sometimes coming home to an empty dark house is a little depressing. It's SO nice to come home and have those tiny "candles" flickering in my living room, making it seem more homey and friendly.

(Yeah, I know: I could leave a lamp on. But I was a kid during the energy crisis of the 70s and I STILL hear my dad in my head going "Turn off that light! Do you think we're made of money?" so I can't, quite. If I felt less safe where I lived - if I felt like I needed a light on to see that no one had broken in in my absence, I would. But right now the "coming home to a dark house" is an emotional issue and not a safety issue...so I turn out the lamps when I leave.

(When I'm out of town, I set several on timers. And my neighbors know that I'm gone and keep an eye out on the house for me))

I don't know how long the lights will last. I hesitated buying them because I thought, "They'll be cheap crap that will poop out right away." So far, I've had them on for a few hours (maybe as many as 8) and they seem to continue to be working fine. And the batteries are replaceable, though I don't know but that the button batteries might cost more than a whole new tealight would. (Supposedly those tiny LED lights can last for 10,000 hours or more....)

They're not really bright enough, even en masse to read by, but maybe with a reflective surface...meaning they'd be good in a power outage.

But they're just a little thing that I really like right now.

1 comment:

Dave E. said...

Mom discovered LED candles just before Christmas this year and likes them for some of the same reasons as yours. I still have a bunch of different kinds of tealights, but I don't use them nearly as much since I quit smoking.