From moving flame effects to automated timers, the built-in technology of today’s LED flameless candles bring added joy and convenience to consumers’ lives.
Candles have been used to provide warmth, comfort and light for more than 5,000 years, according to the National Candle Association (NCA). In ancient times, Egyptians and Romans made candles from wicked papyrus dipped in melted tallow, while East Asians used wax extracted from insects and tree nuts. Over the centuries, innovations in candle making have brought these home favorites a long way from their humble beginnings. While traditional wicked candles remain popular today, LED flameless candles
—which were first introduced to the industry over a decade ago—are an increasingly sought-a er choice. As innovations continue to emerge in this category, expect to see LED flameless candles become ever better and smarter at addressing consumers’ needs and desires in the home.
The Benefits of LED Flameless Candles
The first LED flameless candles consisted of a single light enclosed in plastic. “They were created in a response to US regulations that made importing wax candles fiscally challenging,” said Susan Blaska, marketing director for Luminara candles.
Over time, the quality of LED flameless candles became increasingly attractive to shoppers. “In the last five years, there has been more of a universal adoption [of LED flameless candles] in respect to safety, quality and ease of use,” Blaska said. “Ease of use and safety are now expected, and these products accomplish both of those squarely.”
Safety in particular is a huge motivating force behind the popularity of LED flameless candles, according to Michael Borg, director of strategic marketing at Scentsy, a home fragrance company. “I believe the biggest innovation in the candle has been getting rid of the flame. You get all of the benefits without the safety issues,” he said. “Safety is what drives us in a lot of the innovations we’re going after.”
Considering that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that nearly 10,000 residential from 2009-2013 were caused by the use of real flame candles, resulting in $374 million in direct property damage, one can see how the safety that LED flameless candles makes such an appealing case.
“With a regular LED flame candle, you have to be really careful and limited with how you use it in the home, and you should never leave it unattended. LED flameless candles can be put in places you never thought you could put a candle, like a bookcase.
Because LED flameless candles won’t melt wax the way a regular flame candle does, they’re great for indoor dining and entertaining. In fact, one of the biggest areas where LED flameless candles have taken sales away from the regular flame candle market is in tapered candles. “Flameless taper candles have taken over the taper market because they’re practical and worry-free,” Goulet said. “People are buying them because they can set them out on the dining table without having to worry about wax or people reaching for the broccoli.”
Future of Moving Flame Candles
Thanks to its safety and innovative built-in features, the moving flame candle
is all but here to stay. “Within the next decade, flameless candles will start to approach the same sales as real flame candles,” Blaska predicted, “because the generation growing up now sees them as what’s standard.”
We believe the biggest innovations in moving flame candles are already here, and the future will see fine-tuning improvements on what’s already a great product within the candle industry.
As consumers are using moving flame candles for home décor more than ever before, it’s important for retailers to offer moving flame candles in a variety of colors, finishes and textures. In a number of cases, people are buying more for the texture than the color. They love this marbleized texture, or this rustic finish. That’s what will grow the business.