Are Candles Cheaper Than Electricity? (Money Saving?)

Candles are cheaper than electricity, primarily when used on a short-term basis. And this is because the cost of purchasing and running candlelight is less than the cost of electricity. Also, installing candlelight doesn’t require technicians or other highly trained professionals.

In this article, we’ll be looking at if it is genuinely cost-effective to use candles and the pros and cons of using candlelight instead of electric power. If you are also interested in how many candles it would take to heat a room you can check out this cool article that i wrote.

A photo of 20 candles being used to light a room
Could it be possible and cheaper to light a room with candles?


Using candles as a light source for the house is brilliant. This idea is excellent because, with scented candles, you get to freshen the home while adding a warm glow or generating heat to your room with either the unscented or scented ones. As good as this is, you need to ask yourself how many candles you would need to get a glow that will be as effective as a light bulb.
Generally, a standard 60-watt light bulb produces 800 lumens, while a candle produces about 20 lumens of light energy. Thus, it would take at least 40 candles to produce the same amount of light as one 60-watt light bulb, unfortunately burning that many candles in your room comes with a few different hazards!


The average retail price of a candle in the U.S is between $1.99 for votive candles and $35 for a jar or large pillar candle. But, some candles can be as high as $200 or more, which is especially true of luxurious and high-end scented candles with elaborate packaging.

Since most people burn candles for four hours per sitting, the cost of using candles predominantly for illumination for a month would be around $20 for a 22 oz jar candle.
On the other hand, a typical American spends over $100 per month on electricity as the average electricity usage for a household is about 1,105 kWh.

Burning candles as a light source is a good idea on a short-term basis. But, it tends to cost more in the long term since as I we leant earlier we would need 40 candles to produce as much light as a standard bulb.


Below are some of the pros of using candlelight.

  1. Considerably cheaper
    In most parts of the world, candles are cheaper than electric power. Even though you need to consider how many candles you will need to light your home, you get to save a lot of money by using this lighting method. Thus, lighting your house using candles offers you more financial freedom to spend your money on other essential things.
  2. Creates a romantic atmosphere
    The ability of candles to give your room a cozy and calm ambiance makes it a highly beneficial lighting method.
  3. It can serve as mosquito repellent
    Some candles, especially the scented ones, come with fragrances that deter mosquitoes and other annoying insects. Thus, you can enjoy your evenings relaxing with your loved ones in your garden. If you are interested in this option check out my guide to citronella candles.
  4. Environmentally-friendly
    ln recent times, there has been an increase in the manufacture of eco-friendly candles. The use of these candles helps to reduce lots of greenhouse gas emissions.
    Moreover, by using suitable candles, like vegetable wax candles, you get to reduce the emission of carbon, a significant driver of global warming and climate change. As a result, a safe environment and a high quality of life are preserved for future generations. For the best of eco friendly candles have a look at soy wax candles.


As beneficial as the use of candles is, it has its flaws. Some of these disadvantages are:

  1. Highly risky
    Candles incur a higher risk of burning down the house as it is not as safe as conventional electricity. You need to be extra careful when using it due to its risks. The extra care needed can make you insecure and negatively affect your overall quality of life.
  2. It’s inconvenient
    You can turn on and off the light as you deem fit with electricity. Candles are less versatile, as you have to leave them lit for a minimum amount of time, depending on their width. So you don’t get to turn it on when you need it.
    Moreover, the versatility of conventional light makes it suitable for carrying out different operations such as cooking, powering different machines like the dishwasher, washing machine, etc. On the other hand, candles are only suitable for lighting purposes.
  3. Its smell can be annoying
    Even though the smell of candles can be soothing to some people, it is often annoying to others. Thus, if you find the flavors of candles unpleasant, using them instead of electricity may not be a good fit. They can also have side effects in high quantities such as casing headaches.
  4. It may be too hot
    The need to light multiple candles to get sufficient light in your house may result in the generation of too much heat. This phenomenon may lead to increased discomfort, especially during the summer.


As perfect as candles are for creating a relaxing and inviting atmosphere, it is essential to be mindful of the potential dangers they can pose.

Since candles are open flames, they pose fire hazards. For instance, children and pets can accidentally knock the candle onto a flammable object or surface. Also, the wax may melt and drip on valuable objects close to it.

Putting your candle in a cheap or fragile container like glass can also result in overheating, consequently shattering the container and creating a mess and potential danger.

Moreover, some candles emit fumes and toxic chemicals that are not healthy to breathe. This is especially true of candles made from paraffin wax, in particular Bath and Body works candles and also the ever popular Yankee Candle.

These potentially hazardous possibilities of using candles make them a less safe light source than electricity.


Today, many people are looking to find an alternative to using conventional energy due to the tremendous rise in energy bills. Even though using a candle seems to be a better alternative, it comes with its share of demerits.

Thus, to get the best from using candles in lighting your house, you shouldn’t use them solely as they can never be a perfect substitute for electricity today. Instead, you can pair it with electricity by using it when your electric lights are turned off. By doing this, you get to enjoy a pleasant, cozy atmosphere while reducing your energy consumption.

Andrew Scents and Aroma