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LED vs. Wax Candles: How to Choose What’s Best

Candles are no doubt the most common type of décor used at special events of all types. Tapers, pillars and votives augment the mood of an event, adding a glow that can be interpreted as sophisticated, romantic or other-worldly. All are available these days in two main varieties: LED and wax. Which should you use for your events?

Wax candles are traditional, used for generations for both practical and aesthetic purposes. They are a staple of literature – every castle has a dripping candle on the wall, or one in hand as the heroine tip-toes around the corner of a dark corridor to explore the unknown. Modern mythology claims that the light from a flickering wax candle makes anyone look even better than reality.

Relatively economical, wax candles in a vast array of shapes, sizes and colors are typically included in tablescapes and as accents on feature tables. They may be enclosed in cups, lanterns or luminaries or be used “bare” in standing or hanging candelabras.

Soy and beeswax candles are considered environmentally friendly. Beeswax candles release negative ions when burned, which cleanses the air. Different varieties of wicks burn cleaner than others, especially wood and cotton.

LED Candles are also “green.” Reusable and exceptionally long-lasting, they are versatile and can be used over and over for any kind of event. Some people prefer LED lights because they pose no fire risk, which is a requirement for many venues. Still, they come in a wide variety of colors and sizes, and many are designed to “flicker” naturally, just like a traditional wax candle would.


Some people would never notice the difference if all of their candles were replaced with LED, while others feel a connection or emotional attachment to traditional wax. 


Deciding which to use is often based on your clients’ preferences. Some people would never notice the difference if all of their candles were replaced with LED, while others feel a connection or emotional attachment to traditional wax. Clients with severe allergies will be grateful for an emission-less alternative, and LED candles are a great option to keep them safe and comfortable.

LED candles are also labor saving. If you regularly provide décor for special events, you are more than familiar with the process of cleaning out containers. Removing wax by hand can be time consuming (especially if you don’t take steps to prepare your containers in advance), whereas the only labor associated with LED candles is powering them on and off and very, very rarely changing batteries.

The best answer for your events could be a combination of both types. You might use traditional wax candles on guest tables for ambience, and LED lights in the décor on food service tables or in harder-to-service décor pieces like chandeliers.

The best part of using candles as décor is that you have so many different ways to make a huge impact on the overall look of your events. Which is your favorite type of candle? Wax or LED?

Photos courtesy 100 Candles.

Audrey Isaac

Audrey Isaac is the spokesperson of 100 Candles, a wholesale market for candles and lights. Since 2002, thousands of wedding and event professionals have entrusted 100 Candles with their wholesale candle accounts. For more information, please visit