Choosing the Right Alternative to Candles for Your Situation

Candles used to be the sole source of light for thousands of years before the advent of electricity. Now, they are regarded as decorative elements with many different uses and benefits. Lighting candles can provide the perfect atmosphere for bringing calm and an overall sense of well-being. Just seeing a flickering flame from the candles makes you feel a sense of bliss and serenity.

The romanticism and nostalgia of real candles will never be matched by any candle alternative. But we do know that real candles can be a serious fire hazard. Another, smoke from regular paraffin wax candles is harmful to your health. Once the candles have melted, spilled, and hardened, they can create an inglorious mess.

So, to avoid those issues associated with regular wax candles, why don’t you consider flameless candles and other candle alternatives? Some of these alternatives to candles work almost as well as traditional candles but are safe for your health and home. Whether you’re looking to illuminate your space or make it smell more inviting, check these out and tell us which candle alternative you’d choose:

Candle alternatives to light your space:

flameless candles

Flameless candles

At first glance, flameless candles look just like the real thing. They operate either by electricity or batteries, so they last longer compared to actual candles. Some flameless candles have a flickering light to resemble the flame of a candle. Flameless candles are perfectly safe to use, even around kids and pets, as they have no heat or flame. They are great for outdoor use as well.

various LED candles

Solar candles

Solar lighting uses solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity, which is then stored in batteries for use at night or in dark spaces. Solar lighting comes in many forms and price points. Solar LED candles make perfect alternatives if you’re looking for romantic or whimsical accents to your room but don’t want to use traditional wax candles. All you have to do is place the solar candles in any sunny place (such as the windowsill). They typically come with an on/off switch and automatically turn the lights on when it’s dark. The LED lights slowly blink to imitate the flickering lights of real candles. Solar candles are also waterproof, so they’re perfect for indoor and outdoor use. 

You can also use other types of solar-powered lighting, such as table lamps or string lights.

beeswax candles with honeycomb patterns

Natural candle alternatives

If you still want to light a candle without having to inhale those noxious smoke candle odors, here are the following natural alternatives to the wax candle:

  • Beeswax – It’s an all-natural wax produced by, you guessed it, honey bees! Beeswax has long been used for candle-making since the ancient era. Regular candles are made of paraffin wax, a by-product of petroleum refining. However, they give off noxious odors. Beeswax candles, in comparison, do not emit toxic smells. In addition, they burn slower and cleaner and even give off a brighter flame. They also do not bend like regular wax candles. 
  • Plant-based wax – Whether you want to use plant-based wax for safety, health, environmental, or ethical reasons, plant-based wax candles are also excellent regular candle alternatives. They are non-toxic and vegan. And when they burn, they diffuse amazing smells! And, of course, plant-based wax candles are made of renewable resources, making them relatively sustainable to grow and harvest. Some good plant-based wax candles include carnauba wax, soy wax, jojoba wax, and rice-bran wax.

Some of these natural-based candles may have essential oils added to stimulate your senses and, at the same time, help relax and calm your mind and body.

But like regular wax candles, natural candles can also become fire hazards when not monitored or when placed in fire-prone areas. They can also create some mess once they melt. It would be best to use heat- and crack-resistant candle jars for protection and safety.

Candle alternatives to make your space smell fantastic

a cup of coffee and coffee beans


Brewing coffee has been a traditional way to keep all the unpleasant smells out and invite that enticing and comforting coffee aroma into your home. Depending on how the beans are roasted, coffee can give off a nutty, caramel, chocolate, sweet or floral aroma.

potpourri in a pot and bags


Speaking of floral, potpourri has long been used to give rooms, cabinets, etc., a fresh and pleasant floral scent. It’s usually a mixture of dried flower petals, herbs, and spices. 

The great thing about potpourri is that you can customize it by mixing your preferred dried flowers, herbs, and spices. Just add them to a lovely bowl and place them at the center of your table. Or, add the dried mixture into an empty sachet and hang it at the window or entrance of your house.

diffuser with wood sticks

Scent or oil diffuser

These accessories are not only for decorative purposes. They are used to diffuse fragrance or essential oils that make your space smell great, boost your mood, and promote feelings of calm and relaxation. Although they have yet to be scientifically proven, diffusers are purported to ease aching joints and help clear airways for easier breathing.

Of course, it depends on how you react to certain scents. While some aromas are mild and pleasant to you, others come off as too strong. So, it pays to select the most suitable diffuser to make your space smell amazing and awaken your senses without assailing them.

essential room oil spray

Essential room oil spray

You can buy commercially manufactured essential room oil sprays. Or, better yet, you can make your own DIY spray if you have a bottle of your favorite essential oil at home. It’s easy to make. In an eight-once (8 oz) spray bottle, add two tablespoons (2 tbsps.) of isopropyl alcohol and add 10 to 40 drops of your favorite essential oil. Then let it sit for about five minutes.

The amount of essential oil defines the strength of the spray, so add the oil accordingly. After five minutes, shake the bottle well and add six tablespoons (6 tbsps.) of mineral or filtered water. Then, shake the bottle again, and it’s now ready to use!