Back in 2009, I recommended a handful of flameless LED candles perfect for providing a bit of fire hazard-less auxiliary lighting during that year’s Earth Hour event. With Earth Hour 2011 just around the corner (March 26, from 8:30-9:30 pm), I thought I’d feature a few more wick-less sources of illumination.
This time around, I’ve also thrown in a few real candles into the mix; all offer direct commentary on the reason we observe Earth Hour in the first place.
For example, Brooklyn-based Design Glut explains the concept behind the Candlestrip Candle Holder: "We wanted to explore a theme we’d touched on our past work: Energy consumption. While our culture is constantly burning through electricity, we don’t think about it much, other than the monthly reminder of our electric bill. We ultimately designed a visual reminder of that concept: 'burning through electricity.'"
That said, not all of the actual candles I’ve featured below appear to be of the soy/beeswax variety (although two definitely are). The fact that candle burning is promoted during Earth Hour is a sticking point given that the burning of multiple paraffin wax candles isn’t exactly the most eco-friendly alternative to leaving your lights on. Paraffin candles, made from crude oil, emit carbon dioxide and as I pointed out in a past advice column, burning them is like inviting a diesel truck into your home to let off some exhaust … the soot from both diesel fuel and paraffin wax contains a noxious mix of carcinogenic petro-carbon nastiness that can mess with your health, blacken the inside of your home, and emit toxic chemicals.
Still, I’m going to go ahead and say that burning one highly symbolic paraffin-based candle during Earth Hour is acceptable, but only if you leave all of your lights off for an extra hour … or two. Earth Evening! And on days when you're not burning candles in the shape of incandescent light bulbs, make sure you're burning soy or beeswax ones — no matter what shape they're in.
Hono Candle by Chiaki Murata @ MoMA Store ($69.95)
Candle Holder Porcelain Chiminea w/ LED tea light @ Kikkerland ($15)
Oxo Candela Glow LED Rechargeable Lights (set of 2) @ Bed Bath & Beyond ($39.99)
Flameless Mini Tapers (3 pack) @ Target ($13.99)
Hozuki LED Candle Lantern @ ThinkGeek ($79.99)
Beeswax Bulb Candle Set by Harry Allen @ Areaware ($24)
Candlestrip Candle Holder by Design Glut @ Branch ($60)
Global Warming Candle by Donkey Products @ Sleek Identity ($15)
Beeswax Eco-Bulb @ Queen B ($24 AUD)