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There are two main types of electric candles. Actual electric candles or candelabras are United Laboratories (UL) tested, plug into an electrical outlet, and resemble a candle with the bulb representing the flame. The second type are not actually candles, but rather electric warmers that house real wax candles.
Actual electric candles are very popular, especially during the holidays, when they can be seen illuminating many windows in homes and shops. Some are powered by electricity, and others are battery powered. The most popular have built-in sensors that turn the light on in the dark and off during the day, saving power. Some use standard night-light bulbs, and others use specialty bulbs that resemble the flickering of flame from a distance.
Though traditional electric candles have been used for years, miniature versions have more recently appeared in Holiday decor retail. Some people traditionally place candles on their tree at Christmas, but the practice has been the cause of numerous house fires. Many stores now carry small strands that can be used to create the look of candles on a Christmas tree without the hazard of open flame.
Candle warmers are not actually electric candles, but many people use this name for them. They are simply decorative containers for wax tarts or candles, powered by electricity to melt the wax and release the aroma of scented candles. As with an actual electric candle, these warmers are safer alternatives to traditional flame-bearing candles.
Though electric candles are safer, they are not without risks. People who use them should always check the packaging for UL testing before buying them or any other electric device. They should also periodically check the wires for damage and throw out any with questionable cords. For safety reasons, electric candels should be kept away from small children, because the bulbs can easily break. Candle warmers can also cause injury if they are tipped over and the melted wax gets on the skin.