Candles with remotes

Don't get up — here's a candle you can put out from across the room.

Luminara's flameless, remote-controlled candles are either a brilliant invention — effortlessly switched on (so no rifling around for a lighter or matches); long-lasting; impervious to sudden gusts of wind or flame-extinguishing sneezes — or yet another product enabling our sedentary, convenience-obsessed culture to become even more sedentary and convenience obsessed.

"Honey, can you pass me the candle remote? I don't feel like getting out of bed to click it off."

The thing is, whatever remote-controlled candles say about our culture, we've decided not to overanalyze it, because 1) we have our own issues — namely, forgetfulness and occasional klutziness and brief lapses in basic fire safety — that Luminara understands and has accounted for. They're ideal for homes with small kids and pets, too. And, 2) not having to get out of bed or off the couch to put out a candle is, in fact, an appealing prospect.

Made of authentic wax, these candles aren't as cheesy as other battery-powered varieties and feature a fairly realistic-looking flame effect created by a combination of electromagnetics and LED lights. They also come with a built-in self-timer so you can program Luminara candles to come on at a specific hour —say, when you get home from work in the depressing darkness of midwinter.

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Chicago Tribune