The LuDela Smart Candle is a real candle with a real flame -- none of that cheap-looking LED candle stuff -- but you can light it with an app. You read that right: You can now literally light a flame with an app.
The app connectivity isn't just a gimmick, though. It also features extra safety features to prevent house fires or injury to young children, as well as scheduling features. According to LuDela's CEO, voice integration is even planned for the near future.
All these features come at a price. For $100, you get the base device, including a colored wax shell and a beeswax-and-soy 30-hour candle. Each additional shell you get (for seasonal decor, for instance) costs $20, and each additional candle is $8 (or $6, if you subscribe to LuDela's service).
The mechanics behind LuDela are simple, but creative. Essentially, the device comes in three layers: The outermost layer is a purely aesthetic shell; the second layer is the silicon device itself; and the third layer is the candle, which sits in a spring-loaded cradle to keep the wick at the top even as the wax burns away. The result is a pillar candle that's only a few inches in diameter. Only when you look closely near the wick do you notice the differences between LuDela and a standard candle.
LuDela lights the flame by channeling heat between four electrical nodes that surround the wick. It extinguishes the flame with a small fan nestled right beside the wick. Other than these two mechanisms, the device consists of various sensors for safety purposes. If the candle tilts to the side, for example, it will automatically extinguish the flame. If anything passes over the top of the flame within a few feet, the flame will go out. Essentially, it seems like the LuDela's Smart Candle will attempt to diminish the dangers of regular candles.
I'm not thrilled about LuDela's price; $100 for app control and extra safety features seems a bit pricey -- especially when standard pillar candles or smart LED candles will only set you back between $10 and $40. That said, as someone who hates hunting around for a lighter or matches, I like the idea of lighting a candle with my phone.
LuDela is available for preorder beginning today, and the company plans to ship out units by the end of 2016.
Editor's note: The original article stated the device is made using silicone, when in fact it is made of silicon. The text has been changed accordingly.