Click here to download shabbat times as a spreadsheet
We usher in the peace and sanctity of Shabbat by lighting candles every Friday evening and on the eve of Jewish holidays. The candles bring peace into our homes, and add light and warmth to a world that sometimes feels dark and cold.
When to Light the Shabbat Candles
The candles are lit eighteen minutes before sunset. Some communities, such as those in Jerusalem, have the custom of lighting the candles and bringing in the Shabbat earlier. In that case, light the candles as per your community custom.
The earliest one may light the Shabbat candles is plag haminchah on Friday afternoon. Plag haminchah, one and a quarter daylight hours before the end of the day. See our Zmanim page for when that is in your location.
The latest you may light the candles is just before sunset; after sunset, Shabbat has begun even if you have not lit the candles, and handling or lighting a flame is a desecration of the Shabbat and forbidden.
On holidays, you can light later as well, provided that you use a pre-existing flame. When a holiday follows Shabbat or a holiday (eg. the second day of a two-day holiday), the candles must be lit after nightfall.
Shabbat candles must be lit before sunset. It’s a desecration of the Shabbat to light candles after sunset.
Shabbat candle lighting times listed are 18 minutes before sunset, however please allow yourself enough time to perform this time-bound mitzvah at the designated time; do not wait until the last minute.