Get This: Nanao candles, or a Sun jar?

Published in the Stuff magazine Hot 100 issue, or you can read it online here.


Ready to light up a hand-rolled, all-natural substance? No, not that kind – so take down the black-light poster and step away from that vintage copy of The Dark Side of the Moon. Instead, try these Nanao candles ($35) to create some much-needed Zen vibes (without inducing a case of the munchies). Crafted by the same family for more than a century, these traditional Japanese candles have wicks of hand-rolled paper and papyrus reed, and their wax is made from the seeds of the lacquer tree. Their striking sculptural forms have hollow centers, which make for big flickering flames that are perfect for lighting up summer nights. So score a set at Lekker (1317 Washington Street, Boston, 617.542.6464) and blaze away – and don’t be surprised if you wind up saying sayonara to Western wax.


But perhaps you prefer lighting that’s a little less 19th century, a tad more 21st? (Or maybe you just don’t trust your crew around an open flame?) For a modern take on a natural glow, look no further than the Sun Jar ($40), designed by the late Tobias Wong. Available at Joie de Vivre (1792 Mass Ave, Cambridge, 617.864.8188), this lamp contains solar-powered LEDs that will light up the night for up to five hours at a time. Just leave the frosted Mason jar in a sunny spot to soak up some rays, and then use its warm glow wherever you’d like a small dose of sunshine – a hidden sensor tells the lamp to glow when it’s in a dark space. It’s watertight, too, so you can leave it on the patio all season long. Talk about a bright idea.

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