Old painting of a steam ship underneath a bridge in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Thomas J. Emery, Immigrant and Entrepreneur

In 1840, Thomas J. Emery, an ambitious English immigrant, started Emery Lard Oil and Candle Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. From humble beginnings, he opened a small workshop, hand-dipping tapers, using tallow excess of Cincinnati’s reign as the largest pork producing city in the world.

White pillar candle with a small flame


Light Ushers Invention and Progress

By the 1850’s, Emery establishes US Market dominance – known for high quality candles and strong, sturdy tapers. Emery was the first to incorporate industrial and chemical applications that allowed candles to become an easily affordable commodity for the masses. Unfortunately, he falls to his death at the factory, through an open hatchway, while aiding an employee, in 1857. He is succeeded by his son, Thomas J. Emery, Jr.

Black and white drawing of old factory and housing


Thomas J. Emery, Jr

In 1865, Thomas J. Emery, Jr’s compassion led to developing low-income housing in downtown Cincinnati, saddened by the living conditions of the working-class poor. Linked to these efforts, he became an outspoken leader on labor reform efforts.

Portrait painting of Dr. Ernest Twitchell


Dr. Ernest Twitchell – Chemical Industrial Awards

Dr. Ernest Twitchell, a chemist, inventor, and philanthropist, joined Emery in 1886 and his long tenure resulted in the “Twitchell process” which elevated candle safety and excellence, earning him the prestigious Perkins Award in 1917.

Black and white portrait of Mary Emery


“Lady Bountiful”

By the 1900’s, Mary Emery (wife of Thomas J. Emery) donated all her time and entire fortune to the worthiest causes in what she called her “vast responsibility”. Known as “Lady Bountiful”, she funded orphanages, colleges, hospitals, and schools until her death in 1927. As her final act of philanthropy, Emery created a $29 million charitable trust to Cincinnati. Her generosity continues to leave a lasting imprint.

Aerial image of the Candle-Lite factory in Leesburg, Ohio.


Big Move

As candles shifted away as being a source of light, the Emery family sold the candle segment of Emery Lard Oil and Candles in 1952. With a new name, Candle-lite Company moved manufacturing to the little town of Leesburg, Ohio. Driven by innovation, Candle-lite Company explored adding fragrance to candles to accent the décor feel. By the 1980’s, the fragranced candle becomes popular in the American household.

Worker inserting wicks in hot jar candles


Lighting and Fragrancing American Homes

Candle-lite Company continues as a designer, manufacturer and wholesaler of candles and home fragrance products for the mass merchant, food and drug retail outlets in the United States. From its almost one million-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility in Ohio, Candle-lite offers consumers a wide selection of high quality products under its Candle-lite Company, Essential Elements, and CLCo brands and also under Walmart Brands Better Homes & Gardens and Mainstays.

Lit jar candle on desk with books and colored pencils.


Lighting the Way

In May 2016, Candle-lite Company merged with PartyLite, a direct to consumer sales brand, forming Luminex Home Décor & Fragrance, illuminating the market with new candle collections, fragrances and accessories.

Inside of new 92,000 square foot factory in Leesburg, Ohio.


Candle-lite Invests in Expansion

Following the merger of Candle-lite and PartyLite under Luminex Home Décor & Fragrance, Luminex invests $12 million in the Leesburg manufacturing facility to combine operations. During this process, the Leesburg facility added 92,000 square feet to the plant's 1 million square foot floor space.

Celebrating 180 years of Candle-Lite


Candle-lite Celebrates 180 Years

Humble Beginnings, Noble Values: Guided by dreams, discovery and “doing good,” Candle-lite Company continues to take pride in the Quality, Value and Service benchmarks that Thomas J. Emery and family founded the company on, more than 180 years ago. “The Emery family showed us that true wealth lies in kindness, compassion, and generosity.”

Our values

We always use the best quality ingredients and strive to continuously improve our products to always meet our high, high standards. No parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or animal testing, ever!

Phthalate, sulfate, & paraben free Phthalate, sulfate, & paraben free
100% Natural Wick 100% NATURAL WICK
Reducing our Carbon Footprint REDUCING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT