See the times for well over a thousand locations worldwide at There are also special calendars that you can buy at your local Jewish bookstore that will list all the candle lighting times for the year. If you don't have such a guide, simply check your local newspaper for the time of sunset and subtract 18 minutes. This however is only the preferred form of candle lighting.
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As soon as they recite the blessing, it is Shabbat for them – and they would no longer be able to light the candles!
They thus light first and only then recite the blessing and accept Shabbat.
According to our Rabbis, Shabbat itself is the generator of light in the world, "And God blessed the Sabbath day. As Eve diminished the light of the world through her sin, women return light to the world through their Shabbat candles.
In Kabbalistic tradition, however, women are viewed as the bearers of life and light to the world, and thus are granted the special to "keep the Sabbath," and to "remember the Sabbath." In Kabbalistic tradition, the two candles reflect the masculine and feminine aspects of God's creation.
If one did not light candles 18 minutes before sunset he can still light candles up to a few minutes before sunset.
Beware however, for your watch may be off, and it is always forbidden to light candles after sunset. There is also a mitzvah to add to the beginning and end of Shabbat.
The time of candle lighting is considered to be a very personal time, appropriate for expressing innermost feelings.
The obligation to light candles is binding on the entire family.
The reason why we light candles a few minutes early is in order to avoid any possibility of starting Shabbat late. By the way, though most communities light Shabbat candles 18 minutes before sunset, local custom may vary.