One should preferably light Chanukah candles immediately when the stars appear in the sky, which is approximately fifteen minutes after sunset during this time of year. Some Ashkenazim, however, customarily light at sunset.
The Earliest Possible Time to Light Chanukah Candles
Chanukah candles should not be lit before this time (with the exclusion of Friday afternoon when the candles must be lit before sunset, as will be explained in one of the following Halachot). Even one who is busy and cannot light at the appropriate time may not light before this time, for many of the Rishonim are of the opinion that one does not fulfill one’s obligation before this time, even if one has no other alternative. However, if one is about to set out on a journey and is worried that he will lose out on the Mitzvah of lighting the candles entirely, one may, in fact, light…
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