Hacked Gadgets Forum

February 2, 2007

How is the fake candle power trick done?

at 4:18 am. Filed under Funny Hacks

Ok, I am not going to insult anyones intelligence here and claim that this video could be true. I am curious how it is done though. My theory is that during one of the early cut scenes the nails that are inserted into the candles are connected to power from under the table. Or longer nails are inserted and there are hooked up to power from the back of the candle and simply draped over the back edge of the table (not visible by the camera). The power is then controlled by a switch that is located under the table.

It seems that his hands go under the table whenever power is applied or removed. I guess it could also be controlled by someone who is off camera. I was thinking that the jumper cables were simply connected to power from the right and left where the camera can’t see but the jumper cables are placed on the table at the end and are still providing power…

The embedded video has been updated since it looks like the old one does not work anymore.

Video after the jump.

Via: TechEBlog


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96 Responses to “How is the fake candle power trick done?”

  1. JRHowosso Says:

    Hey Carl you are so so wrong about the nails…….

  2. Richard Says:

    If you observe the experiment closely,
    there are tiny bubbles forming in the wax
    It’s good example of cold fusion.

  3. Walter Says:

    You idiots…….it’s the flux capacitor that makes it work!

  4. Astrall Man Says:

    Shhhhh! Don’t give away our flux capacitor secret :(
    Keep saying its from the Large Hadron Collider after effects.

  5. oscar Says:

    It’s obviously a hoax, my question is, where is the pay off for this guy? I could understand it if he was marketing science kits, or candles and nails, but he’s not. I don’t see an economic model here, how is he rewarded for his efforts?
    One possibility might be to win the admiration of his friends, or members of a close knit club or society of cyber-geeks, with whom he has engaged in a competition to see who could get the most buzz going about his or her personally concocted hoax. Perhaps the winning hoax could be chosen by garnering the greatest number of comments on this page, or on the pages of similar sites. If this was the reason for his behaviour it might be understandable, if not, perhaps he should seek the care of a professional.

  6. Mike Says:


  7. John Says:

    Chris #22,back on February 06, 2007 says it best:

    “Isn’t is obvious? After he puts the alligator clips on the nails, the middle of the wires are hanging off the table. They are hooked to a power source and theres a little switch under the table.”

    Go back and watch the wires going to the motor. When he lights the candles, the wire from the motor to the end of the table on both sides move. The wire from the nails to the table do not move.

  8. John Says:

    I just re-reviewed the video. Actually the wire does move everywhere when the motor starts. The wire going off the table does go directly from nail to the motor. So, it would have to be faked at the candle.

  9. t Says:


  10. Six Says:

    Why does he bother to change hands when he’s lighting the candles? To distract you from looking at his hand going under the table. Same thing when he blows the candles out. Watch his hands.

  11. Tim Says:

    The guy is right the light is on before the candle is lit.
    so lets rule out the obvious. (that this is real).

    Nice magic trick however is is still not cracked fully.
    were close but yet to be explained blow by blow.

    I see this strange all bulb is a flashlight bulb. 3 vdc. =’s,
    2 X 1.5 standard A type batteries. D or C sizes.
    Perhaps embedded in the candles. or look at the table too. the strips of wood is a ‘different color’ why? ytbd? perhaps it is a special prop? to pass electric up thew the table to the bottom of the candle? the nails complete the circuit from the center of the candle.

    the magnets are a distraction and the fire. have nothing to do with the bulb and motor.

    However any nut who goes out and does this and thinks it is real as stated in early blog, the Dept of Energy needs to see this and soon!

  12. TDub Says:

    I love how people can watch this and think it’s real, but then watch a video of a bottle of water crystallize into ice (more of a slush, really) and insist that it’s fake. They cry “SODIUM ACETATE!” like it’s easier to accept than water turning into ice. I’m just so glad to see there are so many other people out there whose first impression was the same as mine: coulda done it better with a foot switch.

  13. Loren Moseley Says:

    I agree with those who have discovered this silly fraud. Sixty years ago, I was an electronics instructor in the US Air Force teaching 18 year-olds to maintain and repair radar sets designed to land airplanes in a fog. We had some strange circuits, but, nothing like this! Another commentator is correct – there is no complete circuit and no inductive elements that could induce electron flow in the leads. Where are our PhD physicists when this sort of scam is exposed to the gullible public?

    However, small iron or steel objects can be magnetized by plroximity to a strong magnetic field. Magnetizer/demagnetizers are sold in hardware stores and copper wire loops substituted for soldering gun tips can also do the trick and this is not trick. I sharpen wood carving chisels for others and can always tell when I get tools that are stored on magnet tool racks. The iron cuttings cling to the tool and are difficult to remove for further honing, etc..

    For what it’s worth,

    An old-timer

  14. Joe Says:

    Where are the mythbusters when you need them. I have seen a coil pull electricity from the air before. but its location was near high power lines. I have nothing to add here, but remember keep an open mind. we are entering a new world where we are being led to believe powering cars with water is feasible.

  15. Darren Gregg Says:

    Slight of hand/// The bottom of the candles are never shown in the video I believe there to be a plate with leads attached within each candle the nails are pushed in to make contact with this hidden plate attached to this plate are 2 leads The bottom of the candles are bored out which is why they are never shown When the candles after the nails are inserted are first placed on the TV tray note the location of the wood grain on the table When you are diverted to the lone candle it is located in a different spot more towards the front of the dark grain after this shot(Stop camera) The table is then drilled a positive lead to one candle and a negative lead to the other candle are then passed through the table to a battery pack below the table Then watch the hands disappear to switch the battery pack mounted below. Nice work I must say but being interested in magic and having a solid understanding of electricity this trick would be better displayed on a glass table with the illusion that it is glass and transparent This can be easily accomplished magicians use this illusion when producing live tigers and such also if the wood grain on the table was held consistent with the placement of the initial set of the candles and a rheostat used like a sewing machine pedal where the light brightness and the speed of the motor would have increased with the flame of the candle and the hands were placed on the table at all times it may have even fooled me Nice try but needs more thought. PS to polarize a nail to become magnetic or retain a residual magnetism you would need to make several strokes with a stronger magnet all in the same direction. For current to be produced you would as well need 2 candles of different material as to create a difference in potential these candles are identical which makes this stunt physics impossible. Opposing flames closing a circuit physics impossible You can heat metal which can produce a very small amount of current (thermocouple)but current passing through 2 flames C’mon a rope wick and wax at best can be an insulator not a conductor…………………. Signed No Mystery Here

  16. Janardhan Says:

    My Guess:
    wood painted metallic plate on the table below candles
    small metallic plate under the candles (round bottom of the candle)
    wire connecting the metallic plates on the table via a switch under the table
    with this mechanism, he can easily glow a light by operating the switch.
    Before the 2nd candle is lighted, itself, the bulb glows, the timing of his manual operation of the switch and lighting the candle are not 100% perfectly timed.

  17. WA2DTA Says:

    Anyone who knows the laws of nature, also regonizes this as an
    illusion. Exactly how it is done is anyone’s guess. Suffice to say
    there can be many ways to produce such a spoof. Keep in mind however,
    that in order for current to flow, there must be a compleat circuit.
    This law appears to be violated.Using very fine wire that would be
    invisible to the camera would seem to be a simple way to do this
    Many ways to skin this Kitty. Remember KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)

  18. Tag Says:

    Simple. Inductive coils are inside the candles, the nails stick into the wax and make contact with the top of the coils. he simply has another set of coils on the bottom of the table, connected to a battery. Flips a switch and viola. Same way the old ‘teledyne waterpik’ used to charge.

  19. PRDP Says:

    It’s obvious there is a connection made to the underside of the candles, via a hole in through table during the cut in in the video. You will notice that when he connects the red lead to the candle on the right, he knocks the candle, which doesn’t slide on the table surface but actually rotates 3 -5 degrees on the spot. This means that the candles is pivoting on something which no doubt is an electrical connection. Power would be switched on/off via a hidden switch under the table. Why doesn’t he like both candles in the one motion? After he lights the first candle he always swaps hands and reignites the other candle. During which time his free hand operates the on/off switch. Watch the video carefully

  20. ET Says:

    There is a long cut when he rubs the magnet, during the cut he runs longer nails thru the candles, and drills table and run wires under the table. After the cut you can see that the nail in the right candle is shorter and the wick has moved.

  21. Colinar Says:

    I tried it with a FLUX CAPACITOR – Haven’t seen the damn thing since…

  22. JCJ Says:

    prior to mine, are 71 comments suggesting that it doesn’t work for the most part and some claim it “might” work. Without any comedy has anyone really tried it? I just recieved the email last night and I agree with most comments. No complete circuit, hidden pieces etc. video timing, wax, very light heat, the list goes on
    Maybe if all of us tried the experiment we could put this production to rest. I might try this on the weekend with the grandkids. Only to prove believe half of what you hear and very little of what you see. The internet has its way with people. Hey if it works, I’ll be the first to opolgize

  23. TomK Says:

    I’m going with simple trickery.

    I noticed, too, that every time the power comes on or off, one of his hands is below the table. (When the instant the motor comes on, I think I see his under-the-table wrist jerk a little, but the image is blurry and I’m not sure.) And as others mentioned, the bulb comes on full brightness an instant before the wick really catches.


    Make two candles at home. In the bottom middle of both put a wad of aluminum foil. It can’t be seen from the side because it’s embedded in the wax – but make sure it’s exposed on the bottom.

    Take a cheap table, and drill holes from the bottom up, almost all the way through. Push a needle through the last bit of wood, so that a millimeter or two protrude above. It’s too tiny to be seen on a grainy video image (and who would be looking at the blank wood anyway?).

    Wire the needles to your real battery and power switch under the table.

    When you place the candles down, the needle connects with the aluminum foil.

    When you press the nails in the sides, they also connect with the aluminum foil.

    The magnets are bunk. Ignore them.

    And when you make your video…be sure to never show the bottom of the candles.

    My theory, anyway.

    – Tom

  24. SuperGoober Says:

    I was hoping this was for “real”…
    Thought it would be a GREAT concept for a new GeoCache 😉

    I think I’ll just do something similar (that works).

  25. Adam Says:

    What if the candles were just cast with small, fresh lemons inside?

  26. DL Says:

    First thing that caught my eye was the enormous fuss he makes over putting the nails into the wax. Second thing was that he strikes the butane lighter to light the candle, puts it out, and restrikes it to light the second candle.

    Significant, or illusionists distractions?

    It’s fun to try and figure out how he did this. Those swearing at him are taking it way too seriously.

  27. oleg K Says:

    on the other video where he generates AC power, I’m surprised how the candles conveniently provide standard 120VAC grid power. I would like to see him touch both nails at the same time while the candles are producing that much power!!! Also the fact that voltage goes up and down so suddenly tells me that it’s all a face, if this really worked I would expect to see a gradual rise and fall of power and also expect to see fluctuation with the size of the flame.

  28. wtf is oleg K Says:

    i love how he has to switch hands to light the other candle. like if you gonna try n fake ppl out u might want to put a little effort into it and why why deeduicate people by making them think that this works my little brother came to the dinner table with this one to tell the family just to get told what an idiot he is. and then i get to see his proof and idiot that cant light a two candles with that same hand the only thing amazing about this video is how dumb people are.. heat energy lmao

  29. PIERCE C. TUDOR Says:


  30. Doug Says:

    The most amazing thing about this video is how many people are moaning and whining about it. Harmless fun, know what that is? ah sorry, pigs will fly and two candles WILL be able to power the western hemisphere before you give this guy an ounce of credit for making this clip.

    Anyways, nice one. Not perfect in execution but who cares. Keep playing outside the box 😉

  31. john Says:

    .it’s the flux capacitor that makes it work!

  32. snowdora Says:

    worse trick ########

  33. Greg K Says:

    THE most significant part of the video are the discolorations of the wood grain on the table. After putting the nailed candles down, they end up with their ends against the back of the dark part, but after rubbing them gently with a magnet, they now appear to have centers over the grain transition. This is a FOLDING table, one of those corner tables where you can fold one or both ends to go flat to a wall. the crack isn’t noticeable in low res and when the table is folded, but after he zooms out for the final phase, the crack is enough to run a tiny wire through it to connect candles to a battery. Unless he’s dumb – foot-pedal is the easiest way to activate the circuit, so everything else: changing of the hands, magnet rubbing, arm vein shifts – distractions or unintentional meaningless features. One thing IS important. He says not to pierce the candle with the nail through, and then shows the back. This is done so that the viewer will never suspect that there’s a wire connected to the back of the nail.

  34. Dmitri Says:

    its so fake i tried it it does not work it sucks

  35. idiots Says:

    you are all idiots. do this practically before saying its fake. i did it it worked perfectly!

  36. DAVE AARON Says:

    Questions abound so here we go. Since I am not electronic engineer, I can only write what I know from past information I have gathered. My hobby is also slight of hand magic. So I will try and put all this together, as well as send this video to people who have more intelligence in electro-magnetic electricity that I do. But first lets look at some basic simple logic.
    1. The person that made the video, why would he not explain what he was doing and why it produced electricity? Rather than just putting writing on the screen of what he was doing. I see what he is doing, where is the explanation as to why it works?
    2. The lit candles are most likely what we refer to in slight of hand magic, as miss direction, so while we are looking at the person light the candles, he might be doing something else.
    3. The camera, I would have like to see this with two video cameras, one a long shot of the entire room, as well as a close up of the operating candles producing electricity.
    4. Lighting the wick of a candle burns, not the wick as you know, it burns the wax on the wick, no amount of fire on the top of the wicks would have anything to do with making electricity, as the bottom of the wick does nothing. [keep an eye on the demonstrators right hand-screen left]
    5. Now you can make a battery out of a lemon and a piece of copper, the acid from the lemon, reacts with the copper plate producing electros, and it can light up a very small “Grain of wheat bulbs” used in HO model railroading” {Could the Candles been fake? , When he put the nails inside the candles he actually punctured lemon juice? Which were in a small tank, inside what looks like candles, possible The nails could have been painted black, but were actually made of copper, this would work] The rubbing of the magnets on the nails again could be “MIS DIRECTION” as copper is not magnetic as far as I remember.
    6. To make something magnetic a short rub with the magnetic against the nails just is not going to cut
    it. [Again it looks like mis direction to me.]
    7. Another possibility is that a battery is stored inside each candle, say for example the candle on screen left has a 9vt battery inside it, and the nail hits the positive end of the battery, the candle on screen right also has a 9vt battery in it, the nail now hits the negative side of the battery, this would make a full circuit, when the alligator clips are attached to the nails presto, the circuit is completed and the light bulb lights, and the small motor turns.
    8. Why does the motor or light turn off then he blows out the candles, this I cannot answer? unless he is blowing on some kinds of switch that detects the moisture from his breath or the wind from his breath.
    Phil do you want me to give out your email address so others can Email you direct? I would not do this without your okay. This Email went to you only. UPDATE NOW ON June 26, 2010 it went world-wide.
    Okay for the rest of you that I sent this to, Do you engineers or UFO researchers have any idea why this video is doing what it shows? Thanks {I will send this entire email once I get your OKAY Phil}

  37. DAVE AARON Says:

    OPPS SORRY, LETTER #85 WAS updated June 26, 2012. Dave Aaron

  38. DAVE AARON Says:


  39. Tathagata Light Says:

    Itz completely fake. Wasted my time n money. That guy iz insane.

  40. Arul mozhi Says:

    i hope this……..this is real……and it is very useful for me in science project ..

  41. Policori Says:

    These replies are so funny. Everyone is trashing the poor bloke for dumbfounding them but have yet to solve the puzzle and reproduce the ruse. To those who are accomplished physicists, you will certainly recognize this phenomenon as the Vandermervin reverse polarization effect. It is well-documented in various annals devoted to toromierdo as applied to physical chemistry.

  42. Vishal Says:

    Instead of giving stupid comments, may be ha van explain how it actually works. {The Principle}

  43. Adam Says:

    OK let’s put this one to rest. To Mr “Policori”… I don’t know where you get your sources from but interestingly this name does not appear on any scholarly listings. Since I have a background in Physics and have acquired subsequent degrees related to this field one is likely to assess that you have either had misleading information or that you are deliberately trying to mislead others. Excuse me, but where are these supposed “well-documented in various annals devoted to toromierdo (should have a capital letter by the way)”? If you truly want to convince the enlightened then you must be enlightened yourself. The onus is on YOU to provide this so-called “evidence” otherwise your conclusions are profoundly false.

    As for the video evidence itself. One continuous footage might have made the illusion more authentic however you will notice that there is a distinct video edit when he rubs the magnet onto the nail. Christian on February 8th 2007 noted in point 4 that the nail on the right candle is further in. This occurs immediately after the video edit (between 1:16 – 1:25 on the video footage). This is a very clever trick using the same principles of sleight of hand. Distract the observer, perform the alteration, return to the main focus. This man also uses sleight of hand with the changing of hands during the lighting of each candle (as Dave Aaron on June 26th 2012 alludes to in point 2). Many people have observed that one hand is under the table each time he lights the “second candle” and this is also true of when he subsequently blows the “first candle” out.
    Finally, the ultimate proof comes at EXACTLY 2 minutes and 25 seconds. Anyone who has done basic electricity 101 will know that electricity needs a ‘circuit’ in order for the electrons to ‘move’. If that circuit is broken the flow ceases. At this precise moment in the video footage the globe is lit but the flame goes out and he hastily attempts to re-light the second candle. This only happens for a slit second but since electricity moves much faster than that, one can safely assume that the power is NOT provided by the candles but by another source. This man should have re-taken his own footage to eliminate this basic error. Given this everyone should know that this video is FALSE. I should hope that no-one attempts to replicate this experiment given that facts provided by so many people and in light of the false and misleading accounts from people such as Policori.

  44. devi Says:

    candles have electricity when burns but it is only in little amount while copper nail is used ,amount of electricity can generate in big amount

  45. soulwarrior Says:

    this is the worst trick I have ever seen. At first sight it seemed to be real but turned out to be fake.My friends wasted all of their money on buying the materials but nothing worked.

  46. soulwarrior Says:

    these people should see their faces. ‘idiots’

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