Hilchos Chanukah: Oil or Candles? December 13, 2012  1:17 am

olive-oil-menorahB’dieved one may light all night until Alos Hashachar (according to some, even less than a half hour before). However, if no one is awake, he should wake up 2 or 3 members of his household for Pirsumei Nisa. If one is unable to wake them, he is nevertheless permitted to light with a bracha. (Shulchan Aruch w/Mishna Brurah 672:2, see Sha’ar Hatziyon 17, Igros Moshe 4:105:7)

It is a Hiddur Mitzvah to use olive oil because the nes happened with olive oil. Alternatively, many people use wax candles because they also provide a clear light like olive oil. According to R’ Shmuel Wosner it is permitted L’chatchila to use the prepared gelled olive oil cups, and one is still mikayem the mitzvah with the Hiddur of olive oil. (Make sure it comes with a hechsher to insure that it is 100% pure olive oil.) (Shulchan Aruch with Mishna Brurah 673:1, Kovetz Beis Aharon gilyon 62:page 65)

It is a Hiddur Mitzvah to first place the wick in the cup and then add the oil because that is the way the avodah was done in the Beis Hamikdash. (Sefer Mishnas Yaakov , Meseches Yoma 24b, Sefer M’kor Chaim 263)

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