OU.ORG's Chanukah section is adapted with permission from The Book of Our Heritage by Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov and other sources.
The Laws and Customs of The Lights of ChanukahHow do we light the flames?
On the first night of Chanukah we light the first flame, and each night after, we add an additional light until the eighth night when eight lights are lit. The flames are lit from left to right, with today's flame being lit first. By doing this each night, we remember that it is that additional flame that represents the 'growth' of the miracle.
On the first night, three 'brachot' (blessings) are said before the lights are kindled: (If you have the RealAudio player you can hear an example of the lighting here but cannot fulfill the Mitzvah by so doing). Also available are Chanukah Candle Lighting in Russian, and Chanukah Candle Lighting in Int'l Sign Language.
(Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has given us life, and has sustained us, and has brought us to this time.)
After the first light is kindled, we begin singing the 'hanerot halalu' - (these candles are holy), as the remaining lights are kindled.
When the lighting is concluded, Chanukah hymns are sung, in accord with local custom.
Special issues regarding Shabbat:
1. Chanukah Candles are lit BEFORE lighting Shabbat Candles.
2. Chanukah Candles must last more than a half an hour after sundown, which on Friday becomes an hour and a half. On Friday night then, those using candles should use the large Shabbat candles instead of the little colored ones, those that use oil should make sure there is enough to last more than an hour and a half.
3. On Motzai Shabbat Chanukah Candles are lit at home only AFTER reciting Havdalah!!