When is the best time to light Chanukah candles in America. Meaning, how many minutes after shkiah. I have heard Rabbonim say 25 minutes and others say 50 minutes after shkiah. When is the opportune time?
It is difficult to state a ‘best’ time, because when to light varies according to custom. Many (in particular outside of Israel) light at nightfall, which according to some (depending on the geographical location) is approximately 50 minutes after shkiah. However, according to Iggros Moshe the optimum time to light is some ten minutes after shkiah. Each should follow the custom of his family/community.
Sources: See Iggros Moshe, vol. 4, no. 104, sec. 6 (according to Shulchan Aruch, the correct time for lighting is nightfall, whereas according to the Vilna Gaon, the correct time is shkiah (sunset)).