What is the preferable time to light the Chanukah Menorah: after dark or before?
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Regarding the best time for lighting - Seder HaYom, Sidur H'Shla, Gra Orach Chaim 261 - says one should light immediately at Shekiya. Igros Moshe 4:101 says 10 minutes after Shekiya. Yalkut Yosef Chanuka says 15 minutes after Shekiya. Eretz Tzvi 121 says 18 minutes after Shekiya. Chazon Ish, Bais Yisarel m'Gur, and Lubavitcher Rabbi lit 20 Minutes after Shekiya. Rabbi Aaron Kotler Zatzal says 25 minutes after Shekiya. Tur Shulchan Aruch 672:1, Bach, Magen Avraham, Chayai Adam 154:18, Ben Ish Chai Vayeshev 7, Aruch Hashulchan all say that you should light after Tzais Hakochavim. source: Nitei Gavriel - Chanuka 3 1-2
It is well know that there is a disagreement whether one should light Channuka candles at sunset or at tzet hakochavim. However, the basis for this disagreement is less known, and this I will try to clarify.