Shulchan Aruch Chapter 672:
The Time for Lighting Chanukah Candles (2 Paragraphs)
REMA in Brackets [ ]

1.  One may not light the Chanukah candles before sunset.  Rather, one must light them at the end of sunset {1}.  They should not be lit before this time or after this time.  There are those who state that if one is busy, the candles can be lit from the time of P'lag Ha'mincha ( פלג המנחה) and onwards {2}.  However, to do so one must have enough oil so that it would last until people finish walking from the street. 

2.  If one forgot or purposely neglected to light at the end of sunset, then one may light a lamp that persists until people finish walking from the street which is about half an hour duration.  For that is sufficient time for people to pass by and come back so there is "showing off the miracle" ( פרסומי ניסא). Therefore, one must put enough oil in the lamps to last for this amount of time.  If used more oil, then one may extinguish it after this time passed.  Similarly, one may make use of the light of the Menorah after this time.  [There are those who state that in our times when we light indoors, we do not have to be careful to light before the time when people finish walking from the street.  Never the less, it is better to be stringent even in our time.]   This is only recommended   .  If this time period passed and one did not yet perform the commandment, he may light the Menorah the whole night.  If the entire night passed by and one did not light the Menorah, then there is no way to make it up. 
[ (If one missed a night) in the successive nights he lights the candles like the regular people even though he did not perform the commandment on the previous night.]
{1} M.B.  When the stars come out which is 72 minutes after sunset.
{2} M.B. P'lag Haminchah is one and a quarter daylight hours before when the stars come out.  As stated above, when the stars come out is 72 minutes after sunset. 
To determine the length of a daylight hour, one counts how many hours are in the day from sunrise to when the stars come out then divides the result by twelve (some opinions differ). 
Shulchan Aruch Chapter 673:
Oils and Wicks That Are Valid for Chanukah ( 4 Paragraphs)

1.  All oils and wicks are valid for the Chanukah candles, even if the oils do not flow well into the wicks and even if the fire does not catch nicely with those wicks.  [However, olive oil is the best way to perform the commandment.  If one does not have olive oil then it is still good to use other pure and clean oils.  The custom in these areas is to light with wax candles since their fire is clean like oil.]  Even for the Eve of Shabbat that falls out during the days of Chanukah one is permitted to light for the Chanukah lamps with oils and wicks that are forbidden to use for the Shabbat candles/lamps [if one only puts enough in the lamps for the minimum requirement to fulfill the commandment.].  For it is forbidden to make use of the Chanukah lamps, both on the Shabat and during a weekday.  Even to check if the lamps are crooked or to judge if they give off sufficient light is forbidden.  To use them for holy purposes is also forbidden such as to study Torah by the light.  There are those who permit using the lamps for holy purposes.  Our custom is to light an extra candle in order that if one uses the light it will be from this extra lamp that one lights last.  It should be placed a little bit away from the other candles that are used for the Commandment.  [In our areas we have the custom to only add the "Shamash" (candle) next to them which is what we use to light the other lamps.  This is a better idea.  It should be a little longer from the other candles for if one uses the light, it will be from that candle.  If the left over oil used for the Chanukah lamps becomes mixed with other oil it is forbidden to have benefit from it and use it for a regular lamp during the time of lighting, even if it was one part per thousand.  For the number of candles is what counts.  Rather one lights an extra candle with the mixture and then it is permitted. {1}]

2.  The act of the lighting is the Mitzvah.  Therefore, if the fire went out before the minimum amount of time, you do not need to relight it.  Even if it got extinguished on the eve of Shabbat before the prayer of Kabalat Shabbat while it is still day one need not relight it.  Similarly, if after lighting you attempted to straighten the candle and accidentally extinguished it, you need not relight it {2}.  [If you want to be strict on yourself and relight the candles you do not make a blessing over them.]

3.  If one used a lamp made of pottery to light the Chanukah candles for one night, it becomes "old" and one may not use it again for another night.  If one only has an "old" lamp then one must burn it out every night with fire.  A metal lamp need not be new.  Glass and covered pottery has the same law as metal.

4.  We are not worried about reusing the wicks until they are used up.{3}
{1}  These three sentences are translated the way I think it means based on what the Mishnah Brura says.  The literal translation is unclear.
{2}  The M.B. states that if you lit the fire in a windy area and it went out then one must relight it for it is like someone who lit the lamp without sufficient oil. 
{3}  The M.B. states that unlike in the previous paragraph, reusing wicks for Chanukah lamps is not degrading for the commandment since previously lit wicks light better than new ones.
Translated by Dr. Jay Dinovitser D.O.
Free for Personal Use Only      12/09