Taken from Halachah highlights by Rabbi Goldstein:
Correct time to light the Menorah:
- Ashkenazim best time to light is at Shkia ( sunset) R’ Moshe Feinstein Ztz”L ten minutes after sunset
- Sephardim and Chassdim- Tzeis Hakochavim when three stars are out.
- One may light the Menorah until an hour and a quarter before sunrise, it s preferable to light when people are still out.
One should not eat before lighting the menorah and should interrupt there Torah learning in order to light at the proper time.
- During Chanukah it is better to daven Maariv earlier then later in order to fulfill the mitzvah of lighting candles at the right time.
- If one is unable to light at the proper time it is best to appoint a shaliach from his household to light for him.
How should the menorah be set up?
- In a straight line with the Shamash above all the other lights or noticeably different.
- The candles and or oil should all be the same size.