Each month, while curating our box we ALWAYS try to include diverse items into our box, not just in fragrance or even wax type but in size AND in the type of candle (i.e. votive, glass jar, tin, etc.) Often, we include a number of tea lights. We recently heard from a long-time subscriber that while she loves the tea lights, she has managed to accumulate quite a collection because she never burns them...and this is completely understandable. We can freely admit that at first glance, these little candles don't seem like they would do a whole lot. So we wanted to put together a little Tea Light 101 to help introduce the idea of using tea lights into your home :)
WHAT IS A TEA LIGHT?
A tealight (also tea-light, tea lites or tea light, t-lite or tcandles) is a candle encased in a thin metal or plastic cup so that the candle can liquefy completely while lit.
-They are typically small, circular, wider than their height and inexpensive. Because of their small size and low level of light, multiple tea lights are often burned simultaneously.
-A tea light usually burns for 3 to 5 hours
Because of their small size, tea lights require different conditions to burn properly and safely. Doing so will ensure that you don't need to worry about accidents so that you can enjoy the beauty of their light in any room of your home.
-Large candle holders can hold tea light candles, but the best option for holding tea light candles are holders made specifically for small candles. Appropriately sized candle holders will keep the tea lights from moving around while burning and, as a result, will provide a safe burning environment.
-Keep the wick trimmed. Even though a tea light candle is smaller than a normal candle, it still can burn for a long time, and as it burns, the wick will become long. A long wick leads to a larger flame, which is more hazardous than a small flame, and a large flame burns the candle faster. Maintain a short wick length by trimming the wick with a pair of scissors every couple of hours. The wick should never be more than a half-inch long.
-Keep the tea light candles away from flammable objects. The best way to maintain a safe burning environment for tea light candles is to keep the candle away from any flammable objects. Do not place the candle near curtains or other fabrics, and never place the candle beneath anything that can catch on fire.
-Avoid placing a tea light candle on top of a plastic surface, even if it is in a holder, because the heat can cause a fire. Keep the candle in an open space and you will enjoy many hours from the tea light candles and will keep your home safe.
-KEEP AWAY FROM the reach of children and pets that may be attracted to candles. We've known lots of little kitties who are immediately attracted to flames. Tea lights can easily be tipped over or even scooted off counters by curious pets and children.
WAYS TO BURN YOUR TEA LIGHTS
-Carve the insides of apples, pumpkins or gourds and pop in a tealight. Perfect for almost any occasion!
- Tip any stemmed wine glass upside. Place simple decor under the belly of the glass such as flowers or other trinkets and then set a tealight on the top of the stem. Very easy and inexpensive!
-Hollow out soft wood trees in the shape of a tea light and simply place the tea light inside. Very stunning and beautifully organic.
-It may seem like not enough, but simply place the tealights in their original containers around an open space. The natural light will provide a beautiful amount of ambiance!
INEXPENSIVE TEA LIGHT HOLDERS
If you're not feeling crafty or you'd rather go for a more traditional look, here are a few inexpensive tea light holder options we found doing an easy online search.
Ashland® Tea Light Diamond Cut Candle Holder, $4.99 - Michaels
IN DEFENSE OF TEA LIGHTS
When opening your Flicker Box each month, you'll always see a diverse amount of candles and we're sure the tea lights get buried to the bottom of the candle drawer for some other larger or prettier candle. And who can blame you...they are just these small little candles that won't last that long or won't smell very strong or just has no way to be burned in your home!
But remember: each one of these little guys burns for 3-5 hours! So if you're getting 5 in your box, that's 25 hours of burning time!
Trust us - burn those tea lights! Sure, in a expansive room with 12 foots ceilings these little guys won't make your whole room smell, but try them in a smaller bathroom, office or bedroom. Try placing these on the dinner table when you have some house guests over - they won't overpower your food but will surely impress your guest(s)!
Get a little creative and put your tea lights on a china saucer; line them up along your patio railing or simple place inside a mason jar. And next time you're out shopping at a craft store, a home store or even just Target, head to their candle section; do yourself a favor and pick up 1 or 2 little tea lights holders :)