How Long Do Tea Candles Burn? (Surprising Results!)

  • By: homeshacks
  • Date: March 23, 2023
  • Time to read: 3 min.
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Nothing creates ambiance quite like a burning candle. A tall pillar or a small votive can set a mood quickly and inexpensively.

Part of keeping that feel is knowing the usual burn time for a candle because nothing can also kill the ambiance like a candle that burns out quickly.

Tea candles are a popular — and inexpensive — way to light up your night a bit.

But how long do tea candles burn and what are some of the best tea candle options for you? Let us light the way.

What is a Tea Candle?

First, a little bit of candle knowledge needs to be thrown your way. Tea candles, also known as tea lights, are among the smallest candle options available but are typically wider than their height.

They are usually placed inside a plastic or a thin metal container.

They can do everything from stand-alone as room accents and heat scented oil to keep food warm, for example, as part of a fondue set.

They get their name from how the candles are used as teapot warmers. 

Tea candles come in a wide variety of shapes, scents, and sizes, but they are commonly around 1 to 2 inches wide and a little over a ½-inch high.

Burn Times of Tea Candles

Since tea candles are very smaller — smaller than even votives — they won’t have as long of a burn time as other more standard-size candles.

However, they can have a longer burn time than you may expect — anywhere upwards of 2 hours, with a light output of about 32 watts.

That’s pretty strong and long-lasting for a little guy. Votives generally do a little bit better on average, lasting upwards of 4 hours or so.

Buyer beware: Many tea candle companies advertise a burn time of between 4 to 6 hours, but 2 hours has repeatedly been found to be more accurate. Many tea candle fans have tested burn times and posted the info as part of online reviews.

For example, generic tea lights from big-box merchandisers have been recorded as burning a little under 2 hours, while there are some tea candles marketed as “extended burn” that can go longer, but that’s because they’re more votive-size.

Factors That Impact Burn Times

Why does a tea candle only burn for about 2 hours?

Longer wicks mean longer burn times and straight wicks burn longer and more easily than those that are uneven. Also the length of the wick matters.

According to most candle experts, a candle burns best when the week is no taller than ¼-inch long.

What can help a tea candle burn better and maybe a little longer?

Cold inhibits the melting and burning of a candle, so try keeping your tea candles in the refrigerator or freezer before lighting them up. It may slow down the overall burn time.

Final Thought

Tea candles are great ways to create a nice atmosphere in a home or business, but the light only lasts so long because of the candle’s size and length of the wick.

But if you only require a few hours of ambiance, tea candles are a good way to go.

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