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How Long Does a Tealight Candle Burn For?

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A tealight is a small, circular candle made in a thin metal or plastic holder.

Answer: Most tealight candles burn for around three hours, with higher quality candles burning for a maximum of six hours. On average, tealight candles are 1” tall, and 1.5” in diameter.

Votive candles burn at a similar rate. However, because the average votive is 2” tall and 1.5” in diameter, they contain more wax than a standard tealight, so have a longer burn time, with some lasting up to 10 hours.

a burning tealight

Choosing the tealight that burns for the longest amount of time will be important when using them for events that last more than two to three hours. Most tealight candles will burn themselves out after a few hours, making them ideal to use in these kinds of events, such as weddings or ceremonies.

The type of wax also contributes to the burning time of tea light candles: soy, paraffin and beeswax burn times vary. Beeswax candles are the longest burning. Generally, soy wax candles have a 50% longer burn time than paraffin due to the lower melting point, which prevents the soy candle burning as quickly as a paraffin candle. A soy candle also burns with a clear flame. Mixing more than one wax together can further increase the burn time: candles made with soy wax mixed with beeswax will burn for longer, and candles consisting of soy wax mixed with paraffin wax will burn more quickly.

Placing several tealight candles within close proximity to each other will cause them to burn faster. If you are floating the candle in water, the wax closest to the water will not burn efficiently because it will be cooled by the water: this will cause the wick to burn faster. Using a taller burner will reduce the rate at which your candle burns, as the tealight will be further away from the bowl.

If your candle or has a long wick, or if the wick is bent, it will burn more quickly than those with shorter wicks. Candles tend to burn best with wicks with a length of ¼” or shorter. When the wick is vertical, and there is still solid wax left in the holder, the area of melting surrounding the flame is very small. When the wick bends or falls, the heat will spread more quickly across the candle, making it burn more quickly, and decreasing the time that the tealight will burn for.

As mentioned in the ‘How to Stop a Candle from Flickering’ article, it is a good idea to keep your candles away from areas that will cause a draft such as near windows, air vents, or fans, as this will cause the candle to burn at a faster rate, therefore will reduce the total burn time of the tealight.

To ensure your tealight candles are long-lasting, consider the type of wax you use, the height and width of the candle, and the distance the candle sits from the burner.