What Size Is A Tea Light?

What Is a Tea Light?

A tea light is a small wax candle that comes in a thin metal or aluminum cup container. Tea lights get their name from their historical use of providing dim lighting during afternoon tea time. Today, tea lights remain popular for their versatile uses, attractive appearance, and affordable price (Buy Tea Light Candles at Lowest Online Price).

Tea lights are commonly used to create ambient lighting and a cozy atmosphere. Their small size makes them ideal for displays in glass votives, hurricane lamps, candle holders, and lanterns. Tea lights are also popularly used for warming potpourri, scenting drawers, making luminaries, and even starting campfires.

The history of tea lights dates back to the early 19th century in England, when candles were expensive and only the wealthy could afford wax candles. The lower classes used cheap tallow candles, which smelled unpleasant when burning. Tea lights offered an affordable and pleasant-smelling alternative for afternoon tea lighting. Today, tea lights remain popular for their versatility, affordability, and attractive glow (What Are Tea Light Candles Used For).

Standard Tea Light Dimensions

Standard tea lights have a diameter typically between 1.5 to 2.5 inches (4 to 6 cm). The most common size is 2 inches or 5 cm in diameter.

The height of a standard tea light varies between 0.5 to 1.5 inches (1.2 to 3.8 cm). Most tea lights are around 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall.

A standard 2 inch diameter tea light contains approximately 1 ounce (28 grams) of wax. Smaller 1.5 inch tea lights may have around 0.5 ounces (14 grams) of wax.

Larger tea lights that are 2.5 inches in diameter can hold up to 2 ounces (57 grams) of wax, so they tend to have a longer burn time.

So in summary, standard tea lights are typically 2 inches wide by 1 inch tall and contain about 1 ounce of wax.

Types of Tea Lights

There are several common types of tea lights available:

  • Pillar tea lights – These are the standard cylindrical shape, usually around 38mm tall. Pillar tea lights are the most commonly used for oil warmers, candles, and general lighting.
  • Votive tea lights – Shorter and wider than pillar tea lights, these are shaped like small bowls and stand around 30mm tall. Votive tea lights work well in tea light holders and can also be floated in water.
  • Floating tea lights – Designed specifically for floating in water, these tea lights have a floating wick and wax that is formulated to melt slower while floating. Popular for centerpieces and ambiance.
  • Shaped tea lights – These come in novelty shapes like hearts, stars, flowers, fruits, animals, etc. Shaped tea lights are decorative and used more for accent lighting.

The standard pillar tea light is the most versatile and commonly used. But the variety of options allows you to choose a tea light to fit your specific needs or decor.

Tea Light Holders

Tea lights need a container or holder to burn safely and properly. Tea light holders come in a variety of materials like glass, ceramic, metal, and wood. Glass holders allow the candlelight to shine through beautifully but can get hot. Ceramic and metal holders retain heat while wood holders stay cooler to the touch. Safety is an important consideration when choosing a tea light holder.

Look for holders made of heat-resistant materials and avoid plastic which can melt. Make sure the holder is on a stable, flat surface and kept away from tablecloths, curtains or other flammable materials. Proper tea light holders have a recessed design to safely contain the flame.

Common types of tea light holders include:
– Votives for decorative ambient lighting

– Lanterns to highlight candlelight
– Wall sconces for focal points

– Floating candle holders for tables or water features
– Hanging candle holders
– Glass votives to display candles with dinnerware

Tea light holders allow you to safely enjoy the warm glow of candlelight. When used properly with heat-safe materials, they provide beautiful illumination.

Burn Time for Tea Lights

Standard tea lights typically burn anywhere from 2-6 hours. However, burn time can vary quite a bit depending on several factors:

Wax Type – Paraffin wax tea lights tend to burn the longest at 4-6 hours. Vegetable and soy wax tea lights burn for 2-4 hours.

Wick Type – Cotton wicks promote longer burn times than paper or wood wicks.

Flame Size – The bigger the flame, the faster the wax burns. Tea lights with a smaller flame will burn slower.

Air Circulation – Breezy conditions cause the flame to burn faster, decreasing burn time. Still air maximizes burn time.

Holder – Placing the tea light in a holder that restricts air flow can extend burn time. Open holders allow air circulation, reducing burn time.

There are some tricks to maximize tea light burn time. Use paraffin wax or cotton wick tea lights and place them in a holder that protects the flame. Avoid drafts and breezy locations. You can also buy longer burning 10 hour tea lights designed to have an extended burn time.

Tea Light Wax Types

There are several common types of wax used to make tea lights, each with their own properties and characteristics:

Paraffin Wax – This petroleum-based wax is the most widely used for making tea lights. It is inexpensive, burns cleanly, and allows added fragrances to blend evenly. However, paraffin wax produces more soot than some natural waxes when burning. 1

Soy Wax – Made from soybeans, this renewable and biodegradable wax burns cooler than paraffin. Soy wax tea lights need less frequent trimming of the wick and burn slower. The natural wax holds scent well. Soy wax tends to be softer than paraffin. 2

Beeswax – Tea lights made from 100% beeswax have a pleasant, honey-like scent. Beeswax burns brighter and cleaner than paraffin or soy. However, beeswax is more expensive and difficult to work with, making it less ideal for mass production of tea lights. 1

Palm Wax – This natural vegetable wax comes from the fruit of palm trees. Palm wax tea lights burn longer than paraffin and are self-extinguishing. Palm wax holds fragrance well and produces less soot. It is also biodegradable and renewable. However, availability is limited. 2

Aroma and Scented Tea Lights

Along with unscented tea lights, there are many options for scented tea lights that add subtle fragrance. Some of the most common scented varieties include vanilla, apple cinnamon, coffee, and floral scents like jasmine and lavender.

Scented tea lights are made by adding fragrance oils to the wax before it is poured into the metal tins. The fragrance oils are specially formulated to be long-lasting and distributed evenly throughout the wax. As the wax melts and pools, it releases the scent into the air.

The advantage of scented tea lights is that they provide pleasant ambient aroma in addition to a flickering flame. However, the scents may be mild and not fill an entire room. Scented tea lights work best in small, enclosed spaces. The scent usually lasts about 1-2 hours before fading as the wax fully melts. Stronger scents can be achieved by using multiple scented tea lights together.

Safety Tips for Tea Lights

While tea lights create a warm, cozy ambiance, it’s important to keep safety in mind when using them. Here are some tips for enjoying tea lights responsibly:

Use appropriate holders. Tea lights get very hot, so should always be placed in a holder made of glass, ceramic or metal. Avoid using makeshift holders that could melt or catch fire.

Keep away from flammables. Position tea light holders on a sturdy, non-flammable surface away from tablecloths, books, curtains or anything else that could ignite. Leave ample space around the holder.

Don’t leave burning tea lights unattended. Remain in the same room with burning tea lights, and extinguish them before leaving the area. Unattended tea lights could get knocked over by pets, spill wax or start a fire.

Be careful around children and pets. Curious little hands and paws can easily knock over a tea light holder. Keep burning tea lights safely out of reach and high enough up that a wagging tail won’t reach them.

Consider battery-operated tea lights. For hallways, kitchens and other high-traffic areas where a real flame could get bumped, opt for realistic battery-operated tea lights. They provide the same ambiance without the fire risk.

Take safety precautions, but don’t be afraid to enjoy these cozy little candles. By using tea lights responsibly, they can create a delightful atmosphere without putting your home at risk.

Creative Uses for Tea Lights

Tea lights can be used creatively for events, ambiance, DIY projects, and in the garden or outdoors. Their small size, portability, and warm glow make them versatile decorations.

For events like parties or weddings, clustering tea lights on tables, windowsills, staircases, and other surfaces creates a magical ambiance. Their flames flicker and dance, providing a romantic and festive mood. Tea lights work for any theme or season – try orange lights for fall, red for Christmas, pastels for spring, or ocean blues for summer beach motifs. You can use holders or let tea lights sit freely in glass containers or among flower petals. Just be sure to take safety precautions.

In terms of DIY projects, tea lights allow crafters to easily add lighting elements to handmade decor. You can fill glass jars or vases with tea lights to make custom lanterns. Tea light wax can even be melted and poured into shaped molds to create your own tea light candles. Hollowed eggshells, seashells, and glass bottles become illuminated with a tea light inside. The small size works well for dollhouses, terrariums, and fairy gardens too.

For the garden and outdoors, lining pathways and staircases with tea lights in paper bags or glass jars adds a gorgeous glow. Cluster them in trees or tuck them among flower beds. Floating tea lights in glass bowls or jars makes for stunning water features. Secure them under decks, near pools, or along the driveway to brighten up outdoor living spaces after dark. Just be sure to use holders that protect the flame from wind.

With their versatility, affordability, and wide availability, tea lights unlock many creative decorating possibilities. Their small but mighty flames can instantly transform spaces for events, DIY projects, and garden decor.

Where to Buy Tea Lights

Tea lights are readily available at most grocery stores, big box stores, hardware stores, and discount retailers. Popular places to find tea lights include:

  • Grocery stores like Safeway, Kroger, and Trader Joe’s often have tea lights in the candle aisle or home goods section.
  • Big box stores like Target and Walmart carry a variety of tea light options in home decor.
  • Hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s sell tea lights, usually near the candles and lighting.
  • Craft stores such as Michaels and Joann Fabrics offer scented and decorative tea lights for crafting projects.

In addition to brick-and-mortar stores, tea lights can easily be purchased online through major retailers like Amazon and specialty candle sites such as Yankee Candle. eBay and Etsy also have resellers offering tea lights in bulk quantities.

When buying tea lights in person, they typically come in packs of 10, 25, 50 or 100. Buying in larger bulk packs can be more economical if using tea lights regularly. Online in bulk, tea lights may be sold in packs up to 500 units. Individual decorative tea lights are also available online or in-store.

No matter where they are purchased, standard tea lights are very affordable. Prices range from $1-5 for a pack of 10-25 tea lights. Buying in bulk quantities of 100 or more brings down the per unit price.

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