Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Tealights

Tea light candles have become a stable feature in our lives.

We buy 100 tea lights in a bag as cheaply as possible.
I only want the kind with 4 hours burning time.
Quality is not important.
The tea lights are burned in an open ceramic tray.
The tray is filled with ten to twenty tea lights as the time.
We light one per evening unless we have guests or want to be fancy.
I always let the tea light burn out, I never blow it out.
We move the candle with us into the bed room if it has not burned out by bedtime.

Quality is not important, all brands, also the very cheap, do their job. The fire risks might decrease with the quality, I do not know, but the risks are still there so all precautions must be taken anyway. Besides being an open flame, tea lights also have a nasty habit to ignite the molten paraffin in the pot. The fire risks are real. The risks also increase with certain, closely contained tea light holders so be aware. We use an open ceramic tray.

I only buy the kind that burns for 4 hours. The reason is that we use them in the evenings when we are at home. Our evenings are usually not longer than four hours between dinner and bedtime. I always let the candle burn out by itself. It decreases the fire risks, and as the light usually can not be re-lighted (unless there is more than half of the candle paraffin left in the pot) I will get more out of each candle that way. If the candle is still burning when we go to bed, we just bring it with us into the bedroom for warmth. Carefully and always placing it away from the curtains of course.

Our living room can be closed and the warmth generated from one single tea lights makes a difference. Maybe not enough for us to turn down the heating in the evening but at least enough so that we do not have to increase it for the evening hours. This is also one of the benefits of not living in an open plan house. Each section can be heated for different purposes. When we go to bed, the bedroom is cooler and we sleep better. (Yes, the heating is turned off at night.)

The little remnants of paraffin in the tea light cup I save for the next candle. Either by just placing the little slivers on the next tea light to melt into the cup (increasing the time of the candle to burn) or by saving them in the paraffin and old candles stash for when I melt it all down and make new candles (usually early winter, although not last year).

With 100 tea lights in a bag, less than seven candles per week (not a candle every night), the 1-2 euros for the bag, will last more than 16 weeks (calculating 100 candles/usually no more than six candles a week). In total the 2 € bag will last for more than four months and the spending for the extra heat, comfort and cosiness, will be 50 eurocents for one month, or less than 2 eurocents per evening. I think that is worth it, but the cheaper the bag of tea lights, the less spent each evening.

Occasionally, if we can get them, we buy and burn long stemmed candles in fancy candle holders. But then we also dress up, cook fancy food, set the table and eat of the fancy plates to make a memory of it. Usually we do not, because then it would not be a special evening. It is important to make a difference between every day and special days, between normal and a treat.


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