When using tea lights to illuminate a special event, you need to know exactly how long they will burn. Here’s what we discovered.
BUY RIGHT | One thing I know for sure about tea lights is that the burn time listed on the package never lives up to its promise. I have only my own experience to back up this claim, but over the past few weeks, I have been testing tea light burn times for an upcoming wedding reception, and, without exception, every wee candle came up at least one hour short. It may be possible for tea lights to burn for as long as the manufacturers contend, though I can only imagine that to do so, they would need to be in a place where the air is still.
Avoiding The 100 Club
I don’t know why anyone would buy those packages of 100 tea lights—$4.27 at WalMart; $3.99 at IKEA; $6.99 at London Drugs; $8 at Pier 1 Imports—unless they want to be replacing their light source all night. Not one of the 100-club tea lights I tested lasted more than three and a half hours, and some were well under that time.
Long Last Light
The better choice is to spend a little more for fewer, larger tea lights that burn a lot longer. President’s Choice eight-hour tea lights cost $7.99 for 50 candles. The several we tested burned, on average, a respectable six and a half hours each. With an average seven-and-a half-hour burn time, IKEA’s Glimma nine-hour tea lights lasted the longest of all, though their price—$5.99 for 24 candles—make the President’s Choice product the better buy. —C. Rule
Top photo: IKEA