Glimma-tealights- IKEA

Which Tea Lights Burn Longest? Read This.

When using tea lights to illuminate a special event, you need to know exactly how long they will burn. Here’s what we discovered.

Glimma-tealights- IKEA


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

Glimma 9 hour  Tea LightsPresident's Choice TealightsThe 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

13 replies
  1. SH
    SH says:

    Doing the math shows that burning length of president’s at 7.5 hours vs. ikea at 3.5 doesn’t make a difference in the overall time it takes to go through them. It’s about 3 days for both.

    Double the burning time for double the price is not a savings.

    • carolannrule
      carolannrule says:

      Thanks so much for making us think. Under the best possible conditions, 100 IKEA tea lights will burn a total of 350 hours, while 50 President’s Choice teas will burn 375 hours. I’ll put my money on the PC product for both burn time and the convenience of not having to monitor my candles. —eds

    • Sue
      Sue says:

      That’s not the point. It’s for a wedding. The total hours do not make a difference for this type of an event. It’s the look you want on the table for the 5/6 hours of the reception & cocktail hour. Please go back and read the original post before you comment about “total” time. I am in the same situation and will spend double the money to get the right look for my wedding day.

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