Understanding about candles can help candle aficionados make the most of their preferred candles.
Candles have been used for centuries for many different purposes, including:
- Timekeeping: Candles burn at a relatively constant rate, and many societies have used candles as a primitive timekeeping device.
- Ceremonies: Candles have always been popular for ceremonial uses, including religious events, wedding ceremonies, birthday celebrations, memorial services, and more.
- Practical: Candles can serve practical purposes as a source of both light and heat.
- Relaxation: The soothing nature of a candle's flame, often coupled with pleasing scents, is frequently used for meditation and relaxation.
- Decoration: Candles can be beautiful in different centerpieces or as decorative accents for special occasions, holidays, or just for a pretty interior design touch.
- Emergency Use: Candles can be invaluable when electricity is unavailable, and many emergency kits are stocked with basic candles.
About Candle Types
Because candles have so many different uses, there are many different types of candles for each purpose. Popular varieties of candles include:
- Tea Lights: These small candles burn for just a few hours, but are perfect to use to warm up a cup of tea or a scent infuser.
- Tapers: These long, thin candles are popular for decorations, particularly candlelit dinners. Smaller versions are often used as birthday candles.
- Jars: Candles in glass jars can be both decorative and practical since melted wax will accumulate in the jar rather than running down the side and being wasted.
- Pillar: These thick candles come in different heights. Their long-lasting burn time makes them a practical choice for many uses.
- Gel: These clear candles are often scented or laced with decorative accents buried within the gel.
- Floating: The wax used for these candles is less dense than water, letting them float serenely in water bowls, floating candle centerpieces, baths, or other aquatic features.
- Aromatherapy: Essential oils can infuse candles with energizing, stimulating, relaxing, nostalgic, or peaceful scents.
- Votive: These small candles are practical and easy to use for a variety of purposes.
- Figural: Highly decorative, these candles can be shaped into elegant abstract shapes or intricately detailed figurines of any kind.
To use candles effectively, there is a wide range of accessories available, including:
- Candle holders for practical or decorative use
- Specialized lighters for different types of candles
- Warmers that can melt a candle without an open flame
- Candle extinguishers for safe use
- Wick trimmers to minimize ash and smoke by optimizing wick length
- Centerpiece decorations for holidays or everyday use
There are many stores that sell candles for different uses. Basic candles, including popular colors, scents, and styles can often be found at discount stores, grocery stores, and craft retailers. Candles for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, and other events are frequently offered at party stores, while specialized figural candles are often found only at specialized candle stores or craft boutiques. Candle outlet stores often offer many types of candles that have been discontinued or overstocked and the savings can be substantial.Candle aficionados who are unable to find just the types of candles they are interested in can often practice different candle making techniques to create their own candles, opening up an unlimited range of styles, colors, and designs to explore.
Understanding the basics about candles can help novice candle patrons as well as experienced candle users choose the best candles for their needs and use them most effectively for both beauty and practicality.