Tea lights are small versatile candles that can be used on their own or placed inside a candle holder. Perfect as table centerpieces or mantle accents, these inexpensive candles will set the tone for a party or a romantic night in.
The burn time varies with regular tea light candles, but each one should burn for at least a few hours, with the best tea lights lasting as long as eight. If you’re sensitive to fragrance or are using them during a dinner party, look for unscented candles.
Have you ever wondered why they’re called tea lights? They were originally designed to keep tea warm during a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. The candles produce about 30 watts of heat, which warmed up a cup of tea well. Today, you see tea lights not only as decorations but they’re also built into some food warmers and chafing dishes. Some modern teapot warmers also continue to use them as a heat source.
Create a glowing ambiance in nearly any room with these little votives. Here are five ways to decorate with them.
Floating Tea Lights
For a sophisticated display, fill a decorative glass bowl with water and add tea lights, which naturally float. Include a few flower blossoms or pedals for an extra romantic touch.
Additionally, you can create a tiered effect by inserting the lights into varying transparent bowls and vases filled with water. A few drops of food coloring will add an aesthetically pleasing effect.
Cluster To Brighten An Area
To instantly add a pop of warm light, arrange several tea lights to a ceramic or metal tray. This will brighten up an underutilized area.
Line The Windowsill Or Stairs
Place the tea lights in multiple votive holders or vases and scatter them along a windowsill. This looks great both inside and outside the house. Or line the edges of the stairs to create an inviting and welcoming atmosphere.
Create A Table Runner
Place tea lights along the center of the table in a straight line in one or multiple rows to create a table runner. You can also place them in-between tablescape items, such as near flowers or larger candles, for a softer effect.
Light candles inside the lanterns and place them on the ground when entertaining outside. Inside, lanterns look great on dining tables or side tables.
Finding The Best Tea Lights
Tea lights are typically sold in bulk with either clear plastic or tin cup borders. Look for varieties made with paraffin wax. The little candles can be helpful to have on hand if the power goes out.
If you’re in the market for a set of small candles, check out our selection of the best tea lights that’s been vetted by a team of experts.
As with any open flame, tea lights can be dangerous if left unattended. If you’re using them outside or near an open window, a strong wind could trigger a fire. For safety purposes, some people prefer flameless candles, so they can leave them unattended without worry or concern. Just look for tea lights with realistic flames, as they do vary.