The mesmerizing glow of a flickering candle flame has been cherished throughout human history. Today, candles are used for various purposes, including relaxation, decoration, and fragrance. One of the crucial aspects to consider when purchasing or making candles is their burn time, which can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. In this blog post, we'll delve into the different elements that play a role in determining candle burn times, helping you better understand the nuances behind the life of your favorite candles.
The type of wax used in a candle greatly impacts its burn time. The most common types of wax used in candles include paraffin, soy, beeswax, and coconut wax. Generally, natural waxes like soy, beeswax, and coconut wax burn slower than paraffin wax, resulting in longer burn times. For instance, soy candles tend to burn 30-50% longer than paraffin candles, while beeswax candles can burn even longer.
Wick Material & Size
The wick is the heart of any candle, and its material and size significantly influence burn time. Wicks can be made from materials such as cotton, wood, or metal cores. Cotton wicks are the most common and are known for their clean burn. On the other hand, wooden wicks produce a soothing crackling sound and are often used in luxury candles. The size of the wick is equally important, as a larger wick will consume more wax, thus shortening the burn time.
Candle Size & Shape
Candles come in a variety of sizes and shapes, from small tealights to large pillar candles. Naturally, the size and shape of a candle play a role in determining its burn time. Larger candles with more wax will burn longer, while smaller candles will have shorter burn times. The shape of the candle also matters, as irregularly shaped candles may burn unevenly and affect the overall burn time.
Additives & Fragrance
Many candles contain additives or fragrances, which can influence burn time. Additives like colorants, UV inhibitors, or hardening agents can affect how the wax melts and burns, potentially altering the burn time. Additionally, the type and concentration of fragrance oils used in scented candles can impact the burn time. Heavily scented candles may burn faster as the fragrance oil can act as additional fuel for the flame.
The environment in which a candle is burned can also affect its burn time. Factors like drafts, room temperature, and humidity can impact how quickly a candle burns. Drafts can cause a candle to burn unevenly, leading to a shorter burn time, while room temperature and humidity may affect the melting point of the wax, altering the burn rate.
The next time you light a candle, take a moment to appreciate the various factors that contribute to its burn time. Understanding these elements can help you make better-informed decisions when selecting candles and ensure you get the most out of your favorite candle experience. Whether you prefer the long-lasting burn of a beeswax candle or the fast, bright burn of a paraffin one, there is a perfect candle out there for every occasion. Happy burning!