Picture the scene with us. It is a chilly, bleak day and you have had a crazy day at the office. You come home, put on your comfies, and close those curtains. You pop your lamps on and then light your candles. Instant calmness, right? Those little tea lights are marvelous things but have you ever wondered how much heat they produce?
This may well be something you have asked yourself in the current cost of living crisis. Anything that can delay the putting on of the heating is a bonus, right? We set out to explore this very question. Just how much heat can a tea light produce? Let’s find out.
A tea light can produce 30 Watts of heat. The average radiator can produce anywhere from 300 Watts of heat. So, when considering heating a room, using tea lights isn’t an energy-efficient way of doing this. Putting a flower pot over a tea light makes no difference to the heat distributed.
Can a Tea Light Warm a Room?
We can answer this question in one word – no. However, let’s look into things in a little more detail.
You may have heard of the trending flower pot heater currently circling the internet. The idea is that lighting a tea light candle and popping a clay pot over the top will act as a radiator. The logic is that the heat will transfer and warm a room.
Sorry to disappoint but this doesn’t work. The process of adding the flowerpot brings nothing extra into the equation. You still have the same heat from the single tea light whether it is covered or open.
You only have to look at the size of a tea light to work it out for yourself. You cannot expect a solo tea light to warm an entire room unless you live in a literal matchbox!
How many Tea Lights to Warm a Room?
So, we know a single tea light has no hope of warming a room but how many would you need to do so? You can assume that one tea light candle produces around 30 watts of heat. When you consider that the smallest radiator gives off around 300 watts, you can see where we are going with this.
You would need to be lighting a lot of candles if you were looking to bring up the temperature of a room. Even a small room would need around 30 candles burning at once to make any sort of difference. Not to mention that they have a burn life of 3 to 4 hours, so you could be looking at 90 candles per day.
How much Energy does a Tea Light Produce?
The average tea light has approximately 14g of paraffin wax in them. This means each candle has the potential to produce just 0.179 kWh. We don’t have to tell you that this is a tiny amount. Therefore, it is safe to assume that lighting candles will not prove to be energy efficient as a way of heating the room.
Are Tea Light Heaters any Good?
If you are still keen on turning to candles as a way of staying warm then using a tea light heater is your best bet. Please note, again these will not heat your room in the way radiators do. However, they can warm you up when you are sitting at your desk. They are a cute way of warming up your hands on chilly days.
How Hot do Tealights Get?
Normal wax tea lights will get hot quickly once the wick has been lit. You will notice that the wax in the candle soon becomes a liquid, and the heat has melted it. Touching this wax would be very foolish. We are dealing with a small flame here, however, on average, a flame heats up to around 2,500℉ on the outside.
Traditional tea light candles need to be placed carefully. They have the potential to burn through unsuitable surfaces. Electric or LED tea lights are considered far safer as they do not produce heat as such. They tend to remain cool to the touch meaning they pose much less of a fire risk.
What Temperature does a Tea Light Burn at?
A study carried out in 2016, found that the highest temperature reached by a tea light candle was 536℉.
It is quite a complicated question to answer though. There are different parts to a candle flame and these all produce different heat readings. Each flame has anywhere from 3 to 5 zones. Below, we briefly point them out without getting too lost in science.
- Zone 1: Non-luminous Zone where the temperature is 1,112℉.
- Zone 2: Blue zone where the temperature is 1,470℉.
- Zone 3: Dark zone where the temperature is 1,830℉.
- Zone 4: Middle or Luminous Zone where the temperature is 2,190℉.
- Zone 5: The Veil or Outer Zone where the temperature is 2,550℉.
What can be Heated Efficiently with Tea Lights?
Other than creating a calming ambiance, what else can be heated using tea lights? Below are some other uses tea lights can have.
- Boiling water. Take a look at the YouTube video below to find out how many tea lights it takes to boil water.
- Cooking food. Don’t get us wrong, you aren’t going to be producing a 3-course meal anytime soon. However, a few tea lights will warm up a tin of beans or melt marshmallows and chocolate.
- Air fresheners. Drip your favorite oil into the candle and enjoy the smell as it wafts around the room.
There are also many uses for used tea lights. You can read about this, and more, in our sister article; Where To Recycle Tea Lights – Containers, Wicks and Wax.
Can you Heat a Room with Candles and Flower Pots?
Putting a flower pot over a flame does not increase the heat being produced. Therefore, this does not conduct heat as no energy is being produced. This craze came about on sites such as TikTok and quickly gained traction. However, the idea is too flawed to work.