What Are Tea Light Candles Used For? (Explained)

Tea light candles are probably the closest you can get to an essential item that is straight out of a fairytale in this “real” world we live in. They are the good things that come in small packages that literally will brighten up your space or leave you working in a room smelling better than fresh baked cookies. 

Tea light candles are used to keep teapots and fondue warm at the table, lighting accents decor, aromatherapy, and purifying the air. 

I will explain each usage in detail below.

What Are Tea Light Candles Used For

Uses Of Tealight Candles

What are tea light candles used for? What are the different types of tea light candles, and why have they become so essential? Read on to know everything and explore their benefits.

Light Accents

The smallest space can turn into a luxurious experience with simple lighting accents. Tea lights are so inconspicuous that they fit in the tiniest spaces to change the esthetic. This makes the feel of the space warm and welcoming and very cozy and chic. They are used for:

  •  Tea lights can highlight a painting or be placed in a patterned ceramic pot with perforations for some esthetically pleasing shadows on the wall. They are very pretty when in clear holders on their own.
  •  Put these babies to float on the pond by the venue for a fairytale stars-in-the-sky effect or place them strategically to highlight the name or centerpiece of the event. The elegance from clear tea light holders can be used to amp up the esthetic of the decor, resulting in a romantic feel in the air. Your guests will be very pleased with the sight.


Tea lights are very often used at home, spas, and resorts to cater to the sense of smell. They are either selfly scented or are used to release the scent from candle tarts and essential oils from porcelain tart warmers. Make sure you use unbleached beeswax tea light candles for a better effect.

Candle tart warmers are not just used for melting candle tarts. Essential oils too can be warmed for fragrance. The warmers have a small opening at the base with a saucepan roof above it connected to one fully closed side. The tealight sits inside the opening and burns for hours, helping the fragrance spread nonstop.

Enjoy your massage and the ambiance thanks to these little soldiers.

Air Purifier

Beeswax tea lights help in purifying the air by releasing negative ions (just like lightning), which bind to positive ions (pollen, dust, mold, bad odor, etc) and bring it down to lower levels. This cleans the air you breathe. Great for keeping indoor air clean, especially for those with allergies.

Tea Warmer

Hight tea anyone? Tea lights are your little friends who hide under the teapot holder at your fancy get together, keeping the calming beverage hot for taste. Even if it is just you and a good book, tealights never disappoint in keeping your tea warm for hours at a time to sip on.


Tealights with thick wicks can be used for those of you interested in camping without the need to go look for firewood. These can be used to cook food and keep a light going. All your glampers can thank us later. Watch the video below for a better idea.

You can combine these uses to create a magical experience on any occasion. Cozy light accents and fragrance can change even the tiniest of spaces into a cozy, intimate, and glamorous one.

Read our full review on Best Tea Light Candles.

What To Put Under Tealight Candles?

Tea lights come in holders that they fit into like a glove. They need a hard surface to rest on usually however they can also be laid to rest in water as they float easily. Always make sure they are burning in their holders on a surface that is not flammable or in the way of people’s constant movement against it.

Keep it away from the reach of pets and children. To prevent spilling of the wax onto the surface, make sure the surface is steady, easy to clean, and does not have a bad reaction to heat or candle wax.

Read more about Can You Burn Tea Light Candles Without A Holder.

Tea Lights VS. Votive Candles, What’s The Difference?

The two of these types of candles tend to get mistaken for each other by an amateur candle enthusiast. Allow us to explain the minute yet significant differences between them along with the THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND while deciding which type to buy.

Points To Consider While Deciding Between The Two:


When considering the look for decor, either in a home context or an event scenario, you have to consider the color theme of the ambiance within which the candle is going to be placed. While selecting the color of the candles is important, considering their size is crucial as tea lights are tinier compared to votives.

Selecting the perfect size and holder for the candles will be the factor that determines which candle you will buy. Tea lights are tinier than votives.

Clear holders for both types can add more elegance. Tea light holders can usually float on water as they’re small and are made of aluminum, while votives come in glass or polycarbonate holders that require stable bases of support. So consider the space needed before deciding upon the size of the candle type and holder type you need.


Tea lights and votives are both cheap because they are easily available if you are buying paraffin candles. Between the two, tealights are less expensive.


If you just want to burn essential oil in a ceramic wax tart warmer, tea lights are what you need. If you want esthetics, nothing beats a beautiful votive candle in a glass holder.

Burn time

Tealights burn for 3-5 hours on an average. Votives can burn up to 10 hours. That is why they are the preferred go-to for vigils and church prayers at the altar.

Read more about How Long Do Scented Candles Last.

Ease of clean up

Consider this when buying for events. Votives usually come in glass or polycarbonate clear holders that can be reused but cleaning their wax melts is a task. You have to pop them in a freezer after the event and wait till its hard enough to remove easily.

Tea lights come in disposable holders. Once used, the holder can be trashed. No wax melts remain. It is the least fussy candle out there.

NOTE: ALWAYS CHECK YOUR RETAILER if you are considering the budget and quality of wax used. For budget-friendly purchases, buy your candles and holders in bulk.

Tea Light Candle Safety, Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do not use paraffin as much as possible.
  • Make sure the surface you place it on is protected from wax spills and is not flammable.
  • Always choose soy or beeswax for your tea light candles or any other candle.
  • Source only organic, 100% pure products.
  • Take good care not to leave burning candles unattended.
  • Use thick wicks for your DIY candles for a brighter flame.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Do not position a burning candle in a spot where someone might accidentally brush past it.
  • Keep a keen eye on the surface you place your tealight candles on. They get hot, so make sure it is contained well to protect the surface it is on. Use holders that are not flammable if needed, like glass or stone.
  • To avoid any spilling, do not try to move a burning tea light candle. Allow the wax to fully cool before shifting it or take extra care not to spill the liquefied wax if moving it cannot wait. Announce that you are carrying something hot as you walk, by saying out loud constantly, ” hot hot hot”. People will steer clear.
  • Try avoiding adding essential oils in the candle, or burning artificially scented candles daily as the fumes they release are carcinogenic. This is a health tip. If you want scented candles daily, burn beeswax all you want.

Grace Young

I love candles! I have personally tried over 100 brands of candles. The total burn time of these candles is over 5000 hours. I also talk about essential oil diffusers and reed diffusers. Essential oil diffusers and diffusers are also an important part of the scent in my home.

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