Should I choose Tea- lights or Votive Candles?

Are you trying to decide between tea light and votive candles? Well that decision basically comes down to three factors: cost, burn time &  clean up.

Tea lights and Votives are among the cheapest and effective way to add ambiance to an event or décor. These designs and dim lighting can add appeal immediately. But have you ever wondered why they have different names when they have the same purpose?

First, consider the burning time of each product. Because the tea lights are small, the burning time is limited, usually 4-5 hours with the exemption of MEGA Tea-light. While Votive candles are tall-at least 2-3 inches taller-and therefore will burn for a longer time.

The choice between the two depends on your decoration and how long the candle needs to last. For example, short-term use (such as meditation, essential oils, religious meetings or ceremonies) may require tea lights. However, long-lasting events such as parties, weddings, receptions, meetings or romantic dinners require votive candles.


A typical tea-light is made mostly of white wax, which is molded into a circle and poured into a  small metal or clear cup. Because the flame and wax are contained in a metal or plastic cup, a T-light candle is smaller and more versatile. You can put them in any type of Tea light holder, when the wax is consumed, there will be no residue left in container. You just throw the cup out.


Votive Candles have a low melting point and should be placed in an appropriate  candle holder.  The wax can be completely melted (liquefied) to the surface of the holder, and then completely “consumed” by the burning wick. Since the votive is directly melted on the surface of the  holder, you want the inside of the holder to be tapered or bowl-shaped so that the liquid wax can converge toward the center and be sucked onto the wick, and then burn off on the wick. The liquid wax will not move to the wick, and when the wick is completely burned out, you will leave a pile of unused wax to clean up.

Next, you need to consider the cleanup of each option. Since the tea-light is housed in a separate metal or plastic container, it is easy to burn and discard without any cleaning. When one T-light burns out, you only need to remove the metal tin from the candle holder and replace it with another one. On the other hand if you need to replace a votive , the remaining wax must be melted and then safely removed from the candle holder.

Finally, consider the cost. Tea lights are much cheaper than Votive candles. Some customers, such as religious institutions and spas, order candles in large quantities. If you need a lot of candles, and you only need to make each candle last for a short time, a tea light is a good choice.

Votives price are higher but the service life is much longer. The type of candle you need depends largely on your intended use and the burning time required.

Don't matter the atmosphere you’re trying to create, candles help you add a touch of class and calm to your space!


Francesca Gagluardi

Date 4/1/2021

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