I can't handle candles!
November 29, 2005 1:45 PM   Subscribe

Candles. They're great. But.

It's great to set a romantic mood in the room by lighting a candle, it smells nice and has a flattering and warm light. However, the flickering of the flame when the candle is the only source of light is distracting and eye-straining, even headache-inducing at times. Suggestions?
posted by evariste to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Light two.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:46 PM on November 29, 2005 [1 favorite]

I think you can keep a candle from flickering a lot by keeping the wick trimmed nicely. And I also think different types (i.e. better types) have a more solid burn. If that makes sense.
posted by bibbit at 1:49 PM on November 29, 2005

How about a Candle Warmer?
posted by ND¢ at 1:51 PM on November 29, 2005

Buy a hurricane lamp instead? Less drafty should = less flicker.
posted by Gator at 1:51 PM on November 29, 2005

Per bibbit: Make sure to light your new candles and then blow them out and trim the wick. Myself, I like a posse of votive candles. I think they can be less flickery but I have no scientific evidence to back up this POV.
posted by donovan at 1:52 PM on November 29, 2005

If it's the contrast between the flame and the dark room that's bothering you, try using a frosted glass candle holder that's taller than the candle. It will diffuse the light a bit.
posted by boomchicka at 2:00 PM on November 29, 2005

Get those little tea-lites (the kind that come in their own metal-cup thingie). Dispose strategicaly around the room. Light like 20 of them. Prepare for sex. Even if you don't want sex, you will have sex. This is the way these things go.
posted by signal at 2:05 PM on November 29, 2005

Hah! signal is right.

But if you want good sex then get good candles. Beeswax candles burn very slowly and evenly. We have one that's been burning, off and on, for two years now.

They is pricey tho.
posted by recurve at 2:43 PM on November 29, 2005

(Bear in mind that beeswax candles get hot. Molten beeswax can easily burn skin. If you might be tempted to use the candles for, um, anything other than lighting, go for paraffin.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:50 PM on November 29, 2005

Tealights, I meant tealights. Signal is right. You can buy a massive bag for cheap at CostPlus (note the massive bag for cheaper at Ikea = lousy candles).
posted by donovan at 3:07 PM on November 29, 2005

Or, try soy candles...
posted by notsnot at 3:14 PM on November 29, 2005

A note on the Ikea ones (in Vancouver, anyways...) is that they don't have lead in the wicks, if this is also a concern for you.
posted by Zack_Replica at 4:26 PM on November 29, 2005

I used to keep a lamp around for "special time." I was going to say "oil lamp" but that really makes it sound nastier than it is. The lamp fuel I buy in the supermarket is, as far as I've noticed, odorless. And glass lamps can be very attractive and much lower-maintenance than candles. Cleaner burning, too. No sooty residue in your sinuses or on your walls/ceiling.

There is usually some way to set the length of the wick. This is key to getting a steady, no-flicker light out of a candle or a lamp.
posted by scarabic at 8:58 PM on November 29, 2005

Wick and flame height are important to candle burning, sure. (wick about 3/8" before lighting and flame shouldn't get much higher than 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 " in height).
Flickering has everything to do with drafts! The calmer the air in your room is, the less it will be pushed around and flicker on you. Check your ventilation, drafts, and ceiling fans if you want a tall, straight flame. A glass hurricane might prevent air currents from reaching your flame, but then the light is also diminished somewhat. Think "delicate yet destructive" in regards to your tiny, controlled inferno.
posted by UnclePlayground at 8:38 AM on December 13, 2005

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