Candles are some of the oldest sources of indoor illumination ever created. They were first invented thousands of years ago, by inventors whose names have been lost in the sands of time, however, they have continued to abide and exist even to this present day; odds are, they will continue to persist for several centuries to come, despite the leaps and bounds of technology in these modern times. This is because, although, candles operate by means of very simple principles, they have always found methods to evolve, particularly when it comes to their purpose and the needs they fulfil.


Candles work by the means of a very simple principle, or through a bunch of principles; the most important of which is capillary action. Capillary action is the method by which melted candle wax, which forms when candles burn, is soaked up by the candle wick and used to feed the flame. It is this method that sustains the flames and keeps the candle burning (which in turn melts more wax for the wick to absorb and pass on to the flame). This process is very important because works on the driving principle that no flame can burn in the absence of fuel (which is actually fact) and the candle wax provides this fuel. This is the reason why the type of wax and the properties of candle wax matters a lot.


Candle wax has to be made of a material that can be suitable as fuel and support the burning of flames. This is why common candle waxes include paraffin wax, beeswax, soy wax, tallow and so on.

Tallow or fat from animals is one of the oldest forms of wax and several historians and researchers state that the earliest forms of candles were made with boiled down tallow or fat obtained from the carcasses of slaughtered livestock such as cattle. Over time, the candle industry has advanced and expanded to include the discovery and innovation of several other kinds of candle wax, all of which tend to have their own slightly unique properties.

However, asides the kinds of materials used in making the wax, candles may also have unique properties as a result of the type of dye or color used in coloring the wax (i.e. when it comes to the area of colored candles).



Colored candles are candles that contain dyes or coloring agents and pigments, which had been added to the melted candle wax during the candle making process. Colored candles are not as common as their white counterparts, in certain regions of the world. However, many people across the world like them because they come in different colors, unlike white candles, and some of these colors are widely favored by many people.

Many people who like colored candles tend to purchase the colors that they have a preference for, because this is what they like. However, the colors of colored candles may also be used to indicate another property of candles, which is scent.

A lot of scented candles are colored with color pigments and dyes that reflect the aroma or fragrance present in the candle. This is why wine colored candles usually represent strawberry scented candles, green candles usually represent mint scented candles, yellow colored candles usually represent pineapple or citrus scented candles, orange colored candles usually represent mango scented candles, purple colored candles usually represent lavender scented candles or hydrangea scented candles and so on; although, this is not always the case.

Generally, however, the color of most scented candles often reflects the aroma or scent used to a certain extent.

Asides this, there are other implications of colors in candles which may affect the rate of burning of the candles. Colors are usually formed in candles by adding dyes and coloring agents or pigments into the melted candle wax, during the candle-making process, however some of these dyes have high level of heat conductivity, which enables them to burn very hot. Due to the fact that they are able to burn very hot, colored candles usually have a tendency to burn faster than other types of candles.


According to some candle lovers and researchers, green-colored candles tend to burn faster than white candles, because of the type and quantity of the added dyes and coloring agents or pigments used in the candle making process. However, other brightly colored candles also have a tendency to burn faster than white candles because in some cases, the dyes and coloring pigments used in making these kinds of candles can conduct heat very fast and burn very hot; thus leading to a situation where by the candle wax heats up faster and hotter and therefore melts faster.

One important thing to note when it comes to the activity of coloring agents and dyes in the fine art of candle making, as well as the effect they have on the lifespan and longevity of candles is that most candles contain some form of dye or another, even white candles. White candles are usually dyed with white colored pigments or white coloring agents them help them maintain their typical uniform white color. Also, apart from dyes, white candles may also contain some chemicals which serve the function of bleaching white candle wax during the candle-making process. For this reason, some white candles also tend to burn very fast; that is, as a result of the heating ability of the dyes and pigments that they contain.

However, many people who have conducted experiments into the ability of dyes to make candles melt faster claim that bright colored dyes such as red and green tend to allow colored candles melt much faster compared to their white counter parts. And these people also claim that among all these bright colors and dying agents or pigments, green colors and green colored dyes have the most profound effect on the melting ability of colored candles. What this means is that the general consensus is that green colored candles tends to burn the fastest.

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