The candle holder or candlestick has been around for centuries. It’s believed that the first candleholder was made in 400 B.C. There’s also the contention that the candlestick evolved from the beeswax used by the ancient Egyptians in illuminating their way at night.
In the 16th century, candlesticks reached the height of their popularity, particularly during the Elizabethan period. Made of silver and then brass, the candlestick became a household fixture in many homes across Europe. But the invention of the electric bulb by the end of the 19th century made it unnecessary. While the popularity of candleholders has waned through the years, it remains a popular decorative piece up to this day.
There are seven major types of candle holders, as enumerated below:
In This Article
This is a familiar sight or accessory in many North American houses. A tealight is named as such because of its original purpose as a teapot warmer. It’s not primarily intended to hold candles for illumination but more for decorating a space.
It is a type of candle holder that’s easy to use. Designed to hold small candles, a tea light is also great at setting the mood for a romantic dinner in your place.
A tealight is traditionally made of thin metal or plastic. It is small and circular. It is approximately 1.5 inches in diameter by 0.6 inches in height. It also comes in various sizes, shapes, burns times, and scents.
One thing you’ll love about a tealight is its price. It’s very cheap. This is one of the more affordable kinds of candle holders that you can come across with.
A tealight is also commonly used for accent lighting as well as heating scented oil. But because it is small, you’ll need multiple tealights to achieve the desired level of lighting. As such, tealight candle holders are typically sold in bulk.
Candelabra is a type of candle holder with multiple arms. The name comes from the Latin word “candelabrum,” which means candle-tree. This is one of the oldest and most widely recognized types of candle holders.
The candelabra has been used since the Middle Ages, or as early as 400 A.D. In the 19th century, candelabra made of silver became a fixture at the dinner table, providing illumination in many homes. Aside from silver, candelabras can be made of other materials like iron, copper, brass, gold, and even crystal.
While most candelabras have five arms, you can find other candelabras with eight arms. There are even models with more than eight arms, although these are rare. Owing to their size, these grandiose candelabras are usually found in museums and royal estates. Candelabras with multiple arms also have larger bases to support the added weight.
These days, a candelabra is associated with opulence. You can add a candelabra to your home to make it more elegant.
When you hear the word chandelier, you would likely picture that lighting fixture hung from the ceiling. A candle chandelier is just like that, although instead of electric lights, it holds candles. And similar to a candelabra, a candle chandelier can hold multiple candles at once.
But unlike a light chandelier, it is more difficult to find a candle chandelier these days. In the past, candle chandeliers were a familiar fixture in households. These were commonly hung above royal dining tables. But today, hanging a candle chandelier is no longer practical because it can pose a fire hazard. Of course, with the introduction of electricity, candles for illumination are no longer viable.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t buy a candle chandelier. You can check a nearby antique store for one. Or you can even create a DIY candle chandelier if you’re bent on having a candle chandelier at home.
Unlike the types of candle holders listed above, the lantern is a portable source of illumination. This is the type of candle holder that you can bring outside to guide your way at night. The word ‘lantern’ comes from the Latin word lanterna, which means lamp or torch.
An integral part of it is the protective enclosure for the candle, making it reliable for use outdoors and even in drafty interiors. The enclosure prevents the burning candle from being extinguished by the wind or rain. Another purpose of the enclosure is that it can reduce the risks of fire as there would be no way for the candle to drip. This is very much important when used in a wooden house or even a ship, as it can prevent a major catastrophe.
Candle lanterns can add ambiance to any space, whether it is outdoor or indoor. But it can’t be argued that a candle lantern is best used for alfresco dining at dusk. With it, you can sit outside your house even if you don’t have outdoor lighting. You can share a hearty dinner or drink with a loved one or with family members. A candle lantern is also atmospheric, capable of adding a soft glow and flicker to any room.
A candle lantern can also be used as accent lighting. With it, you can illuminate tables and seating groups. And you’d love it when you put a candle lantern around a pool as the light from the candle would reflect in the water.
Decorative candle lanterns can also be used inside your home. You can add a decorative candle lantern with a stained or colored glass design, providing a unique touch to your living room. You can also add decorative candle lanterns to your patio, garden, bedroom, and even bathroom!
You can also use a candle lantern for general outdoor use, camping, and backpacking. The light is generated by the candle for illumination and even heat source. It’s not only versatile but also durable and compact.
A hurricane lamp is also known as an oil lamp because oil is used to light it. This type of candle holder is also named hurricane lamp because it’s tall enough to protect the candle from strong winds. Because of this characteristic, a hurricane lamp is practical to use outdoors.
Make no mistake about it; a hurricane lamp can be useful both outdoors and indoors. It would look good inside your living room in the same way that it would fit well in the patio. You can place it on top of a table or bookshelf.
Hurricane lamps can accommodate bigger candles than a candle lantern. The vase of a hurricane lamp is usually large.
When buying a hurricane lamp, there are certain considerations that you have to weigh. One of these is ventilation. You likely know that fire needs oxygen so that it would burn; hence, a hurricane lamp must have enough ventilation. The storage capacity of the lantern should also be considered. Most hurricane lamps can stay lit for up to 24 hours on 30 oz. of fuel. The larger the fuel storage capacity of the hurricane lamp is, the less the need to refuel it.
The last thing you want to do with a hurricane lamp is to touch its glass because it can burn you. Therefore, the handles of the lamp must be heat-resistant.
Bigger handles also mean it would be easier to hold the hurricane lamp and move it around. And if you’d want to hang the lamp, then it should have a hook attachment at the top.
A good hurricane lamp has a heat-resistant glass cylinder. Hurricane lamp cylinders come in different shapes and sizes. It depends on which type you pick. Finally, get a hurricane lamp with temperature adjustment.
Taper Candle Holder
Unlike a candelabra, a taper candle holder is a more contemporary type of candle holder. This is the candle holder you have likely come across at a restaurant or use at home as an accessory in the dining table. A taper candle holder helps in setting the mood at home and simply looks great at the dining table.
It holds tapered candles, which are slim and commonly sold at retail stores. Long and thin, a tapered candle ‘tapers” to a point hence its name. This unique shape makes the candle a decorative feature in many homes and establishments like restaurants.
Taper candle holders are also long and thin, reflecting the shape of the candles. This type of candle holder comes in various sizes, shapes, and designs. It is also common for taper candle holders to be accessorized with glass beads, adding color and sparkle to them in the process. Small and subtle colored glass beads can add a dramatic flair to a taper candle holder, while bright and bold ones can make the taper candle holder stand out from the field.
Votive Candle Holders
This type of candle holder is specially designed for votive candles. Often mistaken for tealight candles, a votive candle is a short candle that’s about 2 inches tall and 1.5 inches wide. But compared to a tealight candle, a votive candle is slightly taller and wider, meaning it usually has a longer burn time.
Similar to a tealight, a votive candle is not primarily used for illumination. Rather, it is intended as a decorative accessory. It can also induce relaxation in a space. Most votive candles, after all, are fragrant.
With a votive candle holder, you can get the most out of your votive candles. Votive candle holders come in various shapes and sizes. Some are made of glass and can give your room a colorful glow. Votive candle holders made of metal, on the other hand, can provide dramatic light patterns. Regardless of the material it is made of, a votive candle holder can add to your décor and enable your votive candles to burn safely.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Candle Holder
As you have learned, a candle holder comes in a wide range of types, styles, shapes, materials, and height. It can be quite confusing and tricky for any person to shop for the right type of candle holder.
With the numerous types of candle holders available in the market, you might be at a loss as to which one to get. But there are certain factors that you should consider when shopping for a candle holder.
The primary consideration would always be the type of vessel you have or intend to use at home. For instance, if you have tealight candles, then you should get a tealight candle holder. And if you have a votive candle, the primary choice would be a votive candle holder.
The fit is a secondary consideration. You shouldn’t be surprised that tea lights would be out of place in a votive candle holder. Taper candles, meanwhile, would feet wobbly when placed inside a candlestick holder. As such, it is recommended that you buy a candle and candle holder at the same place so that you can be assured that the candle would fit in the candle holder.
The height of both the candle and the vessel must also be considered. Suffice to say, the candle holder height should be proportionate with the height of the candle. Moreover, you should know the base diameter and the size of the candle holder. The base diameter of the candle holder will also depend on the space where you intend to put it. You’d want the candle holder to be of the appropriate base size so that it can steadily and firmly support the candle.
To sum up, a candle holder may no longer be as important or as critical as it once was. However, you can still make good use of it, especially in setting the mood at home or even in your office. There are seven types of candle holders that you can choose from, each with its own pros and cons. Choose a candle holder which would be a good fit for the candles you have based on considerations such as the height, size, and base diameter of the candle holder.