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Candle Warmer vs. Traditional Candle: What's the Difference?

Does warming work better than burning a wick?
Photo/s: Muse Candles / FelixMittermeie on Pixabay

You’ve probably already seen those nifty-looking lamps called “candle warmers” on social media ads and on Lazada or Shopee, and while the fact is that they’ve been around for a while, it’s only recently that they’re gaining popularity. So what exactly are they, and what do they do?

What is a candle warmer?

A candle warmer is basically a lamp installed with a halogen bulb. (Halogen bulbs are usually used as lighting accents in some homes, as well as food warmers by caterers.) You can adjust the brightness with a dimmer switch—the brighter it is, the warmer the light gets. The point is to put your wickless scented candle beneath the warm bulb to allow it to melt and diffuse the scent.

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What’s the difference between using a candle warmer and burning a candle's wick?

If you’re a scented candle junkie, you already know how to care for your candle, whether it’s your first burn or not: first trim your wick (to avoid those black stains on your jar), and second, allow your candle to burn until the top wax layer has equally melted. You’ll want to avoid tunneling, which looks something like this:

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Tunneling wastes most of your scented wax—unless of course, you plan to melt it and turn it into another candle. But while it’s something to do for a crafting weekend, there’s a certain satisfaction in seeing a nice, equal burn and knowing that you’ve managed to properly utilize the entire candle you bought.

Going for a candle warmer completely deletes the entire wick-trimming process, precisely because it uses wickless candles, which are basically jars of scented wax. As these are placed beneath your dimmable halogen lamp, you get equal burn every time.

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Does warming efficiently make your candle last longer? It actually does, according to Patricia Chua, co-owner of Muse, a local seller of candle warmers and wickless candles. “The bulb melts the top layer so the wax never burns away,” she shares with Real Living. “This way you, receive all of the fragrance with no carbon dioxide that burning candles produce and your candle will last at least twice as long.”

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Is a candle warmer safe to use?

The short answer is yes, but like any other device that produces heat, there are a few pointers you have to take note of. Here are a few guidelines when using one, based on those from Muse and our own experience:

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  1. The lamp, as well as its covering, tend to get hot, especially when it’s on for quite some time. Best be careful.
  2. Make sure to turn off and unplug the lamp to allow it to cool before cleaning or replacing the bulb.
  3. When cleaning or replacing the bulb, make sure to use a soft cloth in handling it. Halogen bulbs should never be handled with your bare fingers, as according the The Lighting Company, “Halogen bulbs, tubes, and capsules are made of quartz, rather than ordinary glass, so they can withstand the higher temperatures. If you touch the bulb with your fingers, the salts and oils from your skin will damage the bulb and cause the heat to concentrate. This can significantly reduce the life of the bulb or even worse cause it to shatter.”
  4. Keep the lamp away from flammable materials, always allow it to rest, and never leave it on and unattended.

Candle warmer pros and cons

A candle warmer not only makes for great mood lighting, but it also effectively diffuses the scent of your wickless candle sans the burning smell of traditional candles. You can also use your old tunneled candles with them so that they can get an equal melt. 

The con is probably the fact that it uses electricity with a bulb that has a high wattage. A halogen bulb, which is the only kind of light that you should install in your warmer, produces heat. In fact, it’s several times more makonsumo than your regular LED light, which is why it’s important to make sure that you don’t keep it on for long periods.

Looking to get your hands on a candle warmer? Check out Muse’s current catalogue. Each warmer costs P1,499, while a warmer plus one soy candle is at P1,980. Candles come in the following scents: Aqua (cucumber, aloe, and pineapple),  Vita (white tea, bergamot, and ginger), and Luna (passionfruit, peony, and jasmine).

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Want to get cosier? Add these into the mix for a relaxing vibe:

Blanket Hugs Weighted Blanket

Inquire prices at Instagram/blankethugsph

Tempur Millennium Queen Pillow

Starts at P8,700

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