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The Basics of Emergency Candles

emergency candles
Candles were first used by Romans to light their homes, travel at night, and for religious ceremonies many years ago. Emergency candles are still a mainstay for survival kits after 5,000 years.

When you can't see in the dark, there's not much you can do. An emergency candle, on the other hand, is one of the most underappreciated preparation supplies.

Although you can use battery-operated and solar-powered emergency lights, an emergency candle is a must-have. One emergency candle can save you in more ways than you can imagine in the event of a prolonged power loss or outdoor survival.

When outdoors, emergency candles may also be very useful. It's utilized in camping trips, military base-camps in the woods, and a variety of other occasions. An emergency candle will not let you down as long as you need a trustworthy light source that will last a long time.

Candles don't have to be made of wax to be effective. Candles have traditionally been produced of animal tallow (fat), however liquids such as olive oil can also be used. Candles can be created in a variety of ways, but they all include the same basic components: a wick and a slow-burning fuel.

If you're looking for the most suitable candle for your specific needs, check out this comprehensive buying guide to assist you in selecting the right one for you.

Other than illuminating a room, emergency candles can aid with the following:

  • A few candles in a terracotta pot can provide enough warmth to keep you warm enough to avoid hypothermia.
  • Heating food.
  • Candles can assist dry out damp material before igniting it, or they can be used to keep a flame instead of burning through several matches, fire tinder, or other fuel you want to save.
  • The low, consistent heat is ideal for improvising or repairing gear, such as a tent's damaged plastic seam.
  • Even if it's simply to take a break from your headlamp, there's something to be said for the mental health advantage of having candles nearby in a long-term emergency.

A bit more about candles: 

  • The majority of emergency candles are designed to last 20-115 hours.
  • Candles melt at roughly 140-180 degrees Fahrenheit (60-82 degrees Celsius), so they won't last long in your car trunk or other hot environments. We've even lost candles due to the heat in the attic.
  • Candles can endure an eternity if properly stored. Scented candles can lose their aroma over time, but we're not concerned about that.
  • Liquid paraffin candles are ideal for house candles since they are sealed, do not spill, burn cleanly, and last for over 100 hours.
  • Solid paraffin wax is widespread, although it's not ideal because it gets dirty as it burns.
  • Choose self-contained candles in metal tins or something similar for go-bags and other such items.

Pros and cons of using candles:

The Advantages of Using Emergency Candles

  • Are they inexpensive to purchase?
  • Wax is re-usable (more on that later)
  • You can generate heat on your own.
  • Will defend against EMP events without the use of batteries or power.

The Disadvantages of Using Emergency Candles

  • It's possible that it'll fall over and start a fire.
  • The light source can be unreliable as flickering may take place

The most prevalent types are:

  • Pillar: Thick candles that can stand on their own
  • Container: Candles that are designed to be kept in a container, such as glass or a metal tin.
  • Taper: Long, thin candles that taper at the ends
  • Votive: Short candles intended to sit in a container 
  • Tea lights are small candles in a metal or plastic container.

When purchasing emergency candles, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Burn Time: A candle's burn time is determined by a number of factors. It largely has to do with the amount of wax used, according to this site. Per ounce of wax used, expect a burn time of 7-9 hours.
  • Candles with several wicks are great because you can control the candle's brightness by lighting or extinguishing the wicks. However, candles with several wicks frequently calculate burn time by one wick. A candle with three wicks, for example, might have a burn time of 36 hours.
  • Scented candles should be avoided because having a lot of them burning during a power outage can give you a headache.
  • You don't want your emergency candle to go over on you, so make sure it's stable. You can use thin, tapered candles, but you'll need a nice candle holder.
  • Soy wax is one of the better choices due to its slow burning properties. Paraffin is widely used, although it has the potential to be poisonous. Another reason to dislike paraffin wax for candles is that it leaves a smoky residue when burned, making it difficult to reuse the wax. Beeswax is also a great substitute for paraffin.

How many candles do you need?
emergency candles

Because you won't be utilizing candles as your emergency illumination, calculating the amount of candles you'll need can be tricky. To make things easier, we'll calculate it as if you're only going to utilize candles.
  • Calculate how many hours of lighting you'll require each day.
    The sun sets quite early in the winter (when the majority of power outages occur), and there is a lot of darkness. Even if all of your curtains are open, you will most likely require some lighting from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m.

    That's a total of 12 hours per day.

    However, because we sleep at night, you won't need lights for the entire period.

    Estimate 3 to 6 hours of lighting every day as a decent rule of thumb.
  • How many days are you planning on preparing? You should have three days of emergency illumination at the very least. I prefer to have enough emergency supplies to last at least 30 days. 
  • Next, figure out how many hours of lighting you'll need. To figure out how many hours of lighting you'll need, use this easy formula: Hours of lighting necessary = (number of hours of lighting per day required) x (number of days you are preparing for)
  • Don't forget to figure out how much room you'll need to light. In principle, you could buy one candle with as many hours of lighting as you need and be fine.


However, it's likely that you'll need more than one candle to provide appropriate lighting for your home. As a result, you'll need to figure out how many candles you'll need to light the room.

During a blackout, you're unlikely to use the entire house. The entire family will most likely be assembled in one room.

One tapered candle generates around one foot candle of light, according to this. To light a regular living room, you'll need between 10 to 20 foot candles, according to this. 

Emergency Candle

Last Thoughts

Some individuals believe that candles are a relic of a bygone era when it comes to lighting. Although solar-powered flashlights and rechargeable lamps are available, nothing matches the ever-dependable emergency candles.

What happens if the batteries are depleted? It's not a bad idea to keep some emergency candles on hand. Just remember to have your supplies on hand because you never know when you'll need them.

Buy Emergency Candles Here


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