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  • A form of private street lighting began in Dublin as early as 1616 when the Candlelight Law was passed, "compelling every fifth house to display a light within prescribed hours of the night for the guidance of street-users".
  • A candle's flame has two distinct regions. The bluer, hotter region near the wick, burns hydrogen combined with atmospheric oxygen to form water vapour. The brighter yellow part of the flame is carbon being oxidised to form carbon dioxide, the same by-products produced by breathing.
  • Someone who makes candles is known as a chandler.
  • With the fairly consistent and measurable burning of a candle, a common use in the past was to measure time. The accuracy of this however, would have been relatively poor!
  • Candles can be made of paraffin (a by-product of oil refining), stearin (now produced almost exclusively from palm waxes), beeswax (a by-product of honey collection), some plant waxes (generally palm, carnauba, bayberry, or soy), or tallow (a rarely used by-product of beef fat rendering).
  • The amount of soot produced by a candle, irrespective of wax type, depends on factors such as draughts or poorly sized wicks, which will lead to sooting.
  • Decorative candle holders, especially those shaped as a pedestal, are called candlesticks; if multiple candles are held, the term candelabrum is also used
  • The root form of chandelier is from the word for candle, though candles are rarely raised and hung today.
  • Until the 1970s, lead was commonly used to provide a rigid core for the wicks of container candles, whose wicks tended to sag and extinguish as the pool of wax became too large.
  • A Rushlight is a type of candle formed using the dried pith of the rush plant as its wick. The pith was typically dipped in any household fat or grease that was available, although beeswax or good tallow improved the quality of the light. Long before electricity or even paraffin candles, a rushlight provided very economical lighting. A rushlight 2/3 of a metre long (about 2 feet) might burn for an hour and cost practically nothing to make.
  • The candela (symbol: cd, Latin for candle) is one of the seven SI base units measuring the luminous intensity of a light source. It supersedes the former candlepower.
  • Candles were invented circa 3000 BC.
  • Candle industry research indicates that the most important factors affecting candle sales are scent, color, cost and shape. Fragrance is by far the most important characteristic, with three-fourths of candle purchasers saying it is "extremely important" or "very important" in their selection of a candle for the home.
  • Candle manufacturers' surveys show that 96% of all candles purchased are bought by women.
  • Candle users say they most frequently burn candles in the living room (42%), followed by the kitchen (18%) and the bedroom (13%).
  • U.S. retail sales of candles are estimated at approximately $2 billion annually, excluding sales of candle accessories.

  • Consumers say they typically burn candles for just under three hours.
  • Nine out of ten candle users say they use candles to make a room feel comfortable or cosy.
  • Candle purchasers view candles as an appropriate gift for the holidays (76%), as a house warming gift (74%), a hostess/dinner party gift (66%), a thank you (61%) and as adult birthday gifts (58%).
  • Tea lights are the most frequently purchased type of candle, followed by votives and container candles.
  • The "Magic Candles", available in confectionary stores are candles which cannot be blown out, as they re-ignite. This is because the wax is treated with red phosphorus.  The glowing wick will make the little particles of phosphorus spark up and make the candle burst back into flame.
  • Michael Faraday, the 19th-century scientist, once wrote; "there is no more open door by which you can enter into the study of natural philosophy [science] than by considering the phenomena of a candle."

© Connemara Candles 2005 - 2009