When it comes to solar powered lights, solar tea lights might not be the first thing that you think of, they certainly weren’t for me when I first started getting interested in solar power. If you don’t know, tea lights are small circular lights that originally got their name after being used to keep tea warm in a kettle. Over the years their uses have evolved and now people use tea lights for a variety of different things including heating scented oils, and aesthetic lighting during events. While real flame tea lights may be the only tea lights that you have heard of, by the end of this article you may change your mind on what type of lights you want to buy. As with many solar powered devices, solar tea lights have a number of advantages that more traditional powered products do not.
A Brief History of Tea Lights
Before I get into the specifics of solar powered tea lights I think it would be good to have a general understanding of tea lights so that you can make an informed decision. Oftentimes, people do not know whether they want or need a product before they make a purchasing decision and this can lead to unhappy customers. We want to give you as much information as possible so that you know what your buying before you decided to spend any money.
As I stated before, tea lights were traditionally used to heat teapots back before there were more convenient ways of heating up liquid. Back then, heating up liquid meant starting and maintaining a fire, and while this was not terribly difficult, being able to keep liquid warm without a roaring flame saved time, energy, and firewood. The tea light was invented in Japan in the 12th century and was the original hot plate, keep both tea and other food warm.
Fast forward nearly 1,000 years to the 21st century and tea lights have become a staple not only for keeping food warm (think fondue), but also for easily creating mood lighting in restaurants and other settings. If you have been out to dinner at night I am sure you can picture exactly what I am describing. The lighting is low, and you sit down at your table where the menu is illuminated by a small light sitting in a glass container. From humble beginnings as a tea warmer, the tea light has grown in popularity so much so that nearly every restaurant in the world has some version of this timeless candle. Whether you want to light up your dinner with some mood lighting, create a nice aesthetic in your home or yard, or simply want some small lighting throughout your house, tealights are the perfect inexpensive solution (which is why they’ve been around since the medieval days!).
As good as tea lights are, the traditional version does have some major drawbacks. Originally invented long before electricity, tea lights are candles encased in glass, allowing the wax to fully liquify during burning. This introduces two risks that are completely mitigated through the use of solar tea lights: an open flame, and hot melted wax. If you are like me, having an open flame in your house just does not seem like the best idea, couple this with the mass amounts of hot melted wax there is inside the candle and real tea lights just do not appeal to me. However in the age of innovation electric tea lights have come to replace the traditional flames in a majority of places, and now, solar powered electric lights have come to replace traditional battery powered tea lights.
Advantages of Solar Powered Tea Lights
One of the big reasons why I believe solar is the energy source of the future is the convenience that it offers. With advances in solar technology occurring at a rapid pace, innovation seems to be happening daily, making solar power more affordable, efficient, and long lasting. When looking at solar tea lights, these advancements are easy to spot. In recent years solar tea lights have become increasingly inexpensive and you can now find packs of eight lights for less than $20. Compared to traditional tea lights, $20 for either lights may still seem relatively expensive, however when you consider the fact that you can use your solar tea lights for multiple years, the cost is clearly justified.
In addition to being cost effective, solar tea lights are also far safer than traditional tea lights. Especially if you want to have tea lights in your home or outside near flammable material, having an open flame is risky. Something could catch on fire or someone could burn themselves. With sun powered tea lights this is never something that you need to worry about. If you have children or pets, knowing that even if the light is knocked out you do need to think about a fire will give you some much needed peace of mind.
Another advantage of solar powered tea lights is their convenience. This stems from a number of different features, including automatically turning on and off. Most solar tea lights will remain off during the day while they charge and then automatically turn on at night, though of course there are manual buttons as well. This allows you to set up your lights wherever you desire and then leave them there to turn on each night after dark. On a full charge most solar tea lights will last up to five hours, giving you an excellent amount of run time. You can also use your tea lights outside without constantly having to relight the candle every time it gets blown out. Tea lights have very small wicks and it only takes the slightest gust to put them out, with solar tea lights as long as they are charged they will run, which is very convenient if you like to use your lights outside.
Overall solar tea lights are a low cost alternative to traditional tea lights and in my opinion are the superior version. From not having to worry about an open flame to the convenience of never having to go around lighting all your candles, solar tea lights give the ambiance of traditional tea lights without any of the hassle. Simply set up your lights, let them charge and watch as they come to life after the sun goes down. I hope you have enjoyed this article on solar tea lights, and perhaps even learned a thing or two about the history of these ancient tools. Thanks so much for reading, leave a comment down below on what you would like us to write about next and we will get to it as soon as possible!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you charge a solar tea light?
They are charged the same as any other solar powered device, simply place the small panel in direct sunlight and wait, it’s as simple as that!
Do they make solar tea lights?
Yes! Tea lights are a relatively new invention however solar power lights have been made for years and the industry has now branched into making solar powered tea lights as well.
How long do solar tea lights take to charge?
Unfortunately this answer is based significantly on the model you decide to purchase, as well as the sunlight that it gets. However, on average most solar tea lights take around 6 hours for a full charge, and will stay lit for up to five hours on a complete charge