If you are looking for an inexpensive and easy way to give your next house gathering a sense of romantic drama, or even if you just want to make your home more beautiful and save energy at the same time, candles are a fantastic alternative to electric lighting, and they’re really versatile, too.

The Magic of Candles

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In our homes, we often use more light than we actually need. Things like reading and writing require adequate light, certainly, but if you’re just watching television or eating dinner, you don’t really need every single corner of the room to be brightly lit.

In recent years lighting technology has come a long way, and the new energy-saving bulbs are much more friendly to your wallet and to the environment than the old incandescent ones, but you can go even further with your savings by turning the lights off altogether and going with candles.

Sure, it’s not appropriate all the time, but even just a couple of hours a night without using electric lights can make a significant difference to your electric bill at the end of the month.

Aside from the practical arguments, candlelight is also beautiful and mysterious. We associate it with romance, and with exotic charm. It can transform the atmosphere of a room, and can make you feel for a time like your home looks completely different and more dramatic than it usually does.

Again, this may not be something you want to do all the time, but it’s nice just to give your home that enchanting, inviting feel. Aromatherapy is a very popular practice at the moment, and candles are a perfect way to take advantage of all that this growing field has to offer.

Even if you don’t believe that aromatherapy has any medicinal benefits, you cannot deny that smell affects our emotions and moods, and even standard scented candles can evoke wonderful memories, or give your home a specific ambiance.

Scented candles come in an endless variety of aromas; these days you can make your house smell like anything from Christmas cookies to cucumbers. Candle holders can be even more of a decorative feature than the candles themselves.

In particular, holders that house the entire candle inside them are beautiful to look at, and usually reflect the light in an interesting and evocative way. You can find candle holders made of stained glass, decorative pieces of metal, or even ones that are constructed from paper and made to resemble Asian lanterns. If you buy nice holders, then you can get away with buying cheap tea-light candles in bulk, because no one will see the candles anyway.

Before you go out and buy a ton of candles to put everywhere around your house, consider some practical and safety issues. Candles do put off quite a lot of heat, especially directly above the flame, so it is important that any surface above the candle (such as a shelf) be at least three feet away from the flame, and preferably made of non-flammable material. Also, be aware that children and pets are not always compatible with open flames.

Kids can be very curious, so make sure that any lit candles are well out of their reach, and/or that the candles are in a place where you can keep an eye on what’s happening. Pets, and cats in particular, are often oblivious to candlelight being near them, so it’s best to do whatever you have to do to ensure that your kitty doesn’t accidentally set her tail on fire.

If you can put your candles in holders where the flame is not touchable, that’s probably best for everyone involved. When the weather gets cooler and the nights draw in, it’s the perfect time to decorate your home in a subtle and soothing fashion. Candles are just the thing to give your home a feeling of warmth this winter, or at any time of year.

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