Candle Care & Safety


Northern Lights  have listed some important guidance notes on safety and burning of candles and other products available on the website where appropriate which  have been written to assist the end user in obtaining the best possible results from their purchase. It is assumed by purchasing any of our products that this information has been read and understood.


1.                   PLACEMENT - Place your candle on a level surface.  Candles that are not level will burn unevenly causing spillage (runs).  This is wasted wax and is the main cause of complaint from customers who expect a longer burn from a given candle size.  It can frequently amount to over HALF of a candles wax capacity and burn time.  The use of decorative candle sand can provide a surface for candles to be correctly levelled. Keep away from drafts which can cause the same problem if the flame bends over the edge of the candle accelerating the burn time and making the candle more dangerous.  Never leave your candle unattended and use a suitable container/holder for it.


1a           Pillar candles on a mantle piece particularly over a wood-burner stove or fire will drip and burn unevenly very quickly in the warm draft.    Use container candles for these locations such as t lights, candle tins, and jars. 


1b          BURN TIMES - Candles which offer/indicate an approximate Burn time, are based on and calculated on the safe and correct use of the product, and will vary if the notes and guides given herein are not followed.


2.                   LOCATION - Do not expose your candle to unnecessary draughts – this can result in the same effect as above i.e. the flame will burn in the direction of the breeze causing the edge of the candle to melt and resulting in spillage.


2a           Never move a lit candle.  This can cause the flame to accelerate, or the wick to move out of centre causing the side of the holder to burn or crack.  Or the surface of the molten wax to splash or ignite. When a candle is near the bottom take particular care with this.


3.                   MAINTENANCE - Keep the wick trimmed.  Wicks that are allowed to burn without trimming will invariably curl and lean to one side.  Wicks can also build up a ball of soot causing the candle to die down, keep the wick clean to improve burn quality by  gently knocking off the excess soot. The wick can be trimmed whilst the candle is cold using ordinary scissors or using our candle trimming tool.  Remove only the carbonised part of the wick (i.e. the bit that will disintegrate in your fingers).  A properly trimmed wick should be about half-an-inch (12 mm) tall., or less.  If the wick should appear to be moving away from the centre of the candle then CAREFULLY (as you need to do this whilst it is still burning) . You can check for a non-centred wick since the candle rim will start to lose its level and sag to one side (assuming this is not being caused by a breeze).  Do not allow carbonised parts of the wick to fall into the wax pool.  This is not only unsightly but will eventually interfere with the burning path and result in spillage. Drafts will also cause uneven burning.  Always put out your candle using a snuffer, blowing out a candle is very dangerous and can cause a burning bit of wick to dislodge from the candle and set fire to something else and splash hot wax about.  If you have to blow out a candle do it gently. 


4.                   FIRST LIGHT and the MELT POOL - Always allow larger candles to burn for a given amount of time after they are first lit as you need to develop a melt pool.  A rule of thumb is to allow a candle to burn for ONE HOUR for every inch of its diameter i.e. a 3-inch diameter candle should, on its first burn, continue for THREE HOURS before being extinguished.  This will form a pool of melted wax that, as the candle burns for the FIRST time, spreads across the width of the candle.  Extinguish the candle before the melt pool exceeds the width of the candle or, if you wish for a ‘lantern effect then do not allow the melt pool to get within one quarter of an inch (6 mm) of the edge.  Forming a correct melt pool will allow your candle to burn to this same diameter at each subsequent relighting thereby utilising the maximum amount of wax.  Failure to form a proper melt pool will result in the candle burning a deep, narrow hole through its centre making it difficult to maintain (trim the wick) and almost impossible to relight. 


5.                   DINNER CANDLES – This type of candle, in particular, suffers the most from incorrect positioning.  Try to ensure the candle is absolutely vertical.  Dripping wax is an immediate indication that the candle is not ‘true’ and this has a huge effect on burn time (can lessen it by half or more). Always trim the wick before each lighting. Keep wick trimmed. Printed and coloured versions take care the wick does not touch the print film or design.


6.                   VOTIVE'S – These should be burned in an appropriate holder.  Failure to do so will result in the candle rapidly spreading and forming a wide, melted lump.  In its correct container a votive candle will still melt but its shape will be maintained by the holder.  Keep an eye on the wick position.  If the wick should move off-centre the votive may not keep its melt pool centred and can result in the wick being drowned (flooded).  Off-centred wicks may also cause the votive holder to crack!   Using an appropriate container will also get you maximum burn time from the candle more easily.


7.                   PILLAR CANDLES – Often the most frustrating type of candle these are more appreciative of the ‘FIRST LIGHT and ‘MELT POOL considerations as mentioned above.  If a pillar candle is burned properly then, at the end of its life, it can be resurrected by placing a tea light candle in the ‘hole that is burned through its middle.  This is particularly effective on coloured (over-dipped) or our picture candles.


8.                   LARGE CANDLES  -  To get the best from your large candle see tip 4.   If the melt pool spills over  the edge of the candle put the candle out and allow the candle to cool for at least 4 hours before re-lighting. 


9.            Metallic candles -  sometimes form a think metal skin around the surface, this is the metal content of the colouring which can not burn.  If this skin effects the wick gentle remove the skin away from the wick and melt pool to allow the candle to burn freely.  When the candle is finished the metal skin will be left behind this is normal.


10.          Hurricane wax shells.  Only burn them for 4 hours at a time or the outer shell may soften and warp.


11.          Burrowing Candles -  In most cases this is caused by not burning the candle long enough on its first burn, refer to tip 4.  If your candle does burrow you can re-set it by carving away the excess wax until the top of the candle is flat again, and start again using the 1 hour per 1 inch diameter rule in point 4. Or you can put a t light inside the shell and use the candle as a lantern. 


12.          Gel Candles -  These burn at a much higher temperature than standard wax candles, great care should be taken when burning these candles, always place on a flame proof  dish, make sure any decoration supplied in the candle does not touch the flame, scented candles and candles with decoration within the wax such as leaves,sticks etc will crackle and may spark a bit if allowed to touch the flame.


13.         Scented candles if you have any unburned candle left when the candle is more or less finished break up the bits a

               and use them in an oil burner.


14.         Jars & Container Candles Handle with care, glass containers are fragile, avoid glass to glass contact when removing the lid,  Do not use if cracked, chipped or scratched.   Do not lift by the lid.   Do not allow the flame to touch the side of the container, adjust wick position if necessary to keep flame from touching sides of your container. The container may become hot handle with care.  To minimize wax left on the sides  burn the candle until a melt pool has formed on the entire surface of the container before putting it out each time. It is normal for some wax to be left, the amount will vary depending on colour, and fragrances used in the candle, and also external influences such as drafts.   Prevent possible heat damage to counter/surface by discontinuing use when 1/2 inches of was remains.   Extinguish carefully before replacing lid.Put the candle out when the wick reaches the bottom of the container i.e do not allow the actual flame to touch the container directly.


15.          Tins -  Tins can become very very hot when in use, always place on a heat resistant surface.   The flames will heat the sides of the tin as burning progresses making sure most of the wax is used.   Burn tins long enough each time so that a large melt pool forms this will prevent the flame burrowing thus wasting a lot of your candle. 


16.           FLOATING CANDLES -  Floating candles generally sit level or just above the surface of the water.  They will rise up as the candle burns thus burning most of the candle completely to the end.  There will be a hollow shell left when they are finished with most types.  Never allow the floating candle flame to be under a glass or decorative over hang.  You can burn floating candles out of the water but as with candles in general always use a flame proof dish.  Note that pool candles whilst designed to float in pools will not work efficiently in strong breezes or rain.   For breezy conditions we recommend our Candle swimmers with t lights inside them.  


17.          Storage - store   candles in a cool and dark place to maintain colour and scent until use.  This is particularly important for candles coloured to order for a special event, colour can be affected by long exposure to bright sunlight/light.


18.           Burntimes issued on candles are based on the candle being lit and burned continuously if a candle is put out

                and on again during its life this will reduce the burn time stated this is particularly relevant to container candles such as jars, t lights and votive's.


19.       Dripping Candles – Whilst there are some candles which are described as non drip it is important to note

               that even non drip candles can drip in the wrong conditions.  Events in large function rooms and halls etc with air conditioning will make candles burn much quicker than they should due to the high oxygen content from the air conditioning meaning that the candles are accelerated beyond their wick capacity and will therefore drip the is the most common cause of dripping candles.  Drafts, from air movement will also cause a candle to drip, such as people moving around, fans, drafts etc.   Candles placed at an angle even if the angle is very slight will cause the wax to run down the candle instead of burning evenly.  Many of our products are non drip  which helps prevent this problem particularly in large hotels and functions but it is important to note there are no guarantees therefore always place your candles correctly within its holder, and allow for  possible dripping to avoid damage to table cloths by using appropriate protection such as extra disposable cloths or dishes under the holder.


20.          Spilt Wax  - Using candles will often  leave spilt wax on surfaces.   See below for some tips for for removal


            a) Wax On fabric, carpets, cloths -  Take some blotting, or tissue paper, (newspaper will also work but can leave ink stains)  Place the paper over the wax , apply a warm iron over the paper  the wax will lift out onto the paper, don’t forget to wipe your iron several times over clean paper to remove wax residue from the iron itself before storage.  Do not leave the iron on the paper for long or the paper and wax may burn.  You may have to do this several times with several fresh sheets of paper to lift out all the wax.


            b) Containers, and holders with wax on them.  If your holder can stand it plunge the containers, holders etc into a basin of boiling hot water from a kettle, this should lift the wax off the surface of your containers.  Leave the water to stand until cold, the wax should now be on the surface of the water in solid bits which can be removed and put in the bin.  Note never put wax down your drains it will block your drains.  You may have to do this several times to remove all the wax from your containers/holders.  Make sure also that the said holder/container can stand the heat before doing this. See note 21 about not using solvents to clean.


21.       Printed candles - Gillen's printed candles will burn as any other candle, the image will melt down slowly with the candle.  Sometimes the image will remain as a shell around the burning candle, particularly if the melt pool is not allowed to get to close to the edge. The image will not burn entirely and should be disposed of with the spent candle and will appear as a coloured melted blob at the end of the candle life.  For example on an average size candle of 140 x 80 the image will stay true and illuminated from the candle for aprox 6 -10 hours before it begins to shrivel down with the candle, if you wish to retain the image for longer do not allow the melt pool to reach the outer edge of the candle (put candle out before melt pool reaches the edge, allow candle to go cold before re-lighting) this will allow the candle to burn down the middle creating a thin shell around the flame with the image held intact within the shell wall creating a lantern effectPrinted dinner candles in particular should always be burnt in a draft free area and have the wick kept very short.  If the print film does ignite put out immediately and peel away the print film from the wick and candle before attempting to relight after candle has cooled.


22.       Printed and coloured glass holders, these are often not suitable for washing using solvents, such as washing up liquid which may damage or destroy the printing and or colouring on holders we always advise do not wash candle holders, wipe out gently with a bit of kitchen town or similar only.  Always test holders before washing the whole thing.  Most candle holders are inexpensive and do not cope with washing.


23.          Wax Tapers-  These are designed to light multiple candles such as pillar candles, or dinner stick candles, they are not suitable for deep holders where you have to hold the taper down to reach the candle, this will cause the wax to catch fire and drip hot wax everywhere.  For deep candles in deep holders use an electronic lighter or long match. 









 FURTHER ADVICE – If you require any additional advice or information on the correct use of candles please do not hesitate to send us an email with your query.  We aim to respond to all email queries within 24 hours.


Candle Safety

Candle Safety

v       Keep the wick of the candle trimmed to approx 1cm.


v       Keep candles out of draughts when lit, otherwise it may cause them to burn unevenly, smoke or drip.


v       Keep wick central.  Check melt pool from time to time, if it’s not central to the wick push the wick towards the area that’s not melting to correct it.


v       Use a candle snuffer to put out your candle



 Large candles ( 2" + diameter)


The first time you light the candle, burn it for 4-5 hours so that a large melt pool is formed, by doing this you will open up the wax and on subsequent lightings the candle will follow that path using most of the wax.  If you only light this size candle for  1-3  hours on the first burning, it will only burn a small core down the middle wasting a lot of your candle.  Remember to keep your wick trimmed.  Candles with a diameter over 5 cm / 2 inches should be burned on a spiked holder or flat dish.


Conical and pyramid shaped candles


Due to the shape of these candles, you will need to trim the wick more frequently until the candle burns down into the wider part of the candle.


Scented candles


If you have any wax left at the end of your candle and it is scented, break up the wax into small pieces and place small amounts on top of an oil burner (no water) light the burner and it will melt the wax releasing the fragrance.


Hurricane Shells


Always ensure that the night-light is central.  Never use anything larger than a night-light to illuminate the Hurricane Shell.  Shells should

only be illuminated for a maximum of two hours.  The shell must be allowed to cool for thirty minutes before relighting. 



Uneven Burning


Some candles no matter how hard you try will still burn unevenly, drip wax, and don’t burn completely.  To minimize this try to keep the wick straight, & trimmed regularly.  Keep the candle out of draughts where possible.  Candles are made in many different ways therefore they burn in many different ways.  In general more expensive ones burn better and longer.Allow wax to solidify before relighting.


Garden & Outdoor candles


Burn outdoors only
When burning torches, position upright in soft earth away from overhanging trees and branches.
Do not burn torches on a patio or near decorative stone ornaments due to possible wax spillage.

Votive & Other Container Candles

These candles can liquefy in use, always burn in a suitable flat based container with sides not on a dish or the candle may collapse.

If enlarged or second flame occurs, extinguish candle immediately. Do not allow the flame to contact the glass, the glass will crack.  When the candle gets to the bottom of the older put it out otherwise the container can over heat.

Clean out holder before using a new candle.

Place holders on a surface that will not be damaged by heat. Do not burn on a television or other warm place

Novelty & Uneven Shaped Candles

Novelty candles are designed to be decorative. Burn on a large holder as irregularly shaped novelty candles may drip profusely

Floating Candles

Floating candles should only be used in suitable water filled bowls if using in ponds or pools make sure you have net to fish out the remains after the candle is finished, most floating candles will sit level with the water surface and rise up as the candle is burnt leaving a small disc left with the wick when candle is finished.


Use a snuffer to put out your candles, this helps to prevent sparks from being blown off the wick and reduced smoking.





Ø        Always use a heat/flame retardant container for your candles.

Ø        Glass containers may crack if exposed to direct flame. Never let the flame come into contact with the container.

Ø        Never leave a burning candle unattended.

Ø        Remove any décor & packaging from candles before lighting.

Ø        Be aware that some décor on or around candles used as decoration may burn or spark.

Ø        Don’t allow pets or children near candles.

Ø        Place candles away from curtains and other flammable furniture.

Ø        Always secure your candle to its container with wax or spike. Extinguish candle before flame reaches 2cm / 1 inch of the holder

        If any part of the candle other than the wick ignites, such as printed film, debris put the candle out immediatly.



Burn time Guide

40 x 75 mm       10 hours
40 x 95 mm        13 hours
40 x 115 mm      15 hours
40 x 135 mm      18 hours
40 x 165  mm     22 hours
40 x 215 mm      32 hours
40 x 300 mm      45 hours
40 x 400 mm      60 hours
40 x 500 mm      77 hours
40 x 600 mm      90 hours
50 x 75 mm        14 hours
50 x 95 mm       18 hours
50 x 115 mm     22 hours
50 x 150 mm     28 hours
50 x 165 mm     35 hours
50 x 215 mm     44 hours
50 x  255 mm  50 ours
50 x 300 mm     61 hours
50 x 400 mm     83 hours
50 x 500 mm    105 hours
50 x 600 mm     127 hours
60 x 120 mm    34 hours
60 x 165 mm    49 hours
60 x 220 mm    68 hours
60 x 265 mm    80 hours
60 x 300 mm    90 hours
60 x 400 mm    120 hours
60 x 500 mm    150 hours
60 x 600 mm     180 hours
70 x 85 mm        29 hours
70 x 100 mm      35 hours
70 x 130 mm      45 hours
70 x 150 mm      52 hours
70 x 175 mm      65 hours
70 x 200 mm    75 hours
70 x 220 mm    85 hours
70 x 250 mm    95 hours
70 x 300 mm    115 hours
70 x 400 mm     150 hours
70 x 500 mm     185 hours
70 x 600 mm     220 hours
80 x 80 mm     33 hours
80 x 130 mm   58 hours
80 x 150 mm   68 hours
80 x 180 mm   75 hours
80 x 230 mm   95 hours
80 x 275 mm   115 hours
80 x 300 mm    130 hours
80 x 400 mm    175 hours
80 x 500 mm   225 hours
80 x 600 mm   275 hours
100 x 170 mm    112 hours
100 x230 mm    155 hours
100 x 280 mm     200 hours
100 x 300 mm    225 hours
100 x 400 mm    390 hours

Gillen Fire Lighter Instructions











These fire lighters are manufactured using waste wax and sawdust.  As a result there are no strong smell, no residues and they do not leave your hands smelling.


Store the fire lighters in a cool, dry place.  Keep away from children.  Excessive heat may cause them to melt and/or stick to each other.


These fire lighters are non toxic and scent-free.


Use only ONE fire lighter when lighting your fire.


Caution ; - Do not use on an already lit and burning fire.


Place the fire lighter, amongst your kindling, coal or wood and touch a lit match to the fire lighter to get things going.


The fire lighter should ignite immediately and build to a large flame very quickly – it will burn vigorously for AT LEAST 5 – 6 minutes.


Once lit they are almost impossible to extinguish – if you must extinguish one do so using SAND, NOT water - smother the flame/fire lighter.


If you have not used our fire lighters before, then please light one in a safe place such as an empty fire grate to allow you to see how the fire lighter burns etc.



Hand Made By:


Gillen Candles,