Product Type: Sainsbury's in Homeware
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Let The Light Shine
Sainsburys Basics Tealights
Member Name: zoe_page_1
Sainsburys Basics Tealights
Advantages: Really cheap, versatile
Disadvantages: Definitely lower quality than some, fiddly wicks
I have a few holders for tea-lights, most of which are quite pretty and intricate and, more importantly, are structures that don't display the candle inside but just let its light shine through. For these, I don't need fancy tea-lights (colours, for example, would not be seen, and as I light then en masse, I tend to prefer non-scented ones) so I just buy the bog standard variety. When my recent stash ran out, I happened to be in Sainsbury when I remembered so searched their shelves and saw these.
The tea-lights look no different from many others, a small silver circle filled with a white wax and with a short wick. If you look closely, though, and especially if you pick them up to feel, you'll notice that they are slightly lower quality than some. The silver base, for example, is extremely thin and flimsy, and it's only the wax that's holding it in shape. The wicks are also folded over almost entirely and I find you cannot light them as they are, you really need to pull it up to an angle approaching 90 degrees before it will work. I know for packing purposes you couldn't sell them with their wicks up, but these do seem far more pushed down than others I have tried, and some of this batch have also been quite stuck to the wax, meaning you have to pick at them in a fiddly way to separate the two parts.
Once the wick is up, these are easy to light. I find they burn quite quickly though and I get somewhere between 2 and 3 hours out of each, with a good, strong light. They seem to melt in an odd way and once they've been burning for just 15 minutes or so, the silver bases really start to lose their shape if you pick them up. These are not good candles to move (after their initial lighting) and I don't find they re-light easily or feel quite as safe after being extinguished and relit. For this reason, I do not so much mind the burn time as it means I can start a new tea-light and use it all up in one go, but it's something to bear in mind if you like to light candles for short periods of time and relight them later.
Once one is all used up, you can really see how flimsy the silver part is. It is barely stronger than tin foil and crumbles at the smallest of touches. It doesn't fill me with much confidence regarding them as a product, but when they are full of wax they do feel 'proper' and on a par with other brands so that's what you have to focus on.
These are plain, white, unscented tea-lights which means they are great for using when you want a flame but don't care where it comes from. I will sometimes also use a few alongside a more expensive scented candle to give a nice effect without having them conflicting with the scent (or strengthening it into a stench).
Even if you view these as single-use tea-lights, I do think they offer value for money, and because of their price I never hesitate at lighting a few at once in different holders. From this I have seen again and again that burn time varies (I'll light 3 or 4 new ones at the same time, and watch them peter out individually over the course of as long as an hour) but for the price I don't think that's something you can be too fussy about.
Price varies as does pack size, but they seem to hover around the 100-for-£2 or 200-for-£3.50 mark, and even if you burn half a dozen a night, every night, that's under £1 a week or a maximum of 2p per candle per hour.
Summary: A budget product in quality as well as price, so it depends on what you're after
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