Tea Light Personal Space Heater

Jeremy Dixon
by Jeremy Dixon
5 Minutes
This may sound like one of those “free” energy things, and I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical about this working until this morning. After spending a morning next to this thing, I can now say that this tea light candle heater actually works. You have to be near it to get warmer or have a small space to heat, but it works…really.
What is it? Basically it is 4 tea light candles, placed in a foil lined bread dish, covered up with one terracotta pot and that covered up with a larger terracotta pot.How well does it work?I have a relatively large space in my completely unheated basement office, but if i put it next to where I’m sitting I can definitely feel the heat.
Why it works: The inner pot gets really warm, even hot to the touch, so I imagine that the two pot system helps keep some of the heat contained so it can slowly let it radiate from the pot instead of letting the candles heat dissipate quickly in the cold air. I’m sure there are many others who know a lot more about the inner workings of this type of a heating method.
How I made mine: 1 glass bread dish (metal would probably work better if we had one)Line the dish with aluminum foil (I figure it would help reflect the heat back at the pots)4 tea light candles placed in the center of the dish (you can get 100 of them from amazon for $8.95) one smaller clay pot, set on the dish (must be large enough to rest on the top of the dish to create airflow for the candles) a larger clay pot set on top of the whole thing but resting on the top of the bread dish.
Jeremy Dixon
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 12 questions
  • Kent Kent on May 31, 2017
    I don't understand why this would be any warmer than just burning the 4 candles on their own.

  • Cooper Cooper on Jan 01, 2019

    does it have to be tea candles or can you use larger ones

  • Gloria Gloria on Jan 16, 2019

    Could you melt some wax and add wicks to the loaf pan so you’re not constantly lighting tea lights?

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2 of 145 comments
  • BeeZee BeeZee on Feb 09, 2020

    Love the tea candle personal heater! Excellent survival idea (especially in power failure). Thank you for sharing!

  • Barbara Barbara on Mar 24, 2021

    This is a great idea for winters here in NE Ohio. Our electric is always going out and it gets so cold in the house. (It’s the electric company, not our own house...just ask all the neighbors. Lol)