A glass candle cover, also sometimes referred to as a hurricane cover or chimney, is a glass accessory used to protect the flame of a candle from drafts and provide ventilation. Glass candle covers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles to suit different candle holders and decorative needs. They are an essential candle accessory for both practical and aesthetic purposes.
The Purpose of Glass Candle Covers
Glass candle covers serve several important functions:
|Protecting the candle flame||Glass covers prevent the candle flame from blowing out due to drafts or wind. The glass shelters the flame while still allowing oxygen to feed the fire.|
|Containing melting wax||As the candle burns down, melted wax can drip or splatter. A glass cover contains the wax and prevents messes.|
|Protecting surrounding surfaces||The glass helps prevent wax damage to tablecloths, furniture, and other surfaces near the candle.|
|Preventing discoloration||Candle smoke and soot can dirty walls and surfaces. A glass cover contains smoke, limiting discoloration.|
|Amplifying fragrance||The enclosed space under the glass allows fragrance from scented candles to be concentrated and distributed more efficiently.|
|Decorative appeal||Glass candle covers add visual interest and can be an attractive decorative complement to candle displays.|
By providing protection, enhancing the candle’s performance, and looking attractive, glass candle covers serve practical as well as aesthetic purposes. They help maximize the experience of burning candles whether for light, ambiance or scent.
History of Glass Candle Covers
Using glass to shelter candle flames dates back centuries. Some key historical uses of early glass covers include:
– Lanterns – Since medieval times, glass lanterns were used on carriages, by pedestrians at night, and to illuminate indoor spaces. The glass panels protected the candle inside while allowing light to shine.
– Candelabras – Elaborate candleholders with multiple arms, popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, often incorporated glass sleeves around each candle to prevent wax from dripping.
– Hurricane lamps – Glass lamps containing candles protected by metal and glass first became popular in the 19th century. They provided portable illumination indoors and outdoors.
– Pharmacy jars – Apothecaries used bell jars and glass canisters to cover candles used for lighting as they prepared medicines and tinctures. The glass protected the flames and contained odors.
– Centerpieces – The use of glass covers on candlesticks and candelabras became popular for elegant table centerpieces in the 18th and 19th centuries.
So while early glass covers served practical lighting needs, they also became decorative tabletop accents associated with affluence. This dual purpose continues today.
Modern Glass Candle Cover Designs
Contemporary glass candle covers come in many more shapes, sizes, colors and styles than their early counterparts. Some popular modern design options include:
– Classic hurricane – These are the signature cylindrical, vase-like covers that fit over pillar candles. They range from simple to ornate.
– Lantern – Glass lantern styles that enclose a candle with panels and a hinged door are a modern version of medieval lanterns.
– Bell jar – Glass domes or bell jars that rest on a stand are a popular cover choice for large decorative candles or candle sets.
– Chimney – Tall, narrow glass tubes or chimneys give vintage appeal. They come in varying heights to accommodate taper candles.
– Globe – Round, spherical covers look modern and geometric. They can sit directly on a surface or attach to a stand.
– Square/rectangular – For a contemporary look, these covers have straight sides and flat panels instead of curved glass.
– Colored – Tinted or painted glass provides ambiance. Popular colors include amber, blue, green and red.
– Etched/cut glass – Delicate etched patterns or cuts create intricate light displays. Clear glass etched designs work well with colored candles.
– Adorned – Crystals, beads, seashells and other accents can affix to plain glass covers for a glittering effect.
With this range of inventive styles, sizes and shapes, glass candle covers can match any type of candle and fit into any room’s decor.
Selecting the Right Candle Cover
Certain factors should guide your selection of an appropriate glass candle cover:
– Candle size – The most essential factor is picking a cover that fits the height and diameter of your candleholder. A tight fit is best to keep the candle protected.
– Candle type – Does your candle take the form of a taper, pillar, votive, tealight or jar candle? There are cover designs suited for each.
– Location – Where will the candle be situated? Covers for tabletop use can be more decorative while covers protecting candles placed on the floor or in high-traffic areas should be more durable.
– Aesthetic – What look are you going for? Modern, rustic, minimalist, traditional and other styles are available to match your preferences.
– Ventilation – If the candle will be burned for long periods, make sure the cover allows adequate airflow. Look for adequately spaced vents or cutouts.
– Stability – Ensure the cover has a solid base that will not easily tip over. This is especially important if small children or pets will be nearby.
Keep these factors in mind when browsing glass cover selections to choose pieces that are soundly designed, properly fitted, and pleasing to your eye.
How to Use Glass Candle Covers
Using proper technique will ensure your glass candle cover performs its protective functions safely and effectively:
– Before lighting the candle, place the cover over it to mark the fit. Make sure it is stable and not so large it can easily tip over.
– Trim the wick to 1⁄4 inch before lighting to avoid excess smoking. Long wicks cause more soot to accumulate on the glass.
– Light the candle first, then lower the cover over it. Avoid lighting the candle through the glass.
– Position the cover so it rests 1-2 inches above the candle flame once lit. This provides adequate ventilation.
– Never leave a covered burning candle unattended. Monitor continuously.
– Use maximum caution with taper candles, ensuring the cover allows sideways air intake.
– Allow the candle to fully cool before removing the cover. This will prevent spills of hot wax.
– Clean the cover regularly using glass cleaner or soap and water to remove soot and wax buildup.
Following these tips will keep your candle burning safely so the glass cover can serve its protective purpose while looking beautiful.
Popular Places to Use Glass Candle Covers
Glass candle covers not only safeguard candles, but also make attractive decor additions. Some spots where covered candles commonly accent home decor include:
– Dining tables – Multiple hurricane covers create warm, cozy lighting for dinner.
– Coffee tables and side tables – A tall glass chimney looks striking on a living room side table with a large pillar candle inside.
– Kitchen islands and counters – Lantern styles or bell jars complement kitchen decor.
– Bathroom counters – A small glass cover turns a votive or tealight into spa-like decor next to the sink.
– Bedside tables – For romance as well as reading light, a covered taper glows beautifully on the nightstand.
– Entryways/front porch – Welcome guests with the soft glow of covered candles lighting up the entry.
– Patios and porches – Weatherproof hurricane lanterns allow candlelight outdoors.
– Wedding reception centerpieces – Elaborate candelabras with multiple glass sleeves make stunning table accents.
– Candle centerpiece – Surround a large decorative candle with smaller votives all topped with glass.
Wherever you want to safely enjoy the light and scent of candles, an appropriately sized and styled glass cover does the job with elegance.
Advantages of Glass Candle Covers
Compared to other materials like metal or plastic, glass candle covers offer several advantages:
– Aesthetic appeal – Glass looks classy and luminous, suiting any decor. It creates a warm ambiance.
– Allows candle appreciation – Clear glass provides an unobstructed view of ornate or decorative candles.
– Heat resistance – Glass handles the heat of a candle flame far better than plastic. It also cools faster than metal.
– Light enhancement – The glass seems to magnify and soften the candlelight in flattering ways plastic and metal do not.
– Versatility – Glass can be formed into nearly any shape and decorated in countless ways. Covers can have unique artistic flair.
– Durability – Glass is extremely long-lasting if cared for. It does not dent or warp like metal. Quality glass covers become keepsakes.
– Flame protection – Glass blocks drafts well because it fits snugly around cups and tapers. But it still provides ventilation.
– Wax containment – The smooth interior surface allows wax drips to slide down easily instead of building up.
For candle accessories that protect while looking elegant and showcasing the candle itself, glass is unsurpassed. The range of artistic designs and affordable prices make it a favorite candle cover choice.
Glass Candle Cover Maintenance
With ongoing use, glass candle covers will require proper care and cleaning to look their best:
– Remove wax – Carefully peel off any hardened wax, using a plastic scraper if needed. Avoid scraping the glass surface.
– Wash regularly – Use mild soap and water to clean the inside and outside. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
– Remove soot – For stubborn carbon stains, wipe inside surfaces with a little vinegar or lemon juice using a soft cloth.
– Avoid abrasives – Never use harsh chemical cleaners or scrubbing pads, as they could scratch the glass.
– Check for cracks or chips – Discard any covers with damage that could impact safety.
– Store safely – Place covers carefully in protective boxes or padding when not in use to prevent chips and cracks.
– Consider repurposing – Creatively reuse chipped or damaged covers as tiny cloches to cover plants, desserts or trinkets.
With proper care and cleaning, a quality glass candle cover can provide decades of beauty and protective service for your candles. Handle your glass covers gently to avoid damage.
Fun Facts About Glass Candle Covers
In addition to their beauty and utility, glass candle covers have some fascinating history and unique qualities:
– First patented in England in 1841 by Neil Arnott, a physician who developed the hurricane lamp chimney.
– Early lighthouse lamps were encased in giant glass chimneys up to 12 feet tall to magnify the light.
– A legend claims 18th century Italian glassblowers made the first Murano glass candlesticks with covers to protect the pope’s candles from drafts.
– Molten glass cooled quickly in a mold creates sharp ridges, while slow cooled, hand-blown glass has smoother contours that refract more light.
– Lead crystal contains lead oxide, creating sparkling cuts but also requiring gentle handling due to its softness.
– Grinding and polishing glass after it cools creates cut glass’ smooth, glossy look and feels luxurious.
– Some early pharmacies showcased their wares in their shop windows under glass domes or bell jars known as carboys.
– Thicker, heavier glass not only looks more substantial, but also keeps the enclosed candle hotter.
– The gallery opening of candlelit artwork under glass bell jars at San Francisco’s MATRIX Gallery in the 1970s started a decorative trend.
– Feng shui principles say the element of fire should be balanced. Glass covers focus candle energy in a harmonious way.
With this blend of inventiveness, artistry, and functionality, glass continues offering ideal protection and elegance for candlelight.
From ancient lanterns to elaborate modern accents, glass has proven its merits as an ideal material for enclosing and showcasing candle flames. Safeguarding candles from drafts, containing melting wax, and amplifying their luminosity are just some of the valuable benefits of glass candle covers. With versatility to suit any space, artistry to match any decor, and durable, heat-resistant qualities, these glass accessories not only support practical candle use but enhance their beauty. For affordable objects that protect and elevate the candle experience, a glass cover is an essential investment for all candle enthusiasts. With proper selection and care, glass hurricane vases, chimneys, bell jars, lanterns and other creative cover designs will elevate your candle displays for many years of service.