How Do Colour Changing Candles Work?

by Lori Dwyer on July 30, 2013 · 0 comments

Houses develop their own particular scent. Every house has a smell to it, pleasant or not.  The structure of the house itself is only partly responsible for the scent it takes on. Most of the smell belongs to the house’s occupants.

When I was little my auntie’s house always smelled divine. Heavy and comforting and slightly cloying, it smelt like cinnamon and sandalwood, and kitschy 80′s washed hessian wall-hangings.

As a general rule, you don’t smell your own house. You’re there to often. But I’ve been away from my house for two or three day stretches often enough in the last six months to come to a somewhat shameful realisation.

My house smells a little bit like ‘crazy cat lady’.

That’s not very cool.

To be honest, we’re not going to be here much longer, anyway. It seems we’re moving to Melbourne very, very soon (more on that tomorrow). Scented candles seem to be a very useful temporary solution. Cue the Air Wick Black Edition Multicolour Candle.

And this candle is right up there with lava lamps in terms of ‘trippy’. It actually kaleidoscopes through different colours.  Check out the five second video here.




It’s certainly a conversation piece. It’s been a source of fascination to me and everyone else who visited the TinyTrainHouse in the last week or so. How does it work…? How far down would it burn? How the hell does it work?

We got experimental. After exposing the candle to various light and heat sources, we determined it was heat activated. But that still didn’t really solve the mystery.

Not knowing how things work frustrates me. I’m sure I could have Googled the answer. But that didn’t seem like nearly as much fun as pulling the candle apart and finding out for myself.

So. Step one, which was surprisingly easy- removing the candle from it’s black glass jar.




Step two. Cut the candle in half.




And that was as far as we needed to go, really before the answer to one of life’s biggest questions was revealed. How does the color change candle work…?




Two wicks- a normal candle wick, and a wick coated in thicker wax that appears to be the heat sensor. Three light globes in the base of the candle- one red, one green, one blue, that light up in patterns to produce different colours.




Mystery, solved. Just call me Daphne. Or, slightly more realistically, Velma.

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