The best candle, barbecue, bonfire and sparkler lighter

If you’ve managed to get this far in the year and still haven’t heard the term ‘hygge’ you’re probably happier off that way. Hygge is a sort of Danish philosophy on happiness – involving cinnamon buns and lots of candles – I can feel an irreverent post coming on as I think about it. But that will be later. For the moment I am concerned with the candles.

I light a lot of candles. In my dining room currently there are 39 candles, and on high days and holidays they all get lit.

Sienna Gold's maxilite turbo lighter
Sienna Gold’s maxilite turbo lighter

And I light them in difficult conditions – I also spend a lot of time by the sea, and lighting candles outdoors and exposed to strong breezes, even ones which are well protected in hurricane lamps, is notoriously difficult.

If I’m not by the sea, I may be battling time pressures – I’m talking birthday cake candles or sparklers now. I can’t count the number of occasions I’ve seen my guests poised, holding their breath ready to ring out Happy Birthday, while I and an accomplice fiddle hopelessly trying to ignite the confection.

So I’ve experimented with a wide range of candle lighters over the years and most of them have driven me to distraction. Either they need refilling every two seconds…. and become useless after five. Or the flame simply isn’t man enough to do its lighting.

But now all of that has changed! I have discovered the Maxilite turbo lighter. I picked this lighter up in a supermarket (I can’t remember whether Waitrose, Sainsburys or Tesco – they all stock them) and so far it has never let me down. It’s more like a sort of super-focused mini-blowtorch.

The flame doesn’t blow out, even in the face of quite serious gusts. So it’s great for other outside uses – barbecues and bonfires for example.

It’s refillable; adjustable; and it has a safety lock. And it costs less than £3. Available in the supermarkets above or at Homebase, or through the manufacturers, Sienna Gold. Brilliant!


This post is dedicated to Siena Gold (correct spelling of Siena – she is named after the Italian city – a real person, not the lighter manufacturers!)

The turbo lighter on the left... a couple of the other lighters I have tried on the right
The turbo lighter on the left… a couple of the other lighters I have tried on the right

Suitable music to listen to as you consider all this? José Feliciano’s Light My Fire


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