Candles are used for many reasons.
In past centuries they were a necessity of life allowing people night life after sun down. It is thought that the ancient Egyptians were the first to use candles for light by soaking the pitchy core of river reeds in tallow.The Romans believed to have been the first to develop candles with wicks. Those candles consisted of tallow derived from such animals as cow, sheep and pig. Those crude Smokey burning candles produced a smelly acrid odor. In the thirteenth century Paris brought forth the first guild of chandlers (candle makers) that traveled from home to home making candles from animal fats collected and saved over the year. Sometime during the Middle Ages beeswax, an insect derived wax, made by honey bees also began to be used for candles. Due to the high expense of the candles they were primarily used by religious factions and those wealthy enough to afford them. Tallow remained the commoners candle wax.
Lots of cultures have produced different ways of generating light, they have tried burning high fat of fish and birds. Some tried boiling berries from the bay berry bush which produced a sweet smelling wax but this process was too tedious which made these candles impractical.By the eighteenth century a new technology enabled the economical hunting of whales. Spermaceti wax obtained from whales became popular in candle making it is said the first “standard” candles were made from spermaceti wax.