So I noticed that in the most recent experimental branch of the game, candles… don’t last very long. Just about 25 minutes, actually, which isn’t particularly realistic, unless we’re talking about birthday candles, in which case it’s a little too long.
That being said, I don’t think that they’re intended to be birthday candles… According to the description, these are thick candles, and are specifically meant to burn for a long time, which means that realistically, they should burn for a few hours at least. Maybe 5 if you want to be conservative about it, or up to 9 if you want to keep them around a little longer.
Another potential reason for the short burning times might be whatever code is randomizing the uses left on matches and lighters when you find them. Maybe the 5 candles I just burned through just have particularly low ‘fuel’ left when I find them… but I can’t tell, the fuel number no longer seems to appear.
If this is a question about balance, and candles being too useful… setting houses to spawn them less often – like, 30% of the time or something – could keep them a useful, but very finite resource. Right now, as they are, they’re not particularly useful. Just more garbage in the kitchen that might get you killed if a zombie spots you from a mile away while you use it.