Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hi all!!

Because I live in England I have only ever bought Mathmos / Crestworth lamps as you can very rarely pick up USA made lamps in the UK. I have always been very happy with Mathmos / Crestworth products. The build quality is amazing, great designs, cool colour combo's and they flow so well!!

I was lucky enough to find myself a nice looking USA made Lava Lite lamp on UK Ebay the other week. I think they are called "Century's" with the pin holes in the base to let the light out?? What a cool idea!! Well I got the lamp fired up and it started to bubble away!! And I mean bubble!! It is very different to the flow of a Mathmos lamp. It seems to give of loads of small blobs rather than the iconic one blob at a time you get with the Mathmos lamps. I have looked at a lot of pictures of USA lamps in action on this forum and many seem to have this characteristic of giving off loads of small blobs.

To be honest, i'm not too keen. I much prefer the flow of the English made Mathmos / Crestworth lamps.

I am interested to hear other peoples opinions on this....

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hi lavaman-uk

yes i have been looking to buy a USA century for a while as they look realy smart but like you i have looked at 100s of pic's on here and on the net in general and i to have noticed the USA lamps do not flow anywhere near the mathmos, i myself like to see the classic long string type flow as its so gracefull although every mathmos bottle has a slightly different flow and any i buy that seem to be in small blobs from the start i sell them on, i have noticed the fluridium seems to flow the same and again im not a fan. some mathmos bottles will end up in small blobs if they get to hot but most of mine will not do this until they have been on for around 5 to 6 hours but then you should only run them for a maximum of 6 hours a day unless its a lunar size bottle.

the only non mathmos lamp i have that flows just great is the lava grande 27" USA BUT MADE IN CHINA that flows nearly like my lunar ONLY NEARLY but i do use a dimmer switch, full boost and once its flowing fast around 4 hours i turn it down a touch just enough to keep it running in the long string effect looks great with no real loss of light but if i leave it on full power by around 5 hours its lots of blobs so you see this lamp now is a china job for the USA and its still no good without the use of a dimmer switch, use a dimmer switch its great!

so no in my opinion i dont like the flow of the USA lamp (please everyone thats just my opinion) no offence ment or intended but you know at the end of the day the true inventer was edward craven walker creastworth so that says it all mathmos rule!! opps now i have done it :o( just one more point to make though you must give it to the USA they have had some great lamps with designs to envy most mathmos fans, i would like to collect some of those lamps but its to costly to bring them into the uk with customes and excise on your back!!!

cheers all :o)
Hi Bohdan!! Thanks for your comments. I have checked my lamp and it does have the inner heat ring shown in your pic. My bulb looks different to yours though. Mine is one of the reflector type bulbs. Do you think this is why mine does not flow well?

Some of the early US lava lamps flow beautifully, but the new stuff is not up to snuff, to say the least.

As far as new lamps are concerned, Mathmos is the best, period.
The vase is a red wax with clear liquid. Do you think the reflector bulb is causing the wax to overheat? I might buy a similar bulb to yours ans see what happens. My lamp is also slightly different to yours, it is silver not black.

I do like the look of some of the early USA lamps. and from the pictures I have seen on here they do seem to flow a lot better than the modern ones. I would like to add a few to my collection but it would cost me $80 just to have one lamp shipped over to England!!
I totally agree Nostalgia. Some of the USA lamps have some awesome designs!! The ceramics etc... The Mathmos designs have been a bit "Dull" in recent years. They seriously need to look at jazzing up their Lava Lamp range. Even in recent years they did some special editions like Glitterballs and the Limited Edition Flock lamps. but there has been nothing in the past few years.

This post is in no way a dig at the guys in the USA in general. I was just commenting on the flow of the modern USA lamps.

At the end of the day I like to see the Americans and the English as good buddies!!
I agree...
I thought it was my inexperience on judging the lamps or the fact that some lamps where older so the wax was slower.
But among the 7usa and 4 crestworth-mathmos I own I noticed this, that english ones are slower and, probably cooler to watch at.
Anyway I have a wonderful midnight century which is soooo slow, it tends to make one continued column from down to up.
With all the respect due to bohdan, but I don't believe that putting a frosted bulb will slow that much.
anyway, does any believe that when the was is older is slower (or faster)??
I am a Mathmos fan obviously, but lately I've been thinking of buying a Grande. It would look great on the other side of the Lunar. Does anyone know if there is a German retailer that carries them? (The germans have the same plugs as us here in Sweden.)
I think we'll always prefer that which we are used to or "grew up with".

When itcomes to US Lava Lamps, I only owned a Safari Cheetah for a while and must say that, while it did run nicely, I was really disappointed with the finish, a simple decal (with an ugly seam) painted over with a clear plastic-like coating.

But I really like the look of some of the real vintage US-Lamps: Aristocrat with "squiggle" paint, anybody? Astrolite? Or what about the candle-lit Consort-Continental?

On the other hand, I am a reactionary snob anyways!!!
I swear by the Astro, but only the older ones! I strongly disagree with changing the look by adding those nasty plastic feet and at the same time labeling it "the original since 1963". That's like pretending the new VW-Beetle is exactly like the old one!
Other models? In my humble opinion (and that's just me!) the Jet is too simple, the Astro Baby is too small, the telstar is needy (the legs tarnish and may fall off when you move the lamp) and the Fluidium is a piece of plastic that, elegant as it may be, IMO speaks of the bad habit of re-inventing the wheel for profit. And don't get me started on examining how clever the idea really can be... ;) ;) ;)

Edward Craven Walker worked years on the perfect design with regard to best function and effect. I also believe that there are technical reasons that make the Astro the best lava lamp. And lastly, even the golden ratio is present in its design...
Ah, Novemberchild, you obviously dont own a lunar?
knocks spots off the astro IMHO

I find the astro shape just way too copied. i like the jets for their straight simple lines. i started collecting with jets as they are affordable and come in many lovely colours.

So i really like the jets, but hands down, its the lunars all the way, they are great :)
I have a Mathmos Astro and a Lava Grande, and I have to say they both flow beautifully, I am more than happy with both, the Astro for its iconic originality and the Grane for the fact that it's enormous! Does anyone know how the Grande compares with the Lunar on capacity?

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