Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I've looked everywhere for a good bulb alternative.  After repeated attempts to order a bulb only to receive a box of glass shards I almost *ALMOST* gave up.

Since our lamps use 1-way sockets, they'll use the medium output on 3-way bulbs!  So I ran down to my local store, bought a $2 box of 50/100/150w bulbs, and it's been flowing for the first time in 2 years!  I thought I was going to have to mod the base a little bit since the bulbs are so huge, but the grande's base allows for the massive bulbs without a problem.  I had to bump the dimmer down just a bit since it's closer to the globe, but it was minimal.

As a perk, 3-way bulbs are exempt from the incandescent phase-out, so they'll be made for a long time :).

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Nice!

Update!:  So while the 3-way worked, I didn't like the color I was finding them in (like 3,000K or so), and they seemed like really low CRI... there's no point of having beautifully colored gookits that you spend days tuning only to have it dulled with a bulb!  This may be psychosomatic, but I think that the bulb makes better flow since it takes up the entire opening of the lamp... maybe better heat distribution or something, I don't know, and I may be imagining that one, but that's my impression atm.

I set out again for another bulb, and I actually found one that is SIGNIFICANTLY better than the OEM lavalite bulbs!  Here's a link to the manufacture's website, but you buy them at pet stores (I bought mine at Petco).  They're R25/100s, but you can also get them in 75w if you prefer (I prefer to use a dimmer instead).  You'll notice that the bulb is actually bigger than the OEM R20/100, and the bulb fits the opening perfectly in every way.  The lamp starts flowing in about an hour and a half, which I'm assuming is due to the way the reflector is setup, and also being a physically larger bulb than the R20/100.  Most importantly, since it does flow perfectly, is that the CRI is amazing, and my red gookit looks almost like neon blood!  I did some checking, and these also won't be going anywhere since they're specialty bulbs for reptiles, and that's a huge piece of mind since I don't plan on getting rid of my lamp anytime soon.

Anyway, here's a link to the very one I bought, and you can buy them at any local petstore like Petco and Petsmart (they seem to be the most popular daylight basking bulbs): Exo Terra Daylight Basking Bulb (R25/100 PT2133).  I hope this helps anyone that is having problems finding a replacement bulb, or is worried about the OEM bulbs disappearing forever.  :)

I wonder if the UV A will cause fading though over time...other than that it seems very similar to the IR heat bulb being used in the colossus nowadays



Jeff said:

I wonder if the UV A will cause fading though over time...other than that it seems very similar to the IR heat bulb being used in the colossus nowadays


It may just be me, but wax only lasts maybe a year before I have to replace it, so I think that'll come way before discolor. Not to mention, I don't think they design the bulb for UV, but rather it's a perk (for reptiles anyway), because typical bulbs put out a fair amount as well.

Wonky Tonk, Are we talking China or USA here as far as your wax lasting a year?  Because some of the Vintage lamps that are around are super old and the wax still looks pretty good.  I think there are ways us as lamp luvers can really push these lamps to their max, lol!!!  I know when I was new to the lava world (still new, lol), I fried 2 of my lamp's wax by over-running them.  I'm realy careful now to only run them 8 hours max.  Also, for my lamps that I know for a fact overheat by their flow after on for so long, I have put dimmer's on them.  Not only does this bring back the "snake" like flow I like, I think it might actually help the lava's longevity (can't hurt right??).  Also, I have read somewhere on here from another member (can't remember who) that if you run your lamps constantly with a higher wattage bulb, that can do your wax in also.  I have put a 60 in where a 40 was called for, but that was just to melt my separated wax when the air conditioning was making my son's lamp "stubborn", but then I replaced it back with it's 40 watt again.  I run my lamps every day for 8 hours, I hope I get more then a year out of my wax!!  good god!!!  lol!!  Um, maybe I need more lamps so I can do a rotational thing!??  lol

Oh, I forgot the biggest thing too!!!  Sunlight!!  Wow, that fried my son's lava in less then 8 months!!  Just the brightness in his room.  I take a dark old pair of gym shorts that he doesn't use anymore and slide the leg down over his 52 oz neon green during the day hours, lol!!!  Now these lamps I'm referencing are the newer China manufactured lamps.  I dare not keep any of my lamps near the window or direct sunlight anymore!!!  My daughter's good at sewing so I've even asked her to start making Lava Lamp covers so when the lamp is off, if it's in a bight room where it cannot be avoided, it can be covered.......good idea right?



Carol Morrow said:

Wonky Tonk, Are we talking China or USA here as far as your wax lasting a year?  Because some of the Vintage lamps that are around are super old and the wax still looks pretty good.  I think there are ways us as lamp luvers can really push these lamps to their max, lol!!!  I know when I was new to the lava world (still new, lol), I fried 2 of my lamp's wax by over-running them.  I'm realy careful now to only run them 8 hours max.  Also, for my lamps that I know for a fact overheat by their flow after on for so long, I have put dimmer's on them.  Not only does this bring back the "snake" like flow I like, I think it might actually help the lava's longevity (can't hurt right??).  Also, I have read somewhere on here from another member (can't remember who) that if you run your lamps constantly with a higher wattage bulb, that can do your wax in also.  I have put a 60 in where a 40 was called for, but that was just to melt my separated wax when the air conditioning was making my son's lamp "stubborn", but then I replaced it back with it's 40 watt again.  I run my lamps every day for 8 hours, I hope I get more then a year out of my wax!!  good god!!!  lol!!  Um, maybe I need more lamps so I can do a rotational thing!??  lol


Oh, I abuse my lamps, and I keep my grande on 24/7/365. Using a dimmer, and precisely tuning it prevents any unnecessary "wear", but that's still 61,320 hours I put the lamp through before redoing the wax, which is about what I should expect from any wax I suppose. If I just ran it for maybe 8 hours a day, then it would last for 3 years of constant use, and even longer if I weren't so picky about the flow and artifacts (they seem to start forming towards the end of the technical life of the wax). The cost of regooing it makes it about $0.11 per day to run, and I'm okay with that to have a steady lamp flowing. :)

Heat kills the wax in the end, so I think proper control resolves a lot of premature problems, and I could probably stretch out my gookits for a few years even, but the opacity looks weird eventually, and there's particles that start forming, and the color starts fading...etc. I've learned that with the color fade, you CAN add a small amount of dyes to rejuvenate it, so fading would be my absolutely least concern.

As far as older lamps working great, I will agree that sometimes they will, but I've also seen my fair amount of people that talk about how much better it looks because it is USA made, and in reality it could look terrible! I wear Dr. Martens, and I see the same thing... people saying that the british made ones were just better, but really they weren't better, just different. Now there are some really old US lamps that are absolutely amazing! My cousin has an old 20oz, and it flows as good as my grande (it's like a bonsai Grande!), and I'm sure it's from the chemicals they were allowed to use back then, because I can stare at it for hours in admiration.

I notice the "artifacts" in some of my vintage's.  Like the big air bubbles, and such.  I wish I could re-goo but I don't feel confident enough YET, but believe me you, I'm going to attempt it at some point in time!!  lol!!!  But I think that's a good idea if you want to have your lamps running constantly!!!  For .11 ya can't beat it!!



Carol Morrow said:

I notice the "artifacts" in some of my vintage's.  Like the big air bubbles, and such.  I wish I could re-goo but I don't feel confident enough YET, but believe me you, I'm going to attempt it at some point in time!!  lol!!!  But I think that's a good idea if you want to have your lamps running constantly!!!  For .11 ya can't beat it!!


Yeah, and by $0.11 per day, that's for 24/7 flow; if you want to run it for 8 hours a day, then it'd be $0.03 per day! Gookits are VERY easy and simple! I was really worried to do it on my first try, but you just take your top off, get it flowing, dump everything out, pour the new wax in, and start it up! Afterwards you'll add the minimum surfactant, watch how it flows, and add a bit more to get it how you like. The water and wax dyes can be added after everything else is done, so you can really fine tune your colors. All in all, it takes about 20 minutes of actual work, and the rest of the time is just waiting for everything to flow and cool off. If you mess up the surfactant, then just dump out the water and try again... As long as you don't shake it, I don't think it's possible to mess up a gookit during the process (just add your wax dyes very slowly). Wax dyes can be added to white flowing wax instead of trying to do it before adding the wax to your precious lamp. IMO, gookits flow better than vintage USA lamps, but that's subjective of course. :)

It's like one of those things I guess.  When you read it instead of just doing it, it seems much more complicated!!!  So you do your wax first??  You say dump out the old wax, put the new wax in, and start it up!!!  How can you start it up without the water in it?  I have went over the goo-kit tutorial, but it frightened me, haaaa!!!  You make it sound a lot easier.  Ok, maybe I will order a goo-kit and try to mess with my 52 oz neon purple that I fried horribly!!!  Question, I've read somewhere that there is percolate or something that smells really bad and is dangerous to breathe in.  It must be done outside.  I think I saw that on a youtube video.  How true is this?  Do I need a spacesuit to work with this stuff, lol??!!

Do you use the MT goo-kit from ebay?

 



Carol Morrow said:

It's like one of those things I guess.  When you read it instead of just doing it, it seems much more complicated!!!  So you do your wax first??  You say dump out the old wax, put the new wax in, and start it up!!!  How can you start it up without the water in it?  I have went over the goo-kit tutorial, but it frightened me, haaaa!!!  You make it sound a lot easier.  Ok, maybe I will order a goo-kit and try to mess with my 52 oz neon purple that I fried horribly!!!  Question, I've read somewhere that there is percolate or something that smells really bad and is dangerous to breathe in.  It must be done outside.  I think I saw that on a youtube video.  How true is this?  Do I need a spacesuit to work with this stuff, lol??!!

Do you use the MT goo-kit from ebay?

 


I meant after water was added! Here, I'll list out the process that I use so it doesn't seem complicated.

1. Get your lamp flowing good.

2. Dump out everything into whatever you want... it all just comes out nice and clean as long as it's hot.

3. Rinse out your globe with hot water and soap, and some like to use a bottle brush. Just wash it out like you would a glass or something.

4. Sit the gookit's wax container in a saucepan of water, bring it to temperature so that it all melts.

5. Use the funnel and straw that comes in the kit, and slowly pour your gookit wax into your globe.

6. Let it cool and harden.

7. Add your water.

8. Add minimum surfactant.
- 20oz. - 4-5 ml
- 32oz. - 8-10ml
- 52oz. - 15-17ml
- 250 oz. - 55-60ml

9. Turn it on and let it flow good.

10. Add more surfactant in 2ml rounds to get it how you personally like it... the more you have in it, the more little blops you'll have, the less you use the more snakey it'll be. You'll know in real time what you're doing to it without it being too technical.

11. Let it flow for about an hour or so to see how you like it.

12. Add the wax dyes that you like, and keep adding in very small amounts until you like the color. It takes about 10 minutes per add for it to mix well with the wax, so be patient. The dye will float, and the "blops" will come up and grab it, and take it back down to the base.

13. Add your food dye for the water. It takes VERY little food dye, so use it sparingly, and it takes about 10 minutes to disperse it to the rest of your water, so be patient with it. I use a flashlight to see if there's any concentrated areas of food dye before deciding to add more.

14. Enjoy your refurbished lamp! It'll be clearer than anything you've ever seen.


The only things I can say to be careful about is that the dyes will mix the colors, so if you keep you wax white, and the water blue, you'll get a baby blue color; if you have yellow wax and blue water you'll get a lime green wax when it flows. You get the idea I'm sure. Don't be afraid of any of it, because the gookits give you enough surfactant for about 500oz of lamps, so enough to do two grandes, and if you mess any of it up you can just do it again. The only thing to be paranoid about is adding color to the wax, because it can't be undone if you add too much, but I suppose you can just go with another color if you messed up.

I use the MT gookits, but you can buy them from their site now without getting on eBay. They give you enough wax for 250oz lamps, enough color for like 5 250oz lamps, and enough surfactant for 2 250oz lamps. They're a really great company, and don't hesitate to email them if you have any questions. My first gookit's wax dye came out in the box, so I only had about half of my blue dye, so I emailed them and they sent me some more dye without me asking them for it.

So in recap, you dump out the old wax and liquid, melt new wax, pour it in your globe, let it cool, add water, add surfactant, add dyes.  That's it.  It may just be me, but it really takes your lava lamps to a new level in customization and beauty.

OMG, this sounds awesome!!!  I can't wait.....

I posted under OK I'm Doing It!!!!  Especially about the recapping....that's what i'm paranoid about.....

 



Carol Morrow said:

OMG, this sounds awesome!!!  I can't wait.....

I posted under OK I'm Doing It!!!!  Especially about the recapping....that's what i'm paranoid about.....

 


Which lamp is it? Grandes are super easy, because you just use a flat tool (like a flat tip screwdriver or a butter knife) and bend it all back. If you have a bottle capped lamp, then use a hose clamp like THISone, and it'll crimp all back exactly how the factory crimped it.

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