Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hello all you gootiful people!

I have a science experiment going on at the moment and was looking for any input on what I may be doing right/wrong/extremely dangerous/absolutely pointless.

I have a Lumisource Pillar lava lamp seen here:

This lamp officially runs off of an 60w R14 bulb that is near impossible to find, and when found is fairly expensive.  I have tried the 40w version that is more common and cheaper but it does not work properly.

This week I picked up a 75w Halogen bulb in a similar intermediate base seen here, and a dimmer as well to calm her down. After opening up the base, adjusting bulb height since it was a wee bit taller than the incandescent it needs, and seeing that the bulb holder is rated to run up to 75w (most likely incandescent only but....it works for the halogen) I put it all back together and fired it up.

What I have experienced so far is that the halogen does heat and melt the wax in a rather timely manner, almost too fast, yet leaves the master fluid just above room temperature. So I have wax at full melt just kind of hanging out at the bottom, blobbing once in a while, but the fluids are remaining too cold to allow for proper flow. It is similar behavior to running it with the lower 40w incan but the wax is fully ready to rock and roll.

Part of my concern is the extremely high heat that collects around the base of the lamp which I am sure is similar to the very bottom of the glass vessel. At about 80% power the base nears a blistering hot level and gets slightly colder the lower I dim. I have a feeling that running this bulb at full 75w power in the lamp may cause harm to the vessel in either a wax destroying sense or the glass just breaking from heat, could this be a possibility?

I have tried pulling a heavy cotton sock down over the top of the vessel to try to get the fluids to warm up but its temperature seems to peak and not get hot enough to flow all the while the bottom of the globe is ready to cook breakfast on. Am I not seeing a crucial variable to this switch over? I know the heat levels that come from a halogen can far exceed those of an incandescent. Is the property of the halogen different with distance heat spread in comparison to an incandescent though?

I know the reflector on this bulb is very efficient but it doesn't seem to want to get the master fluid warm, almost like all of the heat is taken into the metal housing of the base and not transferred into the fluids.

If anyone has gone through trials of a similar nature I would love to hear input from you. 

TL:DR- Changed 60w incandescent lamp over to 75w halogen with dimmer. Wax melts full, base hot enough to cook on, master fluid luke warm. Poor flow properties and a fear that at full power the halogen may do some damage. Any ideas? Thank you in advance for any help I may receive from my fellow gooheads.

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Sweet, I await seeing your pillar Cody.  Mine is improving, put it back on the halogen. It took a tipsy turvy move before the bulb went out, drunk people thinking they are fortune tellers.  The wax got bubbly a bit but each run is clearing them up so we shall see.

Wow, dem drunk people.......

Yea, back in the wild days it was a big hit...someone had tried to make it hit the floor too. It is working more and more every run though so we should be back to normal soon.  With the wax going somewhat translucent the higher up it rises the halogen bulb helps brighten it up big time with brilliant white light.

Sounds well worth the effort to get er runnin Vox!!!!

We love em like kids, right Carol!

UPDATE: Halogen may be the choice bulb, infrared thermometer reads the base temp. at 140 after 3 hours, about 60% bright on dimmer.  The wax is starting to get some life back, still a bit bubbly. 

Seems to run waves of flow patterns. A session of larger stretchy blobs will dance around in the lower third of the vessel, some reaching a bit over half.  It then goes into a more torrential flow of medium blobs shooting higher and dribbling smaller blobs as they float to the top.  I think we are getting closer to the original flow! It has almost been improved in that the dimmer lets you toy with the flow and the halogen illuminates the somewhat transparent goo better.

The wax tends to continue to trap bubbles each warmup, not sure if that will ever clear. It seems they try to pop during the run though but she ah bubbly one! If this continues to show hope I will tear it down again to show the modified bulb arm and new position of the light bulb, we got low with this one people!

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