Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

High Folks,

after reading nearly the whole lava talk archive of oozinggoo in the last couple of weeks, I now signed in to get into touch with the oozers here and exchange tips and tricks.

My name is Peter Konrad, I am from Hamburg, living in Berlin, and I have been a Lavalamp buff and experimentator for a while now. I am proud owner of 8 Astros, 2 Astro Babies, 2 Jets and 6 Haggerty Lamps (plus a couple of no-name cheapos), and the collection will grow. I dream of an Astro rainbow for my chillout lounge (aka my living room).

Most of the Astros I bought were really cheap occasions (~20 Euro) with cloudy liquid, and I got some routine in changing the liquid (distilled Water, SLES, Epsom salts and food color work great with Mathmos) and thereby making them nicely to watch again. Until now I never tryed to dye the goo, but that will surely come to happen in the near future.

Now I just purchased a Mathmos Astro 3-in-1 in mint condition, with crystal clear fluid. The seller told me she hadn't used it often and it stayed in a locker most of the time, far from sunlight. I only paid 30 Euro for it and are eagerly waiting to hold it in my hands.

Unfortunately there are no bulbs coming with it. And the only colored E14 bulbs I can find on the internet are 25W. That's not enough, I'm afraid. (Obviously Mathmos put some special, hard-to-find 40W bulbs in it?)

On my other Astros I use 35W halogen cold-light mirror lamp bulbs, and I want to use one of them in the 3-in-1 too and plan to use color filter foil for spotlights to colorize the light and therewith the lava. Big advantage of that approach should be the potential range of dozens of color shades instead of just 3.

Has anybody of you experiences with these 3-in-1 bottles? Are they the same as used in Smart Astros? I read that these have a different, more dense liquid? These questions are not so relevant for the 3-in-1, cause that lamp can be started without any manipulation on the bottle, but I am curious.

But I also purchased a lone bottle with white lava and cloudy liquid, I think also from a 3-in-1. And with that bottle I am planning to put new liquid in, but before I want to try to dye the lava to a nice, luscious pink. Has anybody dyed a white Astro before? I plan to dispose the liquid, then melt the lava inside the bottle and put some liquid candle dye into it. Do you think that will work?

And afterwards comes the new liquid, and therefore it's important to know, if the standard procedure will work on that kind of bottle. Any opinion, if that could fit? Or do I need different ingredients?

Thanks in advice for any answers,
Greetings from the other side of the world,

P.S.: On German Ebay there's currently a new, nerver-used smart Astro blue-red in original packaging for sale. It'll cost 140 Euro (=128 bucks). For me that's too expensive, and I would prefer a green-yellow smart Astro anyway. One day I will get it...

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Bulbs available on ebay here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Mathmos-Crestworth-Astro-Coloured... and the feedback is very good, although I've not bought any myself so can't vouch for them.

However, they look suspiciously like these (including having the purple colour which didn't originally come with the 3-in-1 lamp) :https://www.uklightbulbs.co.uk/golf-ball-light-bulb-round-clear-col... which I did try, and promptly sent back because they had a poor finish, smelt very strongly of spray paint, and allowed very little light through.

I'd be interested to know how you get on with your colour filter foils!

Very interesting post for me being new to all this, now the bigger question, what is an astro 3 in 1 bottle?

can´t you colour the bulbs by your self with dipping varnish? Ich sehe gerade du wohnst in Berlin, hast du schon Tauchlack ausprobiert? Gruß Martin

Yes, dipping varnish was in my mind, but I read that it decreases the amount of heat coming out of the bulb (thereby reducing its lifetime), it's obiously not for higher temperatures. Ok, 40W is not that much, but I abandoned that idea.

I understand that filter foil for spotlights is designed for withstandig great heat. And I just bought a sample swatchbook 5x7cm with 250 filter foils on Ebay for 3 Euro, surely the cheapes possible method of colorizing the light.

The bulbs Mark mentioned are interesting anyway, as they would exactly provide the effect Mathmos intended. I think I will buy some of them.

But they look also like they were varnish dipped. There have been other 40W colored bulbs available in the UK, that look more industrially produced (rather then handmade), but as far as I find out, they are not for sale anymore...


About the liquid of 3-in-1 and Smart Astro:
Does anyone know any details? Is it exactly the same stuff as in normal Astros?
Or a more dense solution?
Are they both same, or different?

The wax of the smart astros is not completely white, or? On Photos it looks like a light pastel red.

Pretty sure the 3-in-1 in standard fluid?

Not many pictures on the net, but it's basically a standard astro with white wax, that came with a few coloured bulbs.

kero48 said:

Very interesting post for me being new to all this, now the bigger question, what is an astro 3 in 1 bottle?

^^ Okay, so, did the 3 bulbs rotate in color or you just selected the color you wanted?

Just select the color you want....not my favorite lamp ;)

kero48 said:

^^ Okay, so, did the 3 bulbs rotate in color or you just selected the color you wanted?

The lamp arrived, more cloudy than I thought, mmmmh.
I tested some filter foils on Halogen lamps. That worked out regarding the lava color, but the filter begin to smell very fast, and I think they would melt, if I didn't stop it after a couple of Minutes.

So I got back to the Idea with the dipping varnish, which Martin proposed. It should be delivered within the next week and then I'm gonna paint 40W bulbs. So I have time to decide, if I change the liquid. For real pleasure with this one I have to, I'm afraid .

attached are some pics of the lamp with white light, and with red filter, green filter, yellow filter. Nothing really surprising...

And strangely: I tested several different greens and reds, also orange, but it made no real difference.

And blue, purple and pink were too dark, couldn't really see the lava.

Mine is a little cloudy too.

Improved significantly after a few uses though.

Shame about your foils as the pictures suggest they were very effective.

Can you buy heat resistant ones? 

Thanks for all the great information gooheads! I just won an eBay auction for a 3-in-1 and need bulbs! :)

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