Hi everyone! First time poster here. I am absolutely shocked at the situation I'm in lately with trying to procure a new lava lamp. Long story short--I got my first lava lamp back in college--it was a Lava Lite model. Black base, clear liquid, lime green lava. The switch broke a few years ago, and like a moron, I tossed it thinking it wasn't worth it to fix the switch. Over the last year, I started missing having a lava lamp, so I started looking around for a new one. During the holidays, I also got an old one as a white elephant gift (it's not a Lava Lite, but a bullet shaped looking one that doesn't work all that well). That pushed me over the edge and I finally bought a Lava Lite on Amazon.
To my dismay the Lava Lite worked well for 2 weeks, then started pea shooting bubbles of lava filled with liquid, and not flowing well at all. Now the lava just sits at the bottom of the globe and is full of black flecks. It also will not melt into the coil at all, but rather sits on top of the coil in a ball, even after I replaced the 25w bulb with a 40w bulb just to see what would happen.
I got a full refund on the Amazon lamp and didn't have to send it back, so I may try to rebuild it someday. I also bought a 90s model Lava Lite Silver Streak on eBay, which is supposed to arrive today. I am just shocked by the state of Lava Lite. It's very hard to find a Mathmos lamp in the US that's not upwards of $200, so I'm just really sad about this whole thing. I have always loved lava lamps and I can't believe how hard it is now to find one that actually works. I'm glad this site is here, because I have gotten so much good information on what's REALLY going on with Lava Lite.
Anyway, hi everyone! I'll just be over here lurking.
Chinese lamps, for the most part, don't spike like vintage-90's lamps do. I love that stage of the cycle. :)
Welcome to OG! What you're feeling is all-too-common when people take an interest in lava lamps these days. Your best bet will be vintage on eBay, Craigslist and thrift stores or buying Mathmos. I know some here have good luck with new stuff from Lava Lite, but most people don't want to take a chance and most of us have duds for lamps. I bought a handful of new stuff from Lava Lite over the years and about 80% of it was sold or returned.
Good thing there's excellent vintage stuff out there! :)