Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

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.

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many of us here feel the same way, chris.  your best bet for quality is to find lamps from the 90's and below on eBay (as you did) and in thrift stores.  

welcome to OG! 

It's so weird to me--it seems like this has been going on with Lava Lite for quite a few years now--how are they even still in business?

Brad said:

many of us here feel the same way, chris.  your best bet for quality is to find lamps from the 90's and below on eBay (as you did) and in thrift stores.  

welcome to OG! 

Lurk away, we are glad to have you! I would suggest trying to goo kit that lamp. .....Sometimes I think the only thing keeping LL in business is our collective memories of beautiful vintage lamps running as they should.

Hello and welcome. :)

And first of all, I feel your pain, and a lot of others here can, also. The Chinese lavas just don't measure up for the most part, and only a very few operate anywhere near on par with US made versions. The best you can do is to find good deals for US lamps on ebay from time to time, and check out what people here are selling. I only go after 60's-90's lavalites, and the occasional mathmos, but that's just me. :p Even then, it's not like you won't ever buy a stink bomb, but with US globes the problems are less frequent and less critical, and when they work well, they are superior in every way.

My 1997 model is "Out For Delivery" with USPS right now, so I should be getting it this afternoon sometime. I really hope it just works correctly and that the person who shipped it knew how to correctly package it for delivery. At this point, I feel like my luck has been so bad that I'm doomed to more disappointment. :)

Don't give up, Chris! There is a dream lamp with your name on it somewhere...at LEAST one.

And good luck with the silver streak, take pictures, and keep us posted!

What color is it?

It is clear liquid, red lava. The "classic" configuration I suppose!

Just got it from USPS and letting it warm up to room temperature before I try it out. Here's a before picture:

Yay! The liquid looks pretty clear, too!

You are smart to wait, you don't want to pop that glass. I might also wait for the foam to go down on the top, but maybe that's just me. :p I always think it's going to put bubbles in the wax.

Liquid is definitely very clear--the picture actually makes it look a little cloudier than it really is. I just turned it on not long ago and it is already starting to warm up. Couple of things I've already noticed:

1. The construction is WORLDS better than the new one I bought. Thicker metal on the stand. No bubbles in the globe glass, which Lava Lite claims to be "normal" on modern versions, but is really just a symptom of bad manufacturing.

2. The lava in its solid state was melted down flat into the base, not in a dome shape like the new one I got. This is how I remember my old one being. The wax is definitely not the same formula anymore.


Loren said:

Yay! The liquid looks pretty clear, too!

You are smart to wait, you don't want to pop that glass. I might also wait for the foam to go down on the top, but maybe that's just me. :p I always think it's going to put bubbles in the wax.

It's happening:

Just in this preliminary stage of melting, I'm already thinking to myself, "Yes, this is how my old one looked when it started heating up--complete chaos." So far I'm a happy camper.

analoghaze said:

It is a great feeling when you know a new to you vintage lamp has wax that is "alive"

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