I have done it all.
Used existing lamps to refill a grande = a mess, not to mention the globe sacrifice and cost of buying complete lamps for a refill project. Filtering all the fluid is also time consuming and pain in the butt.
Made my own goo and fluid = Yuk talk about a time consuming nightmare of a mess, takes forever and adjusting the fluid is catch as catch can
Bought Louie's goo kit with everything needed included = Easy as eating fresh made blueberry pie. 3 minutes in the micro to melt the wax. Another minute to easily pour the wax into the Grande thru the funnel and large straw that goes all the way to the bottom of the globe. Let wax harden, (I put the covered globe on the porch to speed the process). Put 50 ml of the surficent in distilled water and pour into the globe. No muss, no fuss and you can easily make your own colors if you want.
Run the lamp with a 60 watt bulb instead of 100 watt bulb and use a 52z coil. Running a Louie goo Grande on 60 watts and a 52z coil for 12-13 hours will give you the same flow progression ending in a begin to overheat as US made Lava Lite lamps running on 100 watts does in less time.
The first run is way cool, gets all the ingredients used to each other and the goo is almost transparent. Got really cool spikes and great flow. After the first run the flow just gets better and better and the goo begins to become translucent, color richer/deeper with light still able to come thru the blobs. Real pretty goo.
Huge benefit using distilled water and louie surficent. The fluid is absolutely crystal clear. The reflections of the goo in the water are amazing. I cannot overstate the benefits of crystal clear fluid I have over 70 lava lamps most "crystal clear". I'm here to tell you nothing touches the clarity of distilled water. No comparison.
Have so many great pics of the initial run and will post more later of subseqent runs so you can see how the goo texture gradually changes.
Nothing like crystal clear fluid. Nothing like it.
I am completely sold.
Initially the goo is truly transparent not translucent with vibrant color. Killer. After a few runs it becomes a gorgeous translucent with an even richer color, light still comes thru the goo. Much more vibrant colors than my US made Lava Lites, China mades and Mathmos lamps. Will post pics so you can see. Really pretty goo. Send Louie an email and ask him about a glitterball goo.
The reflections happening because of crystal clear fluid are a feast for the eyes unknown in my other lamps..
Pick up a Grande cheap, heat it, dump fluid and wax, get a louie 1 qt goo kit, thorughly wash the hot bottle with distilled water and a bit of the surficant, melt the quart of wax in the micro for 3 minutes don't over heat, pour into Grande thru the funnel and wide, long straw provided, put straw all the way to bottom and pour wax slowly, wait until wax hardens, pour in distilled water with 50ml of surficant, test run with foil on top, you will be satisfied, seal the lamp.
No headaches, no nightmares, no mess, no filtering, no frustration, just a real easy way to make a crystal clear lamp with gorgeous goo and cheap too.
$35 for a grande plus cost of 3 gal distilled water, (1 one for cleaning and prepping your bottle).
As Louie said the goo is changing with heating/running. Close up pics attached taken on the 3rd run of the lamps show the change from the first yellow goo closeups. Big change from the transparent but light still able to shine thru the goo. Way. The bubbles in the goo are getting less. Looks like they will soon go away with heating and cooling.
now you can make heads look like they are filled with floating clouds! Just use louie's transparent goo, it will become a pale translucent white
For Grande size use a 52z coil and a 60 watt bulb. Louie's goo doesn't need as much heat as LW and Mathmos wax. Next Grande I make will have a 32z coil so the flow will stay in the cyclone stage longer. That's my favorite.
3rd run has been flowing for 10 hours with the 60 watt bulb, 52z coil and are flowing great without having to use a dimmer. All the bubbles in the wax are now gone.