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.
In the goo kit you get a pre made highly concentrated surfactant you add to distilled water to make the fluid so the fluid is crystal clear. Next time I talk to Louie I'll ask what he uses to color the fluid and let you know. I would imagine just a bit of water based food coloring. the goo is oil based so there is no transfer of color.
Ok.. so I don't have to mess with anti-freeze or any other chemicals, just distilled water and surfactant?...
If that's what you're saying I gotta get a kit in a hurry. I've just been dreading the whole chemical mix choices I've been reading in the various how too's...........
You'll get a pint or quart of goo to nuke for 3 minutes and surfactant to add to distilled water. no muss no fuss and louie sends you a funnel, long thick straw to get the wax to the bottom of the globe, small measuring cup to measure the surfactant and clear goo with color you add or goo already colored.
the goo will initially be transparent then change to a nice shiny opaque, that light still comes thru, with a few runs.
I have over 70 lamps the majority beautifully clear and none can compare to these 2 Louie goo grande refills. The colors are technicolor vivid and I cannot say enough good about crystal clear water fluid.
I am interested to know if his surfactant will work in redoing a midnight globe. Woodvetch - you think I can do that and be fine? I tried the water, soap, salt mix and nothing ever worked. Would be nice to add what I needed and it just work right. Have a nice clear lamp.
What's the difference between the oil based wax dye and the water based...I mean besides that one is oil and one is water.
Does the goo come already colored or do you add the color?
Is there any instructions for this kit anywhere? Like, is there a specific ratio of water to surfactant you use? You said 50ml earlier but that was for the grande, what if you're refilling a smaller lamp.