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.
They certainly look amazing Woodvetch!
Did you know Weebotech from here? Several years ago he made a (I think a 52oz) translucent goo Lava Louie lamp. The goo was completely clear/translucent and floating around in that crystal clear distilled water. It was phenomenal. I don't know if it ever turned transparent or white though.
I bought some from Louie but mine had a bit of a gold tint to it and was never like Weebo's. It eventually turned to a goldish off white color. But that distilled water really is the clearest ever. :O)
I'll answer the questions I am able to answer.
Louie provides simple step by step instructions
clear, (will become opque white), primary red, lime fluorescent, primary blue, primary yellow, butterscotch yellow, violet, green and maybe more don't remember. Or you can buy the dye packets to make your own colors and tints with the clear wax.
The lava is reminiscent of the early Century or other early LavaLite goo from the 60's. It will be interesting to see if the lava maintains this consistency and texture as the early lava does when it is not abused.
Up close Louie goo after a week of running pretty much 24/7. Check my pics for more. Pics are as taken no photo shopping. Louie goo likes cooler temps so the grandes are running on 60 watt bulbs with no dimmer and running perfectly. Nice slow big stretchy blobs and columns.
LW/LL globes need water and gycol to run, (fluid volumn 80 to 85% distilled water and gycol 15 to 20%, add 10ml Louie surfactant for a 32z lamp). didn't pick up any gycol so did not try Louie surfactant with LW/LL goo and doubt that I will. The Louie goo is so superior to LW/LL I'm not going to mess with "saving" any old LW/LL globes. I'm just dumping that crap and re-filling with Louie goo. So easy to adjust the flow as I like it too.
All colors have become opaque except for red which is still an amazing translucent and very very shiny like patent leather is shiny. All the wonderful reflections are due to the amazing crystal clear water the goo floats in.