Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Still perfecting and fine tuning.  Here is my latest red lava with blue water, made yesterday.  I am experimenting with different wattages and lumens of light bulbs and how they change the flow.  How much heat do increases in lumens provide, when the wattage stays the same? Has anyone ever used LEDs?  Do they get as hot as incandescents?  I am working on another lamp today.  I will add a few pics to this thread when it is finished.

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The flow of the lamp is entirely dictated by heat. Incandescent bulbs are the choice type of bulbs because they are the most inefficient bulbs in terms of converting electricity to light. Most of the energy is lost to heat dissipation. In the case of the lava lamp that's actually good because the 'lava' can absorb that heat and rise. The higher the amount of watts the hotter the bulb. I'm not sure lumens is going to have any significant affect on the way the 'lava' moves. The factors that most affect the flow patterns are the temperature and the change in temperature. I highly recommend experimenting with a plug in dimmer switch. This will allow you to easily the wattage. They are cheap and easy to find. About $10 at Home Depot. If you can safely use a bulb that normally makes the lava overheat in combination with the plug in dimmer switch you will have the ability to ramp up the temperature of the lamp to get it flowing in a shorter time period and then ramp it back down to prevent it from overheating. Once it's temperature is stable you can also play around with making it flow faster or slower.

The lumens measure the amount of light a blub puts out, so I would guess the higher lumen rating, the more heat the incandescent bulb would put out. 

Here is the red one with some backlighting and also a black lava/yellow water one I did a few days ago.  

Backlighting adds a nice effect.  Once the bubbles work their way out I think these will be keepers (hopefully).  

k-nano said:

The flow of the lamp is entirely dictated by heat. Incandescent bulbs are the choice type of bulbs because they are the most inefficient bulbs in terms of converting electricity to light. Most of the energy is lost to heat dissipation. In the case of the lava lamp that's actually good because the 'lava' can absorb that heat and rise. The higher the amount of watts the hotter the bulb. I'm not sure lumens is going to have any significant affect on the way the 'lava' moves. The factors that most affect the flow patterns are the temperature and the change in temperature. I highly recommend experimenting with a plug in dimmer switch. This will allow you to easily the wattage. They are cheap and easy to find. About $10 at Home Depot. If you can safely use a bulb that normally makes the lava overheat in combination with the plug in dimmer switch you will have the ability to ramp up the temperature of the lamp to get it flowing in a shorter time period and then ramp it back down to prevent it from overheating. Once it's temperature is stable you can also play around with making it flow faster or slower.

Remember, incandescent bulbs mostly produce heat and a little bit of light. It's the heat your after. If you want light, then LED is the way to go. Increased lumens in an incanscent bulb means less heat unless it's a higher wattage bulb in which case the amount of extra energy in the system inherently equates to more heat. More watts always means more heat. I've literally made thousands of my own lava lamps with my own bare hands and conducted numerous experiments, so I know this to be true.

BaBa-Gooey said:

The lumens measure the amount of light a blub puts out, so I would guess the higher lumen rating, the more heat the incandescent bulb would put out. 

Here is the red one with some backlighting and also a black lava/yellow water one I did a few days ago.  

Backlighting adds a nice effect.  Once the bubbles work their way out I think these will be keepers (hopefully).  

k-nano said:

The flow of the lamp is entirely dictated by heat. Incandescent bulbs are the choice type of bulbs because they are the most inefficient bulbs in terms of converting electricity to light. Most of the energy is lost to heat dissipation. In the case of the lava lamp that's actually good because the 'lava' can absorb that heat and rise. The higher the amount of watts the hotter the bulb. I'm not sure lumens is going to have any significant affect on the way the 'lava' moves. The factors that most affect the flow patterns are the temperature and the change in temperature. I highly recommend experimenting with a plug in dimmer switch. This will allow you to easily the wattage. They are cheap and easy to find. About $10 at Home Depot. If you can safely use a bulb that normally makes the lava overheat in combination with the plug in dimmer switch you will have the ability to ramp up the temperature of the lamp to get it flowing in a shorter time period and then ramp it back down to prevent it from overheating. Once it's temperature is stable you can also play around with making it flow faster or slower.

I appreciate the info.  I just thought that with two 40 watt blubs, the higher lumen would result in more light, which would mean more heat.  I had no idea it meant the opposite.


k-nano said:

Remember, incandescent bulbs mostly produce heat and a little bit of light. It's the heat your after. If you want light, then LED is the way to go. Increased lumens in an incanscent bulb means less heat unless it's a higher wattage bulb in which case the amount of extra energy in the system inherently equates to more heat. More watts always means more heat. I've literally made thousands of my own lava lamps with my own bare hands and conducted numerous experiments, so I know this to be true.

BaBa-Gooey said:

The lumens measure the amount of light a blub puts out, so I would guess the higher lumen rating, the more heat the incandescent bulb would put out. 

Here is the red one with some backlighting and also a black lava/yellow water one I did a few days ago.  

Backlighting adds a nice effect.  Once the bubbles work their way out I think these will be keepers (hopefully).  

k-nano said:

The flow of the lamp is entirely dictated by heat. Incandescent bulbs are the choice type of bulbs because they are the most inefficient bulbs in terms of converting electricity to light. Most of the energy is lost to heat dissipation. In the case of the lava lamp that's actually good because the 'lava' can absorb that heat and rise. The higher the amount of watts the hotter the bulb. I'm not sure lumens is going to have any significant affect on the way the 'lava' moves. The factors that most affect the flow patterns are the temperature and the change in temperature. I highly recommend experimenting with a plug in dimmer switch. This will allow you to easily the wattage. They are cheap and easy to find. About $10 at Home Depot. If you can safely use a bulb that normally makes the lava overheat in combination with the plug in dimmer switch you will have the ability to ramp up the temperature of the lamp to get it flowing in a shorter time period and then ramp it back down to prevent it from overheating. Once it's temperature is stable you can also play around with making it flow faster or slower.

Some glitter lamps use a resistor as the heat source and LED's for the light source, which are inherently brighter. This set up allows for more lighting options too, (think change colors on command) but most lava lamps require more heat than this set up allows. If you can alter the formula of the lamp to be more efficient, than this lighting set up is practical. I've heard the goo kits require less heat and I know my ferrofluid lava lamps require significantly less heat, so this is possible to achieve. 

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