Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

When talking about lava lamps, i always find people talking about their flow. My question is: what do you consider a good flow? Better slower or faster? or is it a totally different thing?

If you can, make an example with a video :)

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this is the long gooey flow most collectors are looking for:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z5qNBG8sNg

Then there is the flow you get with unmodified goo kits and newer lamps

(mostly balls of goo)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxnvdR8D5F4

The flow can be usually changed and regulated by the amount of SURF (surfactant)  that is added to the master fluid

I would agree with your example videos. I have some old Mathmos Jets that will do long columns quite happily, and these are more ‘interesting’ compared to slow moving balls.

However I get the impression that a lot of lamps that have less interesting flows can be helped with the use of dimmers too, as a lot seem to run too hot? 

My Grande tends to revert to lots of balls when really hot, but can be calmed down to be much more interesting with a dimmer once warmed up.

One of my Jets did not produce long columns (when the rest did) which I found a bit baffling until I realised that it was a slightly different base design...and by feeling it compared to the others, is clearly hotter. Tried putting in a 25w bulb instead of 30w and it is now the same as the others and has a great flow.

All lamps should have dimmers really...it kind of makes sense that they will tend to overheat the longer they are on for, which will affect the flow.

Ok so the long columns are index of good flow. But I have to say that not all newer lamps, as you said, have bad flow. I have a relatively new Mathmos that has good flow. The only lamps that make only bubbles are the chinese lamps created in the same year of my mathmos.

The other thing i noticed is that in my mathmos, when a bubble is created, it "drips" toward the bottom of the lamp. It is really cool to see. My chinese lamps, on the other hand, just create bubbles that remain compact .

Claude J said:

this is the long gooey flow most collectors are looking for:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z5qNBG8sNg

Then there is the flow you get with unmodified goo kits and newer lamps

(mostly balls of goo)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxnvdR8D5F4

The flow can be usually changed and regulated by the amount of SURF (surfactant)  that is added to the master fluid

I Agree, I install dimmers whenever possible

Tim Bartlett said:

I would agree with your example videos. I have some old Mathmos Jets that will do long columns quite happily, and these are more ‘interesting’ compared to slow moving balls.

However I get the impression that a lot of lamps that have less interesting flows can be helped with the use of dimmers too, as a lot seem to run too hot? 

My Grande tends to revert to lots of balls when really hot, but can be calmed down to be much more interesting with a dimmer once warmed up.

One of my Jets did not produce long columns (when the rest did) which I found a bit baffling until I realised that it was a slightly different base design...and by feeling it compared to the others, is clearly hotter. Tried putting in a 25w bulb instead of 30w and it is now the same as the others and has a great flow.

All lamps should have dimmers really...it kind of makes sense that they will tend to overheat the longer they are on for, which will affect the flow.

Remember, snaking is not the only flow characteristic,  I love the my pre-2003 lamps can flow up and drop at the same time, on column up and one that hangs from the top and columns down.  You will never see a "china flow" lamp do that.  Just my 02 cents.  Nice topic btw.

MaGoo!

I have some midnight Aristocrats that like forming a single column, and flowing up and down that column without breaking. I have some midnight lamps that do blob flows, and one that does similar to what Claude posted. The ones doing the single column flowing up and down the column constantly, may be caused by the reduced liquid level in the lamp causing the ratio to change, but I'm not 100% sure on that, or perhaps its just a characteristic of some lamps?

That can be resolved with a 1/2 teaspoon of SURF to help it break the tension

Minions said:

I have some midnight Aristocrats that like forming a single column, and flowing up and down that column without breaking. I have some midnight lamps that do blob flows, and one that does similar to what Claude posted. The ones doing the single column flowing up and down the column constantly, may be caused by the reduced liquid level in the lamp causing the ratio to change, but I'm not 100% sure on that, or perhaps its just a characteristic of some lamps?

Will that result in the balls, or will that result in flow more like yours (the metallic goo one)? I have some from a goo kit I can add, I assume that is similar to the surf you are referring to.


Claude J said:

That can be resolved with a 1/2 teaspoon of SURF to help it break the tension

Minions said:

I have some midnight Aristocrats...

the flow craven walker wanted and did was the long stretchy flows not just blobs, ive found now that mathmos's have gone to the blobs and not stretchy longs shapes, im guessing there adjusted the combination for faster warm up process, when i refill a original crestworth bottle theres never enough fluid from the new mathmos bottles so top up with distilled water doing this slows the flow down and gives a more better movement as in not just blobs but big stretchy shapes :-)

Johnny - Have you had any luck with Mathmos, explaining why they changed the flow on their bottles. I contacted them and they are saying to me that they are using the same formula as always but I think you are right. Mine are just producing blobs. The worst one is Neo.

Johnny said:

the flow craven walker wanted and did was the long stretchy flows not just blobs, ive found now that mathmos's have gone to the blobs and not stretchy longs shapes, im guessing there adjusted the combination for faster warm up process, when i refill a original crestworth bottle theres never enough fluid from the new mathmos bottles so top up with distilled water doing this slows the flow down and gives a more better movement as in not just blobs but big stretchy shapes :-)

Idk guys , i have an original Mathmos bought ten years ago that creates snakes and blobs, not just blobs...

It starts slow creating snakes and columns, then starts producing both, and the blobs "drip" over the bottom part of the lamp. Flow is great.

Adara said:

Johnny - Have you had any luck with Mathmos, explaining why they changed the flow on their bottles. I contacted them and they are saying to me that they are using the same formula as always but I think you are right. Mine are just producing blobs. The worst one is Neo.

Johnny said:

the flow craven walker wanted and did was the long stretchy flows not just blobs, ive found now that mathmos's have gone to the blobs and not stretchy longs shapes, im guessing there adjusted the combination for faster warm up process, when i refill a original crestworth bottle theres never enough fluid from the new mathmos bottles so top up with distilled water doing this slows the flow down and gives a more better movement as in not just blobs but big stretchy shapes :-)

Goo Kit and SURF are tow different things

SURF (oir Surfactant ) is a chemical that will break surface tension,'

It is also used to coat the bottle prior to adding goo (any goo) so It doesn't stick


Too much SURF and you will get balls/blobs

Too little and its just one long snake



Minions said:

Will that result in the balls, or will that result in flow more like yours (the metallic goo one)? I have some from a goo kit I can add, I assume that is similar to the surf you are referring to.


Claude J said:

That can be resolved with a 1/2 teaspoon of SURF to help it break the tension

Minions said:

I have some midnight Aristocrats...

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