Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

As a very recent fan of Fluidiums I must say that I love the halogen bulbs that Mathmos supply. Since they have the big ceramic piece on the neck that blocks the light coming out of the bulb neck and through the lamp base, directing it all upwards instead. Of course they're far too hot to run Fluidiums on, but I just bought some dimmer plugs, so once they've reached temperature to flow I just dim the bulbs to about half strength and then sit back and enjoy the gorgeous lava flow (very much in the same way as any of you lucky Lunar owners do with the in-line dimmer switch on those). The level of light from the lamp and base is perfect using these new halogen bulbs and dimmers - I always thought the level of light coming from the base of the Fluidiums under normal use with original filament bulbs wasn't so nice and made the lava flow in the bottle hard to see properly. Just a personal preference.

Green & blue bottle here is an original & the orange has been filled with violet liquid from an Astro bottle & it' performing very nicely.

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Comment by Knut on March 2, 2011 at 12:52pm

Thanks for your comments Ford Prefect. I'm interested to hear you've successfully used just 1 dimmer on 3 lamps! I was a little wary of doing the same, so have individual dimmers for each lamp - I also notice that some colours need more or less heat. Less for the orange lava & a bit brighter, but the same brightness, for the yellow & orange lava.

More & more since buying these dimmers I think I'll be getting one for all my other lamps too, as many do seem to get a little too hot & bubbly during a full 6 hour run. 

Comment by Ford Prefect - NPNG on February 28, 2011 at 8:52am

i agree totally with you on the brightness of the bases when used with normal bulbs. The fluidium bases are such a lovely shape, i'm glad you found a way to get rid of the light polution. The violet liquid looks particuarly nice :)

I use one of those dimmers, i've plugged in an extension lead and run 3 jets off it, it works really well and now i'm able to run the jets for much longer as I find they overheat much quicker than the astrobabies. I do plan to get another one as they are super handy and much easier than wirng a dimmer into the lead.

the lunar dimmers are absolutley essential as two of my bottles will overheat much more easily than the other ones and the wax becomes unattached from the coil - not good!

I had a green fluidium but didnt like the flow, i would however like an orange one very much and when I do i will use that kind of bulb, thanks for the tip :)

Comment by Knut on February 27, 2011 at 4:52am

Thanks Viva Sativa, here's the bulb and box that Mathmos supply for Fluidiums currently. I know they also stocked an Osram mains halogen ses bulb until recently too (as I was sold a broken one in their Old Street shop 2 months ago), which are gorgeous bulbs - but use only if you like to have loads of light streaming out of the lamb base, as the neck on that bulb is entirely see through underneath the reflector. It's these Crompton Lamps bulbs that are necessary to achieve the effects I describe. I have also bought the same ones at shops other than Mathmos too.

and the dimmer

Very affordable from Amazon in the UK here.

If you do give it a go, let me know what you think!


Cheers, Knut



Comment by Arne on February 26, 2011 at 5:54am
Very nice fluidiae (or is it fluidiums...the ending sounds latin though) ! Can you show me a pic of the bulb and maybe give me the specs?

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