Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I'm new to this site, not a collector just a retro do-it-yourselfer. I acquired this Grande lamp for free from a neighbor I think it is really cool being so big but it came with a burnt bulb and a boxed burnt bulb so...2 burnt bulbs. I got discouraged when I realized it used a 100W bulb which is too much to run consistently just for effects which is when I started doing research on how to "green" the lamp up. 

Not sure if anyone can decode these numbers to tell how old the unit is I believe it is all original.

In my research I realized you can re-goo them and the kits have lighter wax which requires less wattage then the factory goo does so I plan on doing this I saw kits on eBay for about $30 not sure if that is enough for one of these sized lamps. I want white lava since my walls and furniture are white which goes good against the stainless it will make for a very contemporary lamp, then I'm not sure if the re-goo kits keep the water clear for much longer periods of time but I'm unsure I may want the water to be Caribbean-teal color like the liner on a pool. 

Then I was thinking about trying to insulate the base to make more efficient use of the heat loss through aluminum which is a conductor of heat. I will install a twist knob "pot" style dimmer on the base of the lamp itself, as far as the bulb goes not sure if they more a better light bulb then the basic 100w they sell for use in these? I thought about retrofit combining LEDs and a heating coil but probably would not make any difference in electricity consumption. They don't make a better designed coil ring I should install with the goo kit do they??

Long term goal with the lamp is to turn it into a usable bedside end table like the colossal/colossus lamp probably the same width glass ring with a smaller hole in the center for more usable table area. The thing I can't figure out is how the glass rings stay on the floor sized lamps does anyone have any close up pictures of how it is mounted? 

I can't even find one on eBay for sale, I assume they don't make them anymore? Here are two I found on Google which I Photoshopped feel free to use them elsewhere on this website in a gallery or something...I corrected the color of the images and then added depth of field to them:


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You can cut costs by just buying the jar of goo 20$ and a bottle of surf 5$ but then you wont have everything else in the kit thats needed like the dropper (even though you can measure the surf other ways) but most importantly you wont get the funnel and long straw used to pour the wax in without smearing it all over the sides of the globe.

I contacted Magma Tower about the GooKit "77 & 88" he said do not use 77 in a Grande. It will stay at the top longer and flow too fast it has to stay between 115-120 degrees, meant for much larger 25 gallon lamps that stay cooler at the top then our do so it would not cool enough in our globes to fall back down quick enough. 

well o.k.  I was only trying to help. Rodrigo and I had been sent the 77 formula. It's cool that magma sent us replacement orders. I had 1 quart left of the 77 so I thought what the hell why not put it in the grande. It works great with 58 millliters of surfactant. So for what it's worth.

Darn, wish I only could try it for myself! Sounds like with 77 lower wattage bulbs could be used. 

I tried a 40w incandescent after 12 hours the wax was barley melted so I tried a 75w incandescent I had laying around...it melted the magma but for 12 hours it just rolled around in molten form never lifted. The next morning when I lifted the globe to remove the 75w incandescent I could smell melted plastic...it hardened the power wire going through the grommet and to the lamp socket, it's completely stiff so now I need to replace that (R20 bulbs deff serve their purpose directing heat upwards and not in a 360 pattern). 

I'm using a 100 watt lizard bulb. I start out at full then reduce 20%. The only real issue is at about 10 hours on start getting lots of balls, but that can be slowed down by another 15 % on the dimmer. If you can find a 75 watt flood may work o.k. but will take longer to get going.

I would rather use a 150w on a dimmer if I can...I mean the clear incandescent 200w bulb melted the magma in 45min and had it flowing within 90min if that could be equip with a dimmer I would be golden. I have it on a subwoofer next to my bed and I am dying to watch it move as I fall asleep. 

I wouldn't fall asleep with it on, it could cook the wax after a while.

Jeff, I also used my leftover "77" formula on a 52 and it flows okay but it's not very nice as it goes up fast and it's slow to come down, however with a 30w frosted it's better but still not as good as the "88" on my other lamps. I would stick with the "88" for a grande because they operate at high temps and the globe isn't that tall, you could wing it and try the "77" with a cooler bulb but I would stick with 88 and use a 150w on a dimmer installed on the base like that link I showed you. I have that same setup and the dimmer is holding up fine. Do use a R bulb though, 360 beam will just waste heat.

Well then I will put it on a timer, I figured if I go 100% with the 150w in the evening then turn it down 30% before bed it would be fine for another 8-10 hours. I will see how low I can get it to still move and monitor how it breaks up later in the night, if I can get it to stay flowing without breaking up into balls with a dimmer I assume I am good to run it for longer periods of time. 

How many times or for how long can it run with little globs before it actually damages the wax though during my experimentation period??

i don't know if anyone can give you an exact answer on how long you can run it before it ruins.  i think the best thing here is to be aware of the signs of a globe that is overheating: lots of small globes hanging at the top, or wax that "domes" at the bottom and won't rise.  these lamps can take a lot of abuse, so just be aware of the signs, adjust the bulb wattage accordingly, and you should be ok.

I think the person who owned it before me left it on for days, with the 75w bulb the wax stays in a molten dome shape on the bottom and will not rise just keeps circling to the sides and down...lots of small air bubbles in the wax too that is how I can tell it is moving by watching the tiny bubbles. 

No, thats not because it was abused. It sounds to me like lack of heat, 75w is way to little for original LL wax. The magma tower wax can run on less wattage but LL requires those 100w to get flowing so it will either take forever or simply wont ever flow on 75w alone. Get a stock r20 100w bulb in for the lava lite wax, it will flow then.

I ordered a Goo Kit and another for someone elses Grande I am going to do both them at the same time. 

He wants "his" Grande to have a teal colored Magma so I ordered a separate "Aqua Blue" which is too light....and the blue that comes with the kit is too dark. I am okay to mix the two blues together as long as I use the same AMOUNT of dye right? 50/50 - 40/60 - 30/70 - etc ?

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