Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

So I'm having a bit of trouble with a lava lamp I have had (well, my sister had, but she never uses it so I can keep it in my room) for a long while now. It's one of those cheapo Chinese S-Shaped lava lamps, this one being Red Lava/Blue Liquid. She got it long ago, think about 8-10 years ago. There was a lava lamp revival at that time, with lots of furniture and DIY stores selling them in the lights section (I vividly remember a bunch of coloured ones in a DIY store just flowing away on display, that was seriously impressing me being a pre-schooler then). Anyways, she used it for a while 'till the light went out. And then it went on a shelve... until now. So, got a new light fitting the specs of the old one. And it's acting a little funny. First, it turns into a huge clump of wax, after a while it starts to flow again, but in big blobs that sort of attempt to go up, but then start flowing back down. Thing is, I suspect the lamp being either a tad too hot or a tad too cold. Since I got this lamp from a DIY store instead of a lava lamp retailer, I am thinking of getting one from there (as well as a spare for my other cheapo lava lamp which is 12v, not common at all at DIY stores) and checking it out. I'll be getting more second cheapo lava lamps soon (yeah, I know, lots of cheapos but that's all I can afford right now, I want a shelve of lava lamps, which I can always upgrade to Mathmos ones once I get the cash), and I could always use the lamp for those if this one is bust. What do you think? I Google'd this problem, but couldn't find much.

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basically, if the blobs don't go all the way up it's more than likely a heat issue.  Make sure no fans or vents are blowing on it.  You can also try it in a corner.  Multiple lamps together helps too.

Welcome to OG!!

I'm with Keith.....sounds like it's either just not hot enough or it's just a poor flowing lamp.  Some of the cheaper lamps and the newer Lava Lite Chinese lamps aren't the best at flowing and leave little to the imagination!!  If you really want to see some flow, look on ebay about getting a vintage lamp.  They seem to be going up in price a bit more then they were at the beginning of the summer, but if you look enough you can find deals on vintage lamps. 


Sometimes it just isn't worth messing with the cheapos and trying to get them to flow.  If you have a local walmart or target nearby or even Spencer's you can get like the 20 oz original Lava Lite lamps for cheap.  Kmart has them on sale sometimes for 11 bucks!!  They probably aren't gonna flow great either though.....


Good luck and welcome!!

I wish I could go to a Walmart or Target, but I live in the Netherlands, so that's no possibility. Vintage ones is really hard to find over here, and I don't wanna ship vintage ones overseas (that most likely ends up in a ruined vintage lamp...). I'll see about getting a different lamp and firing it up again.

Sorry Daniel, I didn't look to see where you were from......maybe instead of buying some cheapo lamps, you could save up and snag a mathmos.....shipping overseas can be very costly.  I'm in the states and would luv to score a brand new Mathmos right out of the box, but just don't feel like going through the hassle of a 3rd party courier and the cost of shipping.  Maybe someday.....

i agree with keith - make sure there are no air vents or a fan blowing on the lamp.  if that's not the issue, try a higher wattage bulb than what you are currently using.  one other thing you can try is heating the globe up, then take it off the base and gently spin the globe on a flat surface, back and forth.  just twist the top cap with your fingers back and forth.  sometimes this helps.  it's worth a try!

Right, I fitted a higher wattage bulb in there, and it is doing better now, but not perfect. I read somewhere that running new lamps for 10 hours a day a week helps the wax break in. Perhaps it also could help for lamps that have seen years of no use? I'll try it.

10 hours might be too long.  Normally 8 hours or less, especially for smaller lamps.  Also when putting in a more powerful bulb the lamp needs to be monitored, looked at about every half hour.

Or use a dimmer switch. I luv dimmers for the stubborn lamps. Ill post a link later 2nite. On my break at work, lol

It's been on for a while and it's flowing quite alright now!

Here's a little GIF Image (my phone has a neat function that can take small GIF pictures) of the setup so far (the S-Shaped is the one discussed here).


As you can see, it's flowing decently now. It'll never get as good as a Mathmos, but it cost a fraction of the price. For the rest, we have two big red ones on the far left and far right, which cost me 13 euros in total, received today, next to the left one is a cheapo 11 euro when it was new blue/purple lava lamp. It's gone a bit cloudy, but nowhere near as bad as it is in the image. Might experiment with that. And next to the right big red one, there's a blue one I picked up locally today for 5 euros. I also had a 4 euro pink one come in today, but it had weird black spots in the lava and it did not flow at all. I did cannibalize it for the lamp and put it in that S-Shaped one, and that so far works fine, no signs of overheating. It takes a while for them all to heat up, but it looks sweet. I also have another one of those big blue ones in sight for 4 euros, again locally. Again, all of that cost combined still is a fraction of the price of a Mathmos lamp. I know I get what I pay for, but for now it's good enough 

It is the flow of lava, and it is good!!

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