Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate


I recently ordered a Mathmos Astro blue/blue lamp and would like to know what I should do to use it here in the USA. It seems that my options are:

1. use a UK-->US upconverter
2. re-wire the lamp

It cost me $120 to order this lamp, so I'm not really wanting to modify it this quickly. However, if I go with the adapter, what do I do when the bulb burns out? Do they sell replacement bulbs here in the USA that will work with the Astro? At that point, it seems that it would be better to convert the lamp to work in the USA. by rewiring it.

I saw some instructions on this forum about how to modify the wirng of the Astro to work in the USA, but it was quite vague. I'd appreciate some advice on what I should do. If you have time, specific parts that will be needed to convert the lamp would make me feel better about modifying the lamp.

Thank you!

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Yes, thank you for the instructions. Did the cord come with a kit or did you purchase the parts separately?
This would be very useful information. It would be great if it was detailed well and made into a site FAQ made sticky somewhere. I have yet to buy a Mathmos but it will happen soon so I would also benifit from this information as would anyone else visiting this site because they bought a lousy Spencer Gifts version and want to get a decent Mathmos one.

I'm also curious as to how well these survive the trip from UK to the US. Let me know how you do.
Indeed, this was the main purpose behind starting this thread. I came across the Mathmos lamps and was instantly mesmerized by the design and quality versus the lamps we have here in the US. However, I was not sure about how to make the lamp work here in the US. I found the write-up by Bohdan, but it is still unclear about what exactly is needed. A step-by-step post would be ideal. When the lamp comes in, I will document (with photos) the un-boxing of the lamp. That way, people who are interested in going this route can have some comfort in knowing what to expect. The lamp will be coming from Electric Planet in the UK.
The bulb will not burn, eventually it would be cold since your electricity is less "powerful", but not even this will happen , cuz the result of the adapter will be actually to fetch more power to tthe lamp.
Precisely, youll have to buy an adapter that from the 120v of the wall bracket conveys 240v to the lamp and respective european bulb. The adapter will serve to the abovementioned result AND to allow you to put the european plug into the american socket.
the only problem with what I suggested is that you'll have to use EUROPEAN bulbs, which ib the worse case yo can buy on internet.
I think that I would rather re-wire to keep from having to buy bulbs from the UK. The cost of the upconverter is $20 and bulbs would likely be +$20 with shipping from the UK. It seems that the best option would be to wire the lamp for use in the US and use US bulbs (120v).
I had 6 bulbs from us (had your problem in reverse, with the american lamps) and paid around$25.00, I guess it may be the same.
At least try to do it without irreversibly changing the lamp if u have to rewire
Yes, my aim is to modify the lamp in such a way that it could easily be converted back to work in the UK. I want it to look as nice and factory as possible.
This would be the bulb you are looking for.. http://www.bulbman.com/index.php?main_page=product_bulb_info&cP...

Take a pic of the bottom of the base and I will post some rewiring pics. Mathmos has a few different base type designs. I have converted all of mine, they are easy to do. The converters are OK but I would rather run them straight from the wall.


Besides the silver washer, what are these parts? Did you purchase them or were they part of the lamp originally?
I received my lamp today from Electric Planet and boy is she a beauty! They pack very well. I took some photos that I will post later. Otherwise, just picture a perfectly packed lamp.

I am going to Home Depot tomorrow for the conversion parts.

UPDATE: I received the lamp and have modified it to work in the USA. It works great! The supplies to convert the lamp ran me around $20, making the grand total of this lamp...$150. But, it is the best looking lava lamp that I have EVER seen.

I purchased the following materials from Lowe's in the lighting section:

1 x 40w softwhite spotlight bulb (GE #71695)
1 x 12ft. lamp cord set
1 x keyless socket adapter kit

Not shown:
1 x on/off switch (clicker type)

1. Take the original UK wiring and bulb out of the lamp. Do this from the bottom by spreading the two white clips.
2. In the keyless socket adapter kit, unscrew the aluminum plate from the ceramic socket using a philips head screwdriver. (2 screws)

3. Next, take the aluminum plate that you just removed and, although it will not fit, place it between the white clips on the Mathmos base. This will give you an idea of how much you will need to file off of it in step #4.

4. File the aluminum plate until it fits snug between the white clips.

5. With the aluminum plate still in place, run the lamp cord through the hole.

6. Wire the lamp cord to the socket (follow the instructions that came with your kit to do this). Mine was to connect the ribbed wire to silver screw, and the other wire to the gold screw. Test the light to make sure it works.

7. This step is tricky, so have patience. You will now re-attach the socket to the aluminum plate using the screws from step #2. Make sure to line up the holes with the yellow backing plate of the socket as well. This may take some time.

Here it is warming up for the first time:

Thanks to Electric Planet and Oozinggoo (especially Bohdan for his help!)
Hi Lava guy,

I was wondering how your blue/blue astro is doing since you have rewired? I am thinking of having the one I just got my son rewired. I am currently using a transformer and it works well but I would rather have it wired for US so he can take it with him in 6 years when he goes off to college. The transformer has high electro magnetic field to it too and although the jury is still out on whether this is dangerous I would rather be cautious. How is yours flowing? I just wonder if the Mathmos lamps flows quite as well with rewiring?

I was very tempted by the blue/blue. Wonder why they discontinued it? I think they look lovely and ethereal.


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