Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

After a long long gap of decades, I purchased a new Mathmos Astro, and was slightly disappointed in the amount of "goo" it contained. Back in the 70s our Crestworth Astro seemed to have more wax, more activity and seemed to flow better.

I recently added a Baby to the living room and it seems to have as much wax as its older brother and is consequently more interesting to look at. Am I imagining this? Has anyone compared volumes? Am I a nerd with no life? (Don't answer the last question).

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the new Astro bottle definitely contain less wax than vintage ones and the baby bottles. Back in the day an astro bottle had twice as much wach and fluid than baby bottles and when comparing a new astro bottle to a bottle I mad from two babies it's more than obvious. I'll post a picture from my mobile so you can see how much is missing nowadays. I guess wax is more expensive than fluid and also I think they wanted to reduce the startup time.


Thankyou for your expert replies. I'm "new" at this, despite having one waaay back in the early 70s, Im pretty clueless as there was no way of tapping into a wider knowledge base like now. I certainly wish we had kept it, however if I recall correctly it was disposed of because the wax had gone a bit "crystalline"? It certainly had changed.

For nostalgia I bought an identical copper/orange Astro  a couple of years back and was generally disappointed with just a couple of large blobs rising and falling, certainly not the activity I remember. I sometime see vintage lamps and bottles for sale on Ebay, are they a safe bet or can they generally "off" also?

Incidentally I bought a used clear/white Baby a couple of months back and it was much better overall, but the wax separated quickly; I noticed it was running a higher wattage bulb so ran it througha dimmer and its now not as bad.

I have today ordered a new old stock white Astro bottle to fit in a spare copper lamp holder, so looking forward to that.

Just a suggestion, have you tried using a dimmer?

I've found the the snake type movement tends to happen when the lamp is running cooler.  It may be worth trying a cheap dimmer socket first before dropping money on the vintage bottles.  My lamps tend to go snakey when the ambient temperature of the room drops.

I've found the vintage bottles can have fit issues (the base of the new bottles is concave whereas the old bottles are flat). If the gap between the bottle and the bulb is smaller it can lead to the bulb overheating and wearing out much faster.

Astro have about 250ml on the old bottle thus got changed in mid 2000s to least wax and we'll the flow is more bug blobs than little ones or snakey flow than the 1970s-2000 bottles. I think it was done more likely to save money than flow and we'll say a astro baby bottle used to be same as the jet bottle but now all these bottles are slightly less, I got a old 1970s 80s and 90s bottle and they all seem to flow so nice but the new ones is slower flow not that offen you can add more wax and I've seen that improve things alot but as you got a old bottle it would have to be totally from new wax and liquid. Hope this help you out

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