Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hey guys,

I recently got my first lamp out of storage, a mathmos jet. 

The top cap was broken years ago, hence why it went away.  I recently made a replacement for it, but have a weird problem.  I stole it’s light/lamp/bulb  a while ago to put in an Astro. 

Astro and Jet both have everyday 40watt SES 240v bulbs (230 volts here). Currently drawing 34 watts. 

I made a new top for it. However the lava just sort of hangs about like the picture. It has its usual start up spurt and melt back, but then does this shape with the odd rise and fall to max 1/2 way up. Taking the cap off yesterday seemed to allow lava to rise more but didn’t watch for more than 10 minutes, so thought perhaps getting too hot?  Stuck a dimmer on it today just in case bulb was too high watts (base says 40w max). However can’t get the lava to flow all the way to the top on max power with or without lid today. 

have I got some kind of lazy lava or are there any tricks anyone suggest (without resorting to refilling or replacing the bottle?)

thanks so much lovely people. 

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Have to agree with Mark, you have just created a Poor Man's Reflector Bulb!  The proper bulb in there will have the same effect. The reflector not only directs light/ heat up towards the globe but also reduces the heat from around the base of the bulb to said base. This of course is applicable only if you have eliminated the possibility of any tweaks with master fluid, ie, specific gravity issues with master fluid and wax.  Keep us posted and good luck!

Mark said:

Heat shield? Is that something you've added?

There shouldn't be any shield in there.

Have you tried it with a 30w R39 spot/reflector bulb?

Be absolutely certain that there is no way that homemade foil reflector can make contact with the threaded part of the bulb, as  that is connected to one side of the electrical supply. If the foil does touch the bulb's screw thread and the metalwork of the Jet base at the same time then this metalwork could become live, and lead to electric shock.

And with the way our beloved counterparts across the pond love to run everything at twice the voltage needed would not be a pretty shituation to have a altercation with a high voltage fun toy!  Good luck bro, keep us up to date!

Good tip... was very sure to do that when I made it..... the screw part of the bulb is completely covered by the plastic shroud. Foil is well below the bulb holder too. 

ha, USA has 220 (or whatever double your measured is) volts you just tap your neutral from the middle of the transformer coil ;-)  You use two fuses and two phases to give you the power to run washing machines etc. 

Yes, for our clothes dryer and air compressors!  Pretty much everything else is 110- 120, whatever it takes!  You know us Yankees!

It’s perhaps very geeky, but I follow a lot of YouTube stuff about electronics. 

I found out about the ‘weird’ way you do split phase in ‘technology connections’. 


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