Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Phantom Flower fiber optic lamp does anyone know anything about them please?

Does anyone know anything about a Phantom Flower fiber optic lamp please? It's thought to date to 1969/early 70's. There's a name beginning with "A" but it's so small we cannot read it. It looks very similar to the Crestworth Galaxy, but there's obvious differences. Although the flowers look exactly like flowers found in one of the Crestworth fiber lamps. It lights up and changes colours as it rotates. I need to put a 20w bulb in as per the label, just waiting for them to arrive. We've wanted to add a fiber optic lamp to our collection for a long time, we were looking for a Crestworth Galaxy, then we found this one, beautiful design. 

Any information would be great please :) 

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Seems like the German equivalent of the Crestworth Flowerlite. Probably 1970’s. I’ve seen a couple of examples for sale before.

The label says 69, so we are guessing 1969. I wonder which came first, this lamp or the Crestworth one. The Crestworth one was said to be released for Christmas 69. Here's some photos, although they are blurred and don't show any of the beautiful details. You'll get an idea of some of the colours as it moves around. 

Very nice detail, don't know about the date, sorry. 69 seems early - it could be a factory code?

The Crestworth versions were slightly earlier I would guess, because they didn't use Halogen bulbs like yours does

It's the big Crestworth Flowerlite drawback - their silk flowers are slightly better, I think, and the spun metal casings are superb as with all Cresties  - but they used projector bulbs to get the requisite brightness up through the flowers, which caused too much heat for the flower wheels (they cracked); so they put three layers of glass between the bulb and the fibre tail, which inevitably had a dimming effect - the whole caboodle can look a tad dull...

Hi, thanks for your input, as you say, this one uses a 20w halogen bulb. I personally don't think that gives enough light, but it has to go through glass lenses and the layers of protection on the colour wheel, see photo. The detail of the fiber optic flowers is simply superb when viewed, there's no silk in them, it's all fibers. They are full of details they just looks naff on my photos. 

That's a lot of distance/protection! it could well be your Phantom has the same heat problem as the Crestworths

What you may be able to do, if you think it's too dark, is to change the bulb to a either a more powerful LED, obviously, or - if you're prepared to tinker seriously - fit an LED which gets you over the heat issue

I've fitted LEDs to most of my fibres now, but sometimes you have to make a trade-off because a suitable-sized white light LED isn't available. This is (or was, anyway, when I did my works) the case for a lot of the early 6v Crestworths. You can restore the lamp to fully-working original state, then (indrawn breath and pursed lips from the purists), carefully take the bulb and wheel assembly out again and pack it away safely, and replace it with a good quality (ie memory, crucially) colour-changing LED. I reckon you lose 10-20% of the subtlety a colour wheel gives you, but in exchange you get a hassle-free display you can run for hours. 

Many thanks for that info. I would like to run this every evening for several hours at a time, but I don't want to ruin it. We used to have a superb Christmas tree that was all fiber optics and it didn't last very long at all, around five Christmas's before the motor stopped turning, then after that the whole thing gave out, lamp holder and all. 

 

It's a huge and fairly heavy housing, those inners that you see are metal and layers of thick glass. We took it to pieces to thoroughly clean it, there was a serious amount of dirt on all the parts due to age. 

I'd love it brighter and running on LEDs myself. The colour wheel is great on this, it is various colours and various sections of colours across the disc, not like any other wheel I've seen before. But it would be great to not have to worry about bulb usage and possible breakage. Do you have any recommendations as to what would work best please?

Just an update on the above. The space for the bulb only just fits a regular G4 20w halogens width. We can squeeze a g4 10w LED in the housing but it's not bright enough, a 20 watt equivalent LED G4 is too wide, the gap is only as wide as the bulb. The bulb goes straight up into the lamp reflector housing, which isn't very big at all. 

Yeah, that's the problem with the early Crestworths too. That's why I said serious tinkering!

To fit a decent colour-changing LED you will need to take out your bulb-holder and the reflector housing above it, and of course the colour wheel too. (you won't need this)

There's no heat, so you can secure the LED in place with velcro cable ties, no need to install brackets and stanchions

Here's a photo of the kit I used, but the spec's change all the time so you will need to explore the market if  you go ahead.  When I found this bulb, there were only B22 versions left, so I had to either use an adaptor or take the connector filling off and hot-wire it. Crucially your LED must have a memory function so it doesn't revert to default setting when switched off - typically default is fast disco-style change which is all wrong...

Thanks for that, I never thought about using something like that. I was thinking more on the lines of buying a LED fiber lamp and swapping the innards. That above set up would do it though and it would be better and brighter, but I'd loose the multi effect colours at the same time effect and the slow spinning of the lamp. Umm, it would be good to use it a lot though, I'm going to give that some serious thought. 

As a side note, does anyone know if this is an expensive lamp? If it's hundreds it might be better to not do the work and let it go. 

The black Crestworth Flowerlite - the less uncommon one - goes at £200+, the other two (gold and bronze) are really rare - I've never seen them on sale. I've not seen many other types get near three figures, though yours is quite nice. They're just not popular lamps - a bit dull, a bit dated - which is why you want to brighten yours up, I guess...Typically the better ones seem to look for £50-75 initially, though I don't follow these sales closely. Hopefully this may spark other, more informed replies?

One detail point, by the way - you needn't disconnect the rotation mechanism from the flower/spray, with the full LED swap. And quite possibly (if you take the lens housing out) you could find a powerful enough white LED and so keep the colour wheel too, for your multicolour effect.... 

Thanks for that info, I only want to brighten mine up because I love bright lamps. Hubby says it's bright enough already, which is it really, it can easily be seen and is very calming, but not as bright as the very bright Christmas tree we owned. Plus LED's don't need replacing and cost way less to run in the long term. 

Really cool. I suspect this is late 1970s or newer. A much grander version of lamps from Taiwan which were widely-available in the eighties. Do the flowers revolve?

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