tondo-ule: heck-yeah-old-tech: LavaLamp number three in the…



LavaLamp number three in the collection, a smaller model than I usually find (14.5 inches tall) with pink goo in purple fluid. The 25-watt bulb inside isn’t hot enough to make the goo move as quickly as the others, but it does eventually go. I hesitate to put in a 40-watt out of fear of overheating the envelope. The label on the cap says this was manufactured in 2001.

Bonus photo: What happens if you pick up the envelope to make sure the bottom looks okay? The accumulation at the top falls like a snowglobe.

Those were supposed to be a superior model that worked better than the 70s lamps, didn’t all collect in one place and stop moving.  My daughter thought they were cool and got one – didn’t work better.

Hiya, Tondo! I’m mostly with you on this, with the one example I own. The older/larger models (16 1/2″) use a 40-watt appliance bulb and they flow pretty well, and starts showing flow after 15 minutes. The next size down (14 1/2″) use a 25-watt reading lamp bulb and takes an hour to melt enough to move, if it goes at all – I replaced a working 25W bulb today because after three hours of being lit the goo only domed, it never lava’d, and I can’t pinpoint whether it was an issue with a change in the goo formula (as you say) or with the quantity of heat given by the dimmer bulb (my guess). I’m not impatient but I do like a Lava Lamp to take less than 2-3 hours to look like a darned Lava Lamp, where the others are working merrily in 30-45 minutes.

I’ve never seen the issue of the goo not moving at all, but rather the opposite of it gets too warm and thin, thus essentially turns into the negative of a bubble light. Both styles have the same small issue that the lighter effluvia grunge gets stuck at the very top, which is fine most of the time but once it cools or gets shaken, it’s drifting around and making things unaesthetic. 🙂

What’s weird to me is that every time I go to a specific Goodwill in Portland, they have at least one. How does that happen? Two of mine came from there, and the third was a Goodwill in Tacoma (and I’d only seen one other Lava Lamp ever in one, red/yellow). Last time I visited that store there was a new gold/glitter light. Yesterday there were this one, an older green/blue envelope but no base, and a new white/glitter light.