Newest Review: ... have always been fascinated with these lamps since seeing them on old black and white TV programmes way back in the 60s. They would often... more
Groovy decor to remind us of the 1960s
Member Name: rolandrat
Advantages: Relaxing and gentle light
Disadvantages: Ages to heat up - can be smashed easily, not safe for children
Lava lamps come in all shapes and sizes and colours - from the standard ones that sit on tables to much larger floor standing ones.
They all work on the principle of a bulb in the base giving off light and also heating the contents of a glass tube that sits over the bulb. When the contents heats up blobs of 'lava' rise in the coloured liquid up to the top of the container - where then then cool and drop back down - so as long as the bulb is switched on there will be continual motion in the lamp.
These lamps were invented in the UK i the early 1960s and came to be associated with fashionable decor along with ball or basket chairs.
Personally I have always been fascinated with these lamps since seeing them on old black and white TV programmes way back in the 60s. They would often crop up as a groovy accessory in shows such as The Avengers or The Prisoner. They were part of psychedelic decor. I never thought I would end up owning one one day - but my eldest son gave be a red and blue one for Christmas a few years ago.
After being very much a 60s and 70s item I did not see them around again until they started being seen on sale during the 1990s and now are standard gift items every Christmas - just look in the Argos catalogue.
The lamp just needs to be plugged in and switched on, but it does take quite a while for the lava to get moving - sometimes from an hour to an hour and a half to get the blobs of 'lava' circulating freely.
I did have the bulb go once and I had a terrible time trying to find a replacement so these days I keep my lamp for special occasions such as Birthdays and Christmas or when having visitors round and I will then turn it on early and leave on fr all day.
It is very relaxing to gaze at the blobs of lava rising and falling. It does not give off a lot of light - more a red glow.
Some of these lamps can be quite unstable as mine is just a glass section resting in the base - the top fluid filled section makes it top heavy so a slight knock and it would tumble over and smash.
I am not sure what the composition of the 'lava' is, some sort of wax I believe, but googling shows that some lamps did contain carbon tetrachloride which is poisonous - so for this reason, and the fact that they can get quite hot and would shatter if knocked over I would not want to have them in a child's room - though from some of the designs they seem to be aimed at the child market. Personally I think they are much too dangerous to have in children's rooms.
4 stars. Nice but you have to be careful with them.
This firm made and still make the original Lava Lites and you can buy replacement bottles from them for lamps dating back to 1963.
However these days many other firms make these lamps and you have no way of knowing what the contents are.
Summary: A cool light but more for effect than illumination
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