The lava lamp is no longer in short supply, as in the distant Soviet times, and has not lost its popularity over the years. This, as before, is a noticeable and fashionable decor item, loved by many for its brightness and unusual design. Now everyone can buy such a lamp, although in the Soviet Union it was considered rare luck to get such a thing.
Previously, it was prestigious to give an outlandish lamp for the holidays, with her participation, home discos were arranged, guests always paid attention to it. And although now the passions around the lamp have subsided, it still remains a desirable piece of furniture for many.
A bit of history
Today's lamps come in a variety of colors, models and sizes. Prices for unusual decorative lamps vary depending on the country of manufacture and the individual parameters of the product. Lava lamps are especially popular with teenagers for their catchy design, but few of them know that a gadget that is fashionable today is not a modern innovation at all.
The idea of creating a lava lamp belongs to Edward Craven Walker, an engineer from the UK. It was he who, in 1963, conducted an experiment on mixing oil and paraffin, followed by heating the mixture. The effect shocked the inventor with its beauty and he came up with a unique lamp, giving it a name Astro Lamp.
Two years later, in Hamburg, two American businessmen from Chicago became interested in an invention with a liquid inside a flask, presented at a trade show. They bought out the patent for a bubble lamp, named their purchase "Lava Lamp" and put it on stream.
In the midst of the 60s of the twentieth century, the lamp became a kind of emblem of the era, attracting views and attracting more and more admirers with its design. A boom in lava lamps struck all over the world, capturing many countries in Europe.
In the 90s. the lamps were widely known in our country, where the peak of the spread of the psychedelic subculture was just observed, and everything extraordinary aroused great excitement and interest.
The first lamps were made mainly with a bright yellow or blue liquid in a bulb, and inside the red and white paraffin "clouds" formed bizarre shapes. The development of technical capabilities made it possible to organize the production of lamps of a wide variety of shapes and colors of the contents of the vessel. But their essence remained unchanged - the magic of a small Universe, enclosed in a frame of transparent glass.
There is a place for a lava lamp in any interior. She can easily "revive" even the most boring style, becoming its bright accent. The device not only plays the role of decoration, but also works as a lighting device. It is often used as a night light, since its illumination area is no more than three meters.
However, most often this item is purchased as decoration and entertainment for the sight and soul. After all, the play of paraffin in a glass flask simply mesmerizes the attention with the change of shapes and the magic of color. Appreciate the device because it:
- has a design unusual for a lamp;
- universal and interesting not only for children, but also for people of any age;
- compact in design;
- practical, maintenance-free and easy to install and connect.
With such a decorative thing as at, you can go for a birthday or New Year's celebration. It will look equally attractive on the desk in the office and on the bedside table in the bedroom at home.
Device and principle of operation
The lava lamp can be either tabletop or floor lamp, depending on the size and design of the glass bulb. The device differs in a simple device and is a lamp consisting of:
- a glass transparent cylinder filled with glycerin and translucent wax;
- incandescent light bulb located in the lower compartment of the structure;
- base, consisting of a base, reflector and incandescent lamp of a certain type and voltage;
- metal cap;
- wires for power supply from the mains.
The composition of the liquid in the container is glycerin and paraffin. All transformations in the flask are based on paraffin, which sinks in glycerin at room temperature. The lamp is heated due to the work of the light bulb and the reflector. In the process of heating, the wax softens, becomes lighter and begins to slowly move along the cylinder. The visual effect of clouds floating in the air is created. The temperature drop leads to a change in the movement of paraffin, which takes on the most unexpected forms in the process.
Stages of work
There is no specific plan for the stages of operation of the lava lamp. This is a simple device in design, for the operation of which it is enough to connect to a working power supply or a special candle (in the wireless model). If the lamp is delivered disassembled, it must first of all be correctly assembled. This is an easy and quick process:
- Place the light bulb in a special base in the base-stand and screw it tight.
- Insert the flask with the lid upwards into the stand (under no circumstances open the lid),
- Put a decorative cap on the flask.
After that, the device is ready for connection and start of operation. There are only a few steps left before he begins to please himself to the fullest:
- The lamp should be placed on the floor or on a flat tabletop close to the outlet.
- For the device to work, you need to connect it to the power supply.
- After plugging into the socket, the incandescent light comes on.
- The glycerin and paraffin are heated, as a result of which the paraffin starts to move.
After 8 hours of continuous operation, the lighting device should be disconnected from the mains and left off for about an hour. This time will be enough for the lamp to be connected again.
In some models, a power regulator is located on the wire. It is recommended to use it at the maximum level so that the wax in the flask is heated sufficiently. Less power will deprive the contents of the lamp of the brightness for which it is so popular and loved.
Lava lamps are presented in stores in a wide range, providing an opportunity for every customer to make a choice. There are models that are supposed to be used exclusively in girls' rooms and romantic interiors of bedrooms. But there are also laconic and more versatile options for offices and minimalistic living spaces.
The base material for all models is made of metal, which makes it stable during installation and heating. The design is selected according to individual considerations and can be varied:
- An oblong flask with small monochromatic glitters, beautifully iridescent and moving in the depths of transparent glycerin. This tabletop model is available in a variety of cap, base and sequin colors.
- A flask of the same shape with a glitter of the same color as the glycerin. Small sequins are slightly richer in shade, the base and cap are in the same range. A multi-colored palette is offered, a desktop installation is assumed.
- Base and cap chrome-plated, glitter in three colors, lamp with ceramic base.
- Floor lamp on a high leg (123 cm) with a stable base. Inside a glass flask there is a single-color glitter in a transparent or tinted liquid. The largest, most expensive and spectacular model.
- Floor lamp (61 cm) with wider chrome metal base. The flask is filled with small caliber glitter in transparent or colored glycerin.
- Cylindrical lamp with a large transparent part filled with glitter (39 cm).
- Cylinder-shaped lamp with transparent liquid and colored wax (39 cm).
- A rocket-shaped lamp with floating wax bubbles of one or two colors against the background of absolute transparency of the bulb filler.
- Curly models with sparkles of all colors of the rainbow or wax bubbles. The possible color scheme varies in all possible combinations: from purple with blue to blue-yellow, green with gold or red-orange. A model with a bright design is most often purchased for children.
Glitter lamps differ from wax counterparts in that shiny particles move faster when heated, and dense wax forms intricate shapes. These can be oblong drops, blots, clouds, bubbles, or something similar to jellyfish and parachutes. Everyone is able to see something special in bizarre forms.
When using the lava lamp for the first time, it will take 2 to 3 hours for the wax to warm up completely. If it collects at the base or in the upper compartment and is stationary even after 1.5 hours of device operation, the lamp must be carefully rotated around its axis several times.
The device can work continuously for up to 8 hours. The maximum is allowed if it is turned on for two hours longer. Longer use will lead to overheating of the lamp and its breakage.
If during operation of the lamp paraffin collects at the bottom of the bulb or too small bubbles appear, it must be allowed to cool for an hour. Using the lamp is simple, but you still need to follow basic rules:
- install the product only on a flat, stable surface;
- the incandescent light bulb should be located strictly in the center;
- the average temperature in the room is not lower than 20 degrees;
- to clean the glass flask with a soft cloth, it is permissible to use a glass cleaner with a non-"aggressive" composition;
- timely disconnect the device from the network to avoid overheating;
- replace burned-out lamps with analogs of A-15 W or A-40 W markings;
- every 3 months, perform a full lamp warm-up cycle.
The lava lamp, like any other device powered by the mains, requires taking precautions during its operation. In order not to harm your health or damage the lamp, remember the following:
- It is unacceptable to transport the device in the cold and store it at low temperatures (less than +5 C).
- The lamp should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Overheating of the product is fraught with fading of the wax and damage to the device.
- It is forbidden to shake the luminaire connected to the network, move, drop or perform any active manipulations with it. If you do not want the liquid in the flask to become cloudy, leak out or explode.
- Do not use additional sources of light and heat to heat the device. An incandescent light bulb is sufficient to ensure normal operation of the appliance.
- According to the instructions, only incandescent bulbs are subject to replacement. The rest of the construction is not allowed to be changed.
- To maintain the integrity of the device and your own safety, it is recommended to follow the instructions for use of the lava lamp.
Often, disregard of safety rules and manufacturer's instructions leads to product breakdown. The warranty does not cover damage caused by the consumer.
Incompetent intervention and disregard for the recommended precautions can even lead to product explosion and injury to experimenters.
The popularity of the device, which combines decorative and lighting functions, led to the fact that many foreign and Russian companies were engaged in its production. As in any other spheres, there are also leaders here.
Alive Lighting is an internationally recognized company that manufactures lighting fixtures through the work of a large team of passionate and united employees. These experts implement interesting ideas in luminaire models that are valued for their quality and modern design:
- "UNO Volcano" - this is the name of one of the most popular lamps from Alive Lighting, which assumes a floor installation and is protected against overheating, which is very useful for devices of such a design as lava lamps.
- "Tube Passion" - a model in minimalism design, recognizable by the red color of the wax. The striking product has standard dimensions, which allows it to be used in any room in the residential and office space.
Mathmos is the oldest manufacturer of lava lamps. Winner of numerous awards for instrument design and well-organized marketing. The most admired models from Mathmos are:
- "LavalampAstro" - design with a removable bulb, there is a large selection of colors, complemented by new variations on a quarterly basis. This allows, having bought a lamp once, to be able to regularly change its design to a more modern version.
- "FireFlow O1" - a unique example among typical lava lamps. The device is heated by a candle and has a removable high-tech glass cylinder. The device can work for 3 hours without interruption. It takes so much time for the candle to burn out and go out completely. The device is simple, effective and reliable in operation.
- "FireFlow O1 shine" - differs from the previous model in an incredible space design. It works up to three hours from a candle, which makes it versatile, mobile and independent from the mains.
Some lesser known manufacturers have also already found their admirers, releasing the following lamps:
- PUL1020 - a Russian-made luminaire presented by Orient, which specializes in the design and manufacture of lighting fixtures. A distinctive feature of the lamp is iridescent sparkles that play with glare in the bulb when the device is turned on and heated. Powered by a network, sold at an affordable price, unpretentious in maintenance, attractive in the interior.
- "Start Lava" - a product of the trade mark with the same name "Start". A standard representative of lava lamps at a reasonable price.
Also noteworthy are Chinese lava-type lamps produced at factories that produce lighting devices of various types and purposes.
Lava lamps in their design are not distinguished by their exquisite design, but they are safe, durable and versatile for use in both the bedroom and the guest room.
For information on how a lava lamp works, see the next video.