Lava lamp — what is it, how it is arranged and works, the history of creation, why is it needed?

Lava lamp - what is it, how it is arranged and works, the history of creation, why is it needed?

Interior items help to create a warm cozy atmosphere in the house. Lava lamp is a modern decorative lamp that can become a highlight of any room. Suitable for any room, this decoration is loved by both children and adults.

What is a lava lamp?

The real popularity of the original lamps won in the 70s of the last century in the United States, what a lava lamp looked like then all the dudes knew. Transparent flasks, inside which colored drops move, attracted attention. Until now, the design of the lamp is considered interesting and in demand on the market. It is impossible to predict the order of movement of the oily lava liquid inside the lamp; it randomly rises and falls, constantly changing shape. Ordinary magic — this is how you can briefly describe what happens inside the lamp.

how does a lava lamp work

How is a lava lamp made?

The most common form of a lava floor lamp is an elongated flask about 25 cm high. It is made of durable glass or plastic, filled with a special composition, the exact formula of which is kept secret. It is known that inside the lava lamp is a mixture consisting of glycerin, oil and alcohol. The moving mass is formed from wax dyed with dyes. Other mandatory components of the lamp are:

  1. Heating element in the form of an incandescent lamp. Some lava flasks are equipped with 40-watt, in others — more powerful reflex items with coolers.
  2. The base, in which the control unit is mounted, is made of ceramic, and has a rubber insulating layer that acts as a gasket.
  3. Additional devices — a dimmer, a cooler, which allow you to independently change the temperature inside the lamp, are installed in expensive models.

How does a lava lamp work?

How does a lava lamp work?

In order for the magic lamp to come to life, it must be plugged into an outlet. The incandescent element of the lava lamp begins to heat up, transferring heat to the paraffin, which moves in the heated glycerin, rising and falling. A continuous process, which is easily explained by the laws of physics, can last up to 10 hours — this is the allowable time for the continuous operation of a lava lamp nightlight. The formation of large accumulations of wax indicates that the lamp has overheated and needs a break. After a break, the lamp can be turned on again.

History of the lava lamp

The history of the creation of an unusual lamp is very interesting. The very first lava lamp appeared in the 1960s thanks to Edward Walker, and was made in the form of a rocket. Its name «Astro Lamp» was associated with a new era of space exploration. Ringo Starr himself was the owner of such a lamp, and after the release of the movie Doctor Who, sales of decorative lamps increased a thousand times. The factory for the production of these products in the city of Poole in Britain brought a good income until the Americans bought the rights. They developed the Lava Manufacturing corporation to an unprecedented size, increasing sales many times over.

Why do you need a lava lamp?

Experts appreciated the effect of unusual lamps. The constantly moving wax drops in the lava lamp change shape, watching them helps people relax. Immerse yourself in a state of relaxation will help special musical accompaniment — calm background music, sounds of nature. The properties of lava lamps have made them a sought-after product in our time. The lamp can be used instead of a night light, its muffled soft glow is regulated at the request of the owner. It can be a good gift for romantic natures and children.

Types of lava lamps

Stylized bars and nightclubs are often decorated with lava lamps. The usual streamlined shapes can be replaced with complex unusual models. There are many types of these amazing lamps. You can choose the right one for a particular situation, knowing how color affects a person’s mood.

  1. Lava lamp purple suitable for bedroom decor, it helps to relax, meditate.
  2. purple lamp

  3. red lights excite, charge the owners with energy and strength.
  4. red lights

  5. blue lamps set up in a businesslike way, help in negotiations, they are recommended to be installed in office premises.
  6. blue lava lamp

  7. Glitter lava lamp will help create a festive mood.
  8. glitter lava lamps

  9. Yellow paraffin lamps — Ideal for children’s bedrooms.
  10. yellow lava lamp

lava lamp design

Decorative lamps are very popular with designers. A bright spot and decoration of the room can be a lamp with bright bubbles, attracting attention. The shapes of the flasks are different, the imagination of the manufacturers of lava lamps is surprising, on sale you can find a variety of lamps — bullets, cylinders, hourglasses. Products filled with paraffin drops vary in size.

  1. Lava lamps floor are performed on stable stands, their sizes are found from 75 cm and above. Such floor lamps look good in the corner of the room and effectively fill the space.
  2. floor lava lamps

  3. Table lava lamps have more modest dimensions, their size does not exceed 50 cm in height.
  4. lava table lamps

  5. wall sconces with the addition of transparent flasks with paraffin, they look original and unusual. Such lamps can decorate any interior.
  6. wall-mounted

How to use a lava lamp?

When buying a cult lamp of the last century, many owners think about how to properly care for a lava lamp at home. Like any electrical device, the lamp requires careful handling. The rules of operation and care for it are simple, they must be observed:

  1. It takes about 2 hours to warm up the lamp, during which time the wax should heat up and begin to move up and down.
  2. The best place to install the lamp is away from the sun’s rays.
  3. In case of contamination, the flask must be wiped with a soft cloth.
  4. Sudden movements and shaking of the lamp can lead to its breakage.
  5. The lava lamp has a protective cap, it is impossible to remove it and disassemble the lamp, it is dangerous by changing the density of the internal mixture.
  6. The luminaire may heat up during operation; objects that can catch fire should not be placed near it — curtains, carpets, books, newspapers.
  7. To replace incandescent lamps, it is necessary to use original accessories that are suitable in terms of parameters and sample.

Why is there cloudy water in a lava lamp?

The most common question that owners of original lamps turn to specialists is the problem of turbidity of the liquid in the lava lamp. Improper operation is the result of such a situation. A lamp whose work is based on physical phenomena cannot be shaken, dropped, or even moved sharply. Wax lava lamps lose their original appearance, the paraffin in them breaks up into separate parts. A slight turbidity of the liquid is considered the norm, if this does not interfere with aesthetic perception, you can ignore this fact.

DIY lava lamp

Beautiful and unusual wax lamps on store shelves fascinate and attract attention. Having a magic floor lamp at home is a dream of many housewives. Any master can make a lava lamp with his own hands, it will require a minimum set of tools and materials:

  • a glass flask of a suitable size;
  • ceramic flower pot;
  • a light bulb with a cartridge with a power of 15–40 W;
  • power cord with plug and power button;
  • a piece of rubber;
  • liquid soap containing glycol distearate.


  1. Connect the socket with the lamp and the wire.
  2. Install a cartridge at the base of the pot, bring the wire out.
  3. Place the rubber backing on the edge of the base of the future lamp.
  4. Fill a transparent container 3/4 with warm water, add 10 drops of liquid soap, shake and add water. The volume of the liquid obtained should not reach the edges by 1–2 cm. Close the flask with a tight lid.
  5. Install the flask on the base.
  6. Plug in the lamp.
  7. The heated liquid will move, creating streams, glare and bubbles.

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