Lava lamp, a beautiful decorative lamp that was invented by a British entrepreneur Edward Craven Walker back in 1963. This lamp contains a mixture of colored wax within a glass vessel. The rest of the liquid solution within the vessel is either clear or translucent in color.
The base of this vessel comprises an incandescent light that heats up the colored wax and the rest of the liquid solution inside it.
As gradually the wax is warmed it bounces in an upward and downward motion. The wax starts losing its buoyancy, it cools, and it goes to the bottom of the vessel making it look like lava due to the light as well, hence the distinct name lava lamp.
For aesthetic and decorative purposes, these lamps are designed in different colors and styles. The main idea behind getting or having a lava lamp is not obtaining but rather comforting dim light from it in the dark. For people, this kind of light is a source of peace and comfort.
The dim light of this lamp helps you to relax and be at ease. According to some people, having a lava lamp light around helps them to de-stress and feel relieved.
Instead of having a harsh white light, the dim light is comfortable on the eyes. The key is to light the lamp in a dark room to set the ambiance accordingly.
To keep the lava lamp properly functioning, you need to keep it away from air drafts and air conditioners. Keep the temperature of the room at least 20 centigrade to maintain the temperature of the lamp.
Popularly known to ‘set the mood’ among people who are into light aesthetics and consider it a source of fun. The bouncy globs of wax in a lava lamp are mainly made of paraffin wax. The bouncy factor is obtained due to the high density of the wax globe which is usually composed of carbon tetrachloride.
The other fluid in it, which is translucent or clear, is either mineral oil or plain water including a bit of colored hue orbits of sparkle. The color in the fluid is added to give it a whimsy look once the lamp is lit.
Lava lamps in particular do not have any expiry date whatsoever. The lights in it though do wear out with time. The average time span of a lava lamp is 2000 hours.
This time frame does not provide the life span of this lamp in particular but merely tells us the longevity period. These lamps are easily replaceable once taken to the retailers after expiry.
It is suggested to not keep the lava lamp overnight tho. Even if the substance in it is non-toxic, the lamp should not be on for more than 10 hours.
It normally takes 6 hours for the wax blobs in the lamp to take form and do the bouncy action. Even after the warm-up time of the wax, the functioning of a lava lamp should be monitored. It is important to keep a check on your lamp so that it will function as designed.
So, Are lava lamps eco-friendly?
As pleasing as lava lamps may be, they are not very environmentally friendly. They can be energy thieves once added with other electric appliances in your house.
Are lava lamps recyclable?
If your lamp is old, one thing you can do is take it to the nearest thrift store. You can easily recycle the bits of the lamp like the glass and the plastic part. The electric bits of it can be recycled with the e-waste. As for the wax, you can collect it in paper or a newspaper and just dump it in a trash bin.
Are lava lamps a risk?
Anything that is connected with the use of energy can be hazardous if left unattended. The same thing goes for a lava lamp. The electric bulb of a lava lamp is not something that will overheat with time and then burst like any other bulb in a closed container.
The fluid in the lava lamp on the other hand though can excessively heat up and can be a cause of lamp bursting if it is kept on for way too long. The suggested period for this lamp’s functioning should not be more than 10 hours.
Sometimes the wax may take the shape of a dome which is probably because the lamp is overheated. A simple solution is to turn off the lamp for a couple of hours. If the wax is flat still and is lying at the bottom, you should check the lamp’s bulb as well.
Priority should be to not let it overheat in the first place. This could be less hazardous and won’t ruin the comfort as well provided by the lava lamp.