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Lava Lamps are back!

They make great inexpensive gifts, come in many different color combinations and sizes, are entertaining to watch and would be a fun lamp or night light for older kids and teens.

Our Teen reviewers said this 10-inch Lava Lite "has really nice colors (purple liquid/white lava) and looks really cool."

The lamp came in 4 pieces: silver base with cord and light bulb socket, glass globe containing liquid/lava, a silver cap for the top and a light bulb.

We were surprised to see that the globe was sealed with a bottle cap, but why not? It works.

LAVA LAMPS GET HOT, so may not be appropriate for younger children unless the lamp and cord are out of reach.

DO NOT SHAKE THE LAMP! The lamps take a few hours to warm up. The lava starts out as a blob on the bottom until the lamp is warm enough to melt it, then it begins floating or flowing. One of our testers didn’t understand this and thought shaking it might get it to work. Bad idea! Whatever you do, don’t shake it! If you shake it, the 'lava' mixes with the liquid and you get cloudy liquid and no lava flow. The lamp will still work, glowing with nice color, but may never function normally again.

The instructions do not state not to shake the lamp, but there should be a sticker on the lamp stating that. Apparently there was no sticker on this particular lamp.

We attempted to fix the lamp by turning it on for 8 hours, then off for 16, and repeated the pattern over several days. We saw some small lava bubbles floating in there, but they were difficult to see through the cloudy liquid and there was definitely no lava flow.

If it had not been shaken, the lamp would most likely have functioned normally. To test that theory we tested a couple of these 14.5-inch Lava Lites.

This lamp had a sticker on the glass stating that it would take 2-3 hours to heat up and reach optimal flow and color and not to move or shake it once it heats up. Genius! We handled the lamp like a bomb coming out of the box, slowly and carefully placing it very gently into its base and ta-da!

This model worked perfectly the first time (after warming up) and the colors were just as shown on the box. We sat mesmerized for a few minutes and watched it stretch and bubble just like the picture on the box.
The second lamp tested performed perfectly as well.

Our Teen reviewers thought the 14.5-inch Lava Lite was “even cooler because it’s bigger.”

This didn’t happen to us, but here’s a tip in case it happens to you: If the coil in the globe of the lamp stands on end or floats to the top when you first warm it up, keep it on for four hours or more to allow the lava to completely melt. The coil should then drop into position at the bottom of the globe on it’s own. If it doesn’t drop down on it’s own, grab an oven mitt or two, because the lamp will be HOT! Twirl the globe GENTLY in the base and the coil will drop down. Do not shake it!


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