As of 2014, the liquid ingredients in lava lamps are considered a trade secret, but until 1970, patents showed that they were made with paraffin wax, water, mineral oil and carbon tetrachloride. Whatever the current ingredients are, they are heated by a light bulb in the base of the lamp.
The ingredients of lava lamp liquid changed around 1970, when carbon tetrachloride was found to be toxic. No matter which ingredients are used, the lamp works the same way. The light bulb heats both the liquid mixture and the blob of wax material settled on the bottom. As it heats, the waxy blob becomes less dense than the liquid and begins to rise to the top of the lamp. As it moves away from the heat source, it begins to cool and descend to the base, where it is heated and rises again, thus forming the cycling waves of blobs. Colored dyes are used for decorative effect.Learn More
A fluorescent light uses a tube of excited mercury gas to illuminate a phosphorescent coating, producing visible light. Fluorescent lights use less energy, produce less heat and tend to last longer than incandescent light bulbs.Full Answer >
Measure a lamp's harp from the top of the harp to the bottom of the bulb socket. For the best fit, match the harp measurement with the measurement of a replacement shade.Full Answer >
To rewire a lamp, remove the lamp, cover and socket, then remove the old cords and fix the new ones. Use a folded towel, a screw driver, electrical tape, wire cutters, strippers and a new lamp cord to accomplish this task.Full Answer >
To build a lamp with a lamp making kit, purchase a kit, select an appropriate base for the lamp, assemble the lamp fittings, attach it within the base, screw in a light bulb, and check that the lamp works. Select an appropriate lampshade to put on the lamp.Full Answer >