Instructables
Picture of Cool Cloud Lamp!
Make a very neat lava-like lamp for less than $10 in parts. Uses only soap and water. No chemicals, easy, fun, and the results are incredibly neat!



I added some cheap plastic eyeballs and suspended them from the lid with thread to make an Eerie Halloween Display!
 
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Step 1: Supplies You'll Need

Picture of Supplies You'll Need
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The main things you'll need are a 6" piece of THICK PVC pipe, a 15-25 watt bulb (you can go as high as 40, but the base can get pretty hot at 40), and "pearlized" liquid handsoap that contains glycol stearate or glycol distearate (should be listed on the ingredients of the bottle). Avoid anything that has moisturizers or additives like aloe, etc. Click on the pictures for a full list of the supplies I used.

Step 2: Build the Base

Picture of Build the Base
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Sand off and trim any plastic leavings on the top and bottom of the PVC pipe. Notch the bottom of the pipe for the cord. You can glue the bottle to the base, but I recommend using an old mouse pad and fashioning a rubber seat you can place the bottle on and glue the ring to the top of the PVC pipe. See pics for illustration.

Step 3: Prepping the Bottle

Picture of Prepping the Bottle
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Soak off any labels in soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Fill the bottle about 3/4 full with warm water. Add 7-10 squirts of the handsoap, screw on the lid and shake well until the soap is mixed. Then "top off" the bottle by adding water to about 1" from the top. (This allows for air expansion as the bottle heats up). I recommend creating a rubber seal for the lid by cutting another piece of the mousepad you used for the base. Cut to fit inside the lid. This helps insure that no water leaks out of the top.
Geremy Mama1 month ago

is the heat nesecary?

exabopper1 year ago
I've completed a couple of these, and this is a great idea!  I have put up a video of my build, since it looks like the one in the Instructable isn't there anymore, you can see it here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEN-UU8NwCs

I used "Softsoap with rich moisturizing Shea Butter Beads" for my lamps.

seansippo5 years ago
this is interesting, but im interested in the bubble effect of a lava lamp. i have been reading around about using a mixture of mineral oil and rubbing alcohol, not sure if it works yet. any idea what should be used for the more BUBBLE effect? thank you
According to wikipedia the original lava lamps were filled with wax and carbon tetrachloride.
carbon tetrachloride can cause many health issues when concentrated so thats probably why they stopped using it. I would be suprised if you could buy it.
I tried getting my hands on some a few years back and couldn't manage it.
food dye and vegetable oil works for a while! (with a yellow tint!)
ThingArthur2 years ago
I once mixed some bronze powder with white spirit and got good 'clouds',
put between 2 sheets of glass, I could leave a 'hand print' in the cloud,
was going to add a lamp to warm up one end to make a 'hurricane'...
and hang it on the wall
might try again with some thrown out double glazing...

pics! plus instructable! now!
If you have a blacklight, fill the bottle with tonic water instead of regular water, makes it glow in the blacklight, sooooooooooo cool!!
ashbegash2 years ago
Awesome!! Love it!
STi 33W6 years ago
Here is mine. I made it as a present for my gf. I used an actual lamp as my base (with some modification) and a 25W bulb. I painted the base of the jar blue with a sharpie. The heart in the middle is just a blue coat hanger. I'm not sure if I have the mixture right, or if I have a strong enough bulb. I've had it on for almost 8 hours and no problems. I think 25W is as high as I will go. Mostly because the base has rice paper windows. Excellent Instructable. I will let you know if my gf likes it ;)
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well, did she like it?
Yes, she loved it. She thought it was very romantic and she couldn't believe that I had made it myself out such random things. I also received a present that night ;)
berky93 STi 33W5 years ago
strange, she gave me the exact same present that night! lol just kidding. the lamp looks awesome btw
tstan13 berky932 years ago
O MG berky 93 that is the funniest thing I have seen on here. cute. any way I think I remember something about denatured acohol and glycerine? is that maybe possible? Or is that light an explosion and fire waiting to happen like it sounds. I don't know I just remember a friend making these Slow Motion Ocean things back in the 70s and he put a light on some of them.
STi 33W berky935 years ago
I wonder if you can embed a rimshot to go along with that comment ;) Actually, as an update, that girl cheated on me and we are no longer together... The lamp still works though.
Cyrus STi 33W5 years ago
Did you replace the heart that was in it with a broken one? That would be so emo.
STi 33W Cyrus5 years ago
Actually, I have already given it to another girl.
you are my hero haha
and got another present i presume ;-)
Cyrus STi 33W5 years ago
:) That works too :)
berky93 STi 33W5 years ago
well at least you got to keep the lamp.
o.O
lol
frikkie STi 33W5 years ago
What you guys can also try is to maybe use an element of some sort to heat the bottel.And maybe make like a top cover for the bottle in which you can put in leds of diffrent colours and a decade counter circuit to control them.Then you dont need to have just an blue or red colour lamp.I think a hairdryer like the one ladies use,should have an element that might work.The only thing is to mount it securely and to control the temprature. That one can maybe do by using an timer circuit or a thyristor circuit(light dimmer principal). Any ideas email me frikkiesmit@webmail.co.za
iok3 years ago
haha, that so awesome bro
when u put that eyes..cool
nice job
I'd love to see something like this with toy arms and legs in as a replica of Sid's lava la mp in Toy Story XD
nmvb3 years ago
lots of shampoos have glycol stearate or distearate in them.
shortblock6 years ago
Hey what brand of soap did you use.
I CAN,T FIND LIQUID SOAP WITH GLYCOL STERATE OR GLYCOL WITH  DISTERATE. PLEASE LET ME KNOW BRAND AND WHERE TO BUY. EVERYTHING ELSE IS FINISHED. TOM
cvs brand handsoap, softsoap, mine is the "milk and honey" version. i'm about to make the lamp so i'll let you know if it doesnt work....
fidgety23 years ago
how would glycerol work as a substitute for the soap just asking
pigsrock4 years ago
can you see the clouds with out the light?
this is really awesome especially because im using this in a old coke bottle and putting a nuka cola clear lablel on it. : )
andyellison6 years ago
So whats the effect of adding more soap? or what about colored soap (ie soap with food coloring in it)?
babblin5 (author)  andyellison6 years ago
More soap = thicker clouds. Not sure about colored soap, but I think the ratio to make any difference would be at least 25% soap, which would ruin the effect 8(
I NEED THE SOAP, NAME AND WERE I CAN BUY IT. THANKS
babblin5 (author)  babblin56 years ago
But food coloring might work fine... haven't tried that as I usually just "paint" the bottoms of the jars with permanent markers of different colors. You can get a really nice sunset effect by coloring one half of the bottom yellow, and the other half red. =D
spock1555 years ago
To tell you the truth, it took me forever to find soap with glycol distearate... lol...
WHERE DID YOU FIND IT AND WHAT BRAND
DasBus4 years ago
 This is way cool!  You should definitely enter it in the upcoming Halloween instructable contest!
I love it......i made more than $500 dollars !!!! thank you Jordan huges from mexico!!!
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babblin5 (author)  JORDAN1805925 years ago
Excellent! =)
i dont know about youse guyses but i LOVE IT i am going to steampunk this
egjr791195 years ago
HEY GUYS I USED A GREEN PARTY BULB, THE ONLY THING IS A 40 WATT AND IT DOES LOOK COOL BUT IT DOESN'T SHOW THE EFFECT THAT IT SHOWS IN THE VIDEO.
egjr791195 years ago
THIS WAS A VERY COOL IDEA, THE ONLY THING I COULDN'T FIND 25 WATTS BULBS.
jokerrabit5 years ago
I seen a tut once (not sure ware) that said to mix a t-spoon of artist oil paint in a color of your choosing with 1/2 a cup of mineral oil put it in a jar about the size of a caning jar or bigger and fill the rest with distilled water. also most lava lamps I have see have a coil at the bottom that looks like it was made of aluminum wire probably to help heat the oil. BTW I did try this but I could never build a proper base to make it work though I didn't try pvc.
LOL, how cool. Nice nice.. +sub
rippercito5 years ago
the effect is amazing, and it is so-so simply! thanks for sharing m8!
spock1555 years ago
Awesome.
thank you very much
can i add soap + food coloring?
coool thanks
tried this a while back.... doesn't really work... it needs something moving the "clouds around. great idea though!
The heat generated from the light bulb moves the soap around in the bottle. It is basic science. There is no way it couldn't work and the video in the instructable shows it working just fine. A great instructable.
maybe i didn't use a hot enough bulb... mine did kinda work it was just epic slow lol
Soupraok5 years ago
What bottle is that?
Great job ... I was thinking about using a round fish bowl type with a laminated picture of an ugly hag (me) for a crystal ball effect.
junits155 years ago
cool im going to try this!
That is great, I have a couple of old lava lamps in my basement gathering dust, I think I might just breathe some life into them tonight.
Sylkhr5 years ago
On your video, at around 1:00 to 1:10 when you're cutting the mousepad there seems to be a ROM or Rather Ominous Mouse... or is it just a kitten... ROM sounds better though... You should have a nice story ready, like "It was a normal night when I was sitting innocently cutting a mousepad for my lava lamp, AND THEN, suddenly this HUGE mouse leaps out at me!" THAT would be a good story for your friends.
machineman5 years ago
Cool lamp...just one question..wont the bottles' bottom heat up due to the heat from the bulb below? views, comments and help invited on this!!!
that's the whole point, that's how a lava lamp works.
apathyboy6 years ago
Just a thought, but you could probably drill a little hole in the eyes, and then fill them partially with sand (or anything heavier than water) and then reseal them with a bit of wax. Drop them in the water, and if they float, scrape out the wax and add sand, if they sink, take some out. Once they're neutrally buoyant (or close enough to it) they will float freely on the current. It would probably work better with a bunch of them, or single large item like a plastic brain or something. No threads.
ah...a brain. nice, and if you dress up the outside, it can look like something out of a scifi movie. and maybe you can even add bubble effects? that'd be awesome.
that doesnt seem like to hard of an idea. jsut get one of those bubblers for aquariums maybe
just add food colouring!
I think I will try it it look so cool.
Sgtsaddle6 years ago
This is a very cool idea. Gonna make this with my son.
Very cool,may have to try this. And about the color,could I add food coloring?
babblin5 (author)  Kaitlinthegreat6 years ago
You can try just about anything. I even tried soaking a water based highlighter in the water and then used a black light =)
That sounds awesome. Could you please post a pic?
how did that look?
wario2356 years ago
nice project, may i suggest adding glitter though if its a young girls project?
much cooler than a freaken lava lamp! this looks like a fun thing to have around.
Wow i love how it looks ! I'll have to go try it out ...
NetReaper6 years ago
Wow thats cool. i could think of many other uses than just as a lamp
x_xPacox_x6 years ago
NEAT I LIKE!!!
austinblan6 years ago
i did this once when i was 12 and i just stood ther allllllll day looking at it. Im glad someone else is doing it
v_rancher6 years ago
hey good job-----much more unique & subtle & mysterious looking than the boring ole lava lamps......and it's diy too, h3h3h.
dohiyi,
rob =][=
Dave_L6 years ago
My two daughters recently had their bed side lamp break. It was a nice low watt night light rotating scene that sat ona little table between their beds. When I saw your project, I thought it may be a good replacement. I made the base and the girls mixed the soap and added colors. It looks great. They love it. I used a ABS fitting I got for $3.50, saved me buying a length of pipe. I found a bottle that fit nice and snug. I used a cord and socket from an old desk lamp that was collecting dust. That and some bits of plywood and paint and we have a great little lamp. I tried a 40 watt and it got a bit hot for my liking. I tried a 25 watt, works just about as good as far as I can see. Still gets a little hot. My wife is worried about a fire hazard. I think I am OK. Maybe I will try a 7 1/2 watt I saw. I did drill vent holes to help the heat escape so it does not just keep building. Thanks for a great instructable. So far from this site I have made: This lamp. A watter bottle rocket and two launchers(great fun) 6 marshmallow guns two DDR dance pads(got the idea here, made my own design) two magnetic rubiks cube dice I am sure there is something else, just can't think of it. I have wuite a few book marked for possible weekend fun. Great site.
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babblin5 (author)  Dave_L6 years ago
Wow! Nice work on those, they look GREAT! Yes, anything over 40 watts is seriously a fire hazard, and 25 watters work just fine. You could certainly also go with a CF bulb. They do work, it just takes a little longer for the heat to build up, but they don't get so hot as to uncomfortably heat the base.
Dave_L babblin56 years ago
Update: Out of paranoia I reduced the bulb to a 7 1/2 watt I found. It is a very small bulb but fits a regular size socket. The movement of the clouds is very slow, but still cool. I have tried food coloring in the water but did not like the effect. I like to color the bottom with markers or bingo dabbers. It is now the official night light for my daughters room!
buchd6 years ago
Hey, saw this on the Steampunk forum. Does the soap settle out of the water at all? =) It looks really nice. Good effect!
babblin5 (author)  buchd6 years ago
Not at all... theonly ssue you MIGHT have is if the temp is too high you may get some coagulation of the soap, but I've been using the same mixture since I made this video almost 4 months ago!
buchd babblin56 years ago
Thanks... I might have to try this out. =)
spacemanr6 years ago
I'm going to try this, but will use small 1.5" diameter tea candles as the light source. Will not encase the candle, but will mount the cloudy concoction above it. That way, I only need a jar and glycol-based soap. Think it will turn out OK?
be careful not to let the flames lick the glass .. i'm not an expert but i'm pretty sure it's possible to blacken the glass depending on how thick the glass is.
babblin5 (author)  spacemanr6 years ago
I think itwould be just fine! Be sure the glass bottle is far enough above the flame that it warms but doesn't overheat the glass above the flame or the bottle might break!
This could be used to make a cool Star Trek antimatter-reactor warp-core model!
babblin5 (author)  nosy_aardvark6 years ago
It's perfectly feasible! Now all I need is a phase matter/antimatter coupler and I'm set! 8D
lol wtf the one i made doesnt work..... how hot is the water/soap supposed to get?? cuz mine hardly budges lol
babblin5 (author)  redstarsrbija6 years ago
What kind of bulb did you use? The water should get warm, but nothing near hot.
lol i dunno i think its out of a refridgerator
babblin5 (author)  redstarsrbija6 years ago
You might need to adjust the ratio of soap to water. I recommend a 25 watt lamp for best results. =)
J Genius6 years ago
What is the ration to the number of squirts of soap to water
babblin5 (author)  J Genius6 years ago
That's the beauty of it... you can get varying levels of the effect with just a little to a lot of soap! Play around until you get what you like =)
fade4006 years ago
brilliant this will be my first instructable to create. one question tho .. some of the soap containers in my house say the soap has glycol in it. Does that mean that it is usable or does the ingredient specifically need to say glycol stearate or distearate ? thanks !
babblin5 (author)  fade4006 years ago
You can always give it a whirl... that's the best thing.. it's cheap! =)
Mine said glycol too, and it worx!!! I cant believe this!!!
omanitsdan6 years ago
so the bottle doesn't have to be glass? it can be plastic? or would that be bad?
Well,In MY opinion,wouldn't glass eventually melt or warp with the lightbulb's heat?
Skyfinity6 years ago
I can't thank you enough for re-kindling my intrest in cool lighting. The great thing about this is that it is sooooo simple, yet creates a mesmerising and really intresting light. I have re-visited lava-lamp sight's i havent in six years and am becoming hooked. If I submit a instructable about L-lamps, i suggest a group called "Photo-kinetics: Movement in light"
unununium6 years ago
Great Instructable, but... DOWN WITH THE INCANDESCENT!!!!!!
babblin5 (author)  unununium6 years ago
I agree.. I'd use the flourescents, except for the mercury. I hope LED bulbs go down in price soon. They are WAAAAYYY overpriced.
you can get pretty large amounts of LED's on ebay for pretty cheap. look for the light of victory led store on ebay. its pretty great.
LED's are waaaaay too cold, I can keep it on for hours, and touch it to my face :, Unless you screw up the math on the resistance, and then it'll die early.
Arx unununium6 years ago
CFLs have a lot of drawbacks too. 1. Mercury 2. Much more energy is used to create a CFL bulb. I'd guess at least 10kWh (problably way more, vs. ~1kWh to produce an incandescent. It takes a long time before a CFL even breaks even in total energy use (if the ballast circuit even lasts that long) 3. They should NOT be used in enclosed/elevated temperature environments. 4. Bad power factor, throwing a lot of noise on the power grid. 5. If your house has electric heat, the reduction in power wasted by your lightbulbs will be balanced by the increase in your heating bill. (a watt is a watt) 6. They take a longer time to produce proper light. 7. Increased fire hazard Jumping on CFLs as a solution is probably more wasteful of energy, and causes more harm to the environment than staying with incandescents. The increased efficiency of fluorescent lights can be a very good thing, but it's not a cure-all. Use them where they're well suited, and use incandescent where they're not.
Kent Arx6 years ago
I am happy to see someone else point out these facts: In the winter, the heat produced by the bulb will be similar in cost to your regular heating system. There is one small additional point: In the summer, the extra heat produced by incandescent bulbs must be removed by the air conditioning, so there is an extra energy cost. A 100 Watt bulb in an air conditioned room will also use 40 Watts of air conditioner power to keep the room at the same temperature.
Math: 100W = 341 BTU. With an EER of 8, 341BTU/8=42W.
But if we keep to the subject, only incandescent will work in this application. You could use LED light and swirl it yourself.
Arx Kent6 years ago
I am happy to see someone else understands air conditioning. ;) Also, mine looks quite good using a 10W halogen bulb. Not exactly a major environmental crisis. A CFL Would probably still work fine, since they still draw a couple dozen watts. The problem being that the ballast would overheat, killing the bulb, and causing a fire hazard. For anyone building one, DON'T USE A CFL. You're going to cause more environmental impact, and potentially burn your house down.
The incandescent is necessary for the project. Knee-jerk "anti" comments don't benefit this forum.
But CFL doesn't get hot enough...
babblin5 (author) 6 years ago
I'm experimenting with Black Lights now, and Tonic Water that has been opened and gone flat looks promising, as the quinine sulfate in it glows purple in UV light. I also found a CF blacklight bulb! It's a 60 watt bulb, but puts out just about the right amount of heat. Hopefully I'll have a shot or two for you in the next day or so. Also experimenting with soaking yellow highlighter ink wick in water, which glows green in UV.
Kreesa6 years ago
Any ideas on how to get this to work in my car? I'm doing a "Trunk Or Treat" for some kids and want this in the trunk of my SUV for an added effect. There won't be anywhere for me to use an extension cord.
babblin5 (author)  Kreesa6 years ago
The only thing that comes to mind is perhaps a DC/AC converter that plugs into your lighter socket... if you use a 25 watt bulb, you should be able to but a really cheap one. Be sure you have a solid base that won't tip over... opening a trunk to firey burning candy wouldn't be good =)
For the trunk idea ( if you have enough money), you could always buy a power inverter. If you want it to be more stable, maybe try duct taping a piece of cardboard around the bottom of the jar for better support (with kids, it's always a possibility :P..lol)
theKNEXfolo6 years ago
very awesum, i love it how people are smart and come up with awesum ideas lol! nice job anyways
couldn't u put food coloring in there to make it look colorful or not?would it work?
Ward_Nox6 years ago
you could always use diluted fabric dye and just dye the water that way it has to be cheaper than gels
surfreak6 years ago
I made some sick ones... I just replaced my old lava lamp bottle with the new ones instead of making a base. Used an old moonshine mason jar and a perrier (sp?) bottle. The green perrier bottle looks sick. ***As for changing the colors, sharpies work fine, but if you want to get really pro with it, get some theatre lighting gels. I'll try it with the old ones we have lying around the shop, hopefully post pics soon.
babblin5 (author)  surfreak6 years ago
Yes, I really want to go for the theatre gel stuff, I just haven't been able to find any (translation: I don't want to pay for them...lol =)
one tip for u guys, if u can go to any place where they paint cars, go and ask (charisma training)for some (1 spoon will do it)"pearls" for the chamaleon paint or pearlescent effect. u can skip the soap part, and this pearls have many uses ... look for them. neat lamp man!!! good video!!!
crazymatt6 years ago
This is really cool, you have given me a weekend project to work on :) .
babblin5 (author)  crazymatt6 years ago
You'll love it, I promise. Look for the "Loozah" (rofl) juice bottles in your grocery. That's the tall thin one, and I think the best for this project as far as lavalampiness goes. You can see the bottle with the label in the parts pics =)
should it be foam soap or regular?
babblin5 (author)  bob the builder #16 years ago
I'm not 100% sure that it would matter, as long as it contained the glycol. However, you'd need to add a lot more with the foam stuff (if you squirted it out of the plunger... pouring it in is a different matter). But, I recommend the cheapest, regular liquid handsoap that has the proper ingredient. The stuff you see in the Instructable was a store brand (not name brand) that cost 99 cents ...lol
doublefry6 years ago
hey! instead of using a rubber mouse pad, you could use some colored hard. gel. that would cushion it nad color it at the same time. it could also be interchangeable. the only 2 problems i see are it might not hold the jar on as well and also, it might melt. still. i think i'll try this. Great instructable by the way! i think i'll make a few and put them in my room.
oh snap! i just got another good. idea. make this in a small glass vial and mod some kind of cap so that it holds an LED and a small watch battery. do you think the LED would create enough heat to move the stuff around? OR you could put it in a small clear plastic tube. OH! some rubber tubing with the end closed off. you could carry this around as a glow stick. a cheap, easy, really cool glow stick. WOW! i love this instructable. it's sparking so many things in my mind. you're my HERO.
babblin5 (author)  doublefry6 years ago
Well, thank you very much! =D

You could use a glowstick and then just swirl it, which would give the same effect as heat agitation... =)
An LED would not even remotely release enough heat - even a higher (1-5 watt) power LED would have barely any heat radiating...sadly this project relies on the heat. As someone said - use a CFL or LED and you'd have to mix it yourself (I have some motion lamps that use an electromagnetic linkage between outside and inside the 'bulb' of cloud to stir it mechanically.
aaah. but you see. my dad is a sign maker. he has hmmmmm whats the term.... uber? LED's that are very bright and i'm sure produce much heat. he has a flashlight with some and it's blinding. also the glass get's really hot.
I think it would deffinitely melt but it' a good idea
oh. i might try anyways.
Zujus6 years ago
This is REALY COOL! thanks i love neat lamps! ;)
surfreak6 years ago
babblin5 (author)  surfreak6 years ago
lol... Thanks! Done =)
way cool
babblin5 (author)  bob the builder #16 years ago
Thanks Bob! =D
Mr. Rig It6 years ago
Interesting idea, my favorite part was how you made the O-ring to sit the bottle on. That is a handy little trick that I am gong to put into my knowledge tool box. Good video also.
yes, put that in your toolbox! there are tons of uses for old neoprene products. compression fittings galore, anti-scoot bases for lamps, wall protection from bookcases, damping mats for bookshelf speakers (keeps them from "walking", too), etc. A cool source besides mouse pads is wet suits. they come in different thicknesses, textures, and are bonded to other cool fabrics at the knees, butt, elbows, and usually have really good zippers too. also, along these lines of sourcing: cool flame proof fabrics and stuffings come from old firefighting clothing. Can be had at surplus stores and garage sales the world over. Go ahead, make your country's military surplus stuff do good for a change(:D
babblin5 (author)  Mr. Rig It6 years ago
Thanks! I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support and feedback... thank you! 8D
You are very welcome, keep those cool ideas coming. I have learned something from each of your instructables so far. Whats more is I like your the out of the box thinking. Im waiting for the next one :)
Knetjester6 years ago
That is so cool, I'm thinking....Large Pasta storage Jar, food colouring & glitter. Maybe a coloured Bulb or even UV. Nice one!
Arx Knetjester6 years ago
I found it works better with narrow bottles than with large jars. the outer surface cooling helps to keep the temperature differential higher, making more turbulence. Also, the thicker jar tends to have too much going on, and kind of ruins the effect. I'm curious about the food colouring thing. I expect you will get better results by colouring the bottom of your bottle. I've simply used OHP pens, and it gives a really nice effect. You can have more than one colour that way and get some really cool effects. Proper coloured plastic filters would probably be even better. I think the glitter would do nothing but sit at the bottom, obstructing your light source.
babblin5 (author)  Knetjester6 years ago
How about a fishtank with a spotlight? =D
No way - fish hate the taste of soap.
Arx6 years ago
I "built" one of these a couple years ago using a cheap little halogen light (Kubbo) from ikea. You just mix your soap (I used shampoo) It's meant to have one of those tacky glass balls with the bubbles in it set on top. The wattage is much lower, so the clouds move quite slowly, but it's still a pretty neat effect, you can tell if the soap/shampoo/whatever will work or not by looking for glycol stearate, or glycol distearate on the ingredients. That's what gives the cool pearlescent effect.
Is wattage different for different voltages? Meaning: If I use a 40 watt lamp in a 240 volt grid, will I explode the bottle?
No. Wattage is the amount of power the bulb uses. At 120 v, a 40 watt bulb uses 1/3 Amp. At 240 v, a 40 watt bulb uses 1/6 Amp. The end result is still 40 watts and the same heat.
Uh, be careful here... A 40 watt 120V-rated bulb will use 40W at 120V - 0.333A A 40 watt 240V-rated bulb will use 40W at 240V - 0.166A You shouldn't plug a 120V-rated bulb into a 240V circuit... it will use double the watts you are expecting, and the filament will probably burn through in seconds.
matseng MrTrick6 years ago
No, actually it will quadruple the watts by doubling the volt.

An example with easy numbers:

100 volt and a lamp resistance of 50 ohm gives (with U/R=I) 100 volt / 50 ohm = 2 amps, and that will be (U*I=P) 100 volt * 2 amp = 200 Watts.

Double the voltage:

200 volt and a lamp resistance of 50 ohm gives 200/50 = 4 amps, and that will be 200 * 4 = 800 watts.

(This is under the assumption that the resistance of the lamp will not change much between the temperatures that 200 and 800 watts will cause. That might or might not be true. The filament in a lamp is really low when it's cold and is higher when it's glowing. This causes a large inrush of current at turn on and is probably the cause of most lamps burning out just when you turn it on.)
Arx matseng6 years ago
That assumption most certainly falls under your "not true" possibility. The resistance increase with temperature is usually pretty linear, so assuming the bulb doesn't burn out, it would probably reach equilibrium at a significantly lower wattage than you would calculate based on a constant resistance.
MrTrick matseng6 years ago
Doh, of course it will be. And yes, usually lightbulbs in one region will all be rated for the same voltage... There are few exceptions - I was stringing up LV (32V) and 240V lights, and just had a big mixed bucket of 40W bulbs. If you plug a 32V bulb into a 240V socket, you get a bright flash and a broken 32V bulb. ;-) Only happened once though, I was more careful after that.
This is why lightbulbs are not sold by resistance. They are sold by wattage. Also; They don't sell 120v lightbulbs in England so this isn't a issue.

The calculation of current for a lightbulb has nothing to do with resistance. A 40 watt lightbulb in USA uses 1/3 Amp ( I=P/E ), where a 40 watt lightbulb in England uses 1/6 Amp. Same power... Different voltages.
I was commenting Mr Trick's statement: You shouldn't plug a 120V-rated bulb into a 240V circuit... it will use double the watts you are expecting, and the filament will probably burn through in seconds.

Yes, lightbulbs are sold by wattage, for a specific voltage. But if you take a 40 watt bulb designed for the US and put that in Europe with the double voltage the lamp would consume 160 watts (not 80 watts as Mr Trick said) and overheat very quickly.

Double the voltage and the current will also double. But the power will be quadrupled since both the current and voltage is doubled. Thats Electricity 101.

Oh, common! Get real! He lives in a location where the mains are 240v. That means than any light bulbs available to him are designed to run at 240v. His question was not how a 120v/40w bulb would work in 240, but the difference of 40w designed for the two mains. BTW: The data you presented was exactly the data in the message you responded to.
Actually, I should have known that. Thanks muchies.
babblin5 (author)  Karel Jansens6 years ago
Heck, I'd want to make sure myself. Nothing wrong with asking a question rather than taking a risk =)
hey i think its different .........
mastelios6 years ago
Really cool..one question,what kind of shoap is pealry type?the one that has something like glitter in it?
babblin5 (author)  mastelios6 years ago
If you look at the picture of the soap, you'll see the kind of "look" I'm talking about. It's that shimmery, irridescent kind. A good way to check is to turn the bottle upside down at the store and look at the bottom. If it has that glowy loook, then your good, as long as th soap doesn't contain moisturizers like aloe, etc. Hope this helps! 8)
Yes it helps!thanks.I'll give it a try..;)
babblin5 (author) 6 years ago
I just wanted to thank you all for the wonderful response and for making this a popular Instructable! Hopefully, my future projects will be as well recieved. May all your projects exceed your expectations, Ross
Wow thats really cool! how long do those last for?
babblin5 (author)  reincarnated-Postit6 years ago
I've used the one you see here for months now. Haven't even had to change the water! =)
NHquilter6 years ago
That's pretty awesome! thanks for the instructable.
Kiteman6 years ago
No chemicals

What's the soap made of, then? Or, come to that, the water?
babblin5 (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
lol.. even air! I guess I should have specified that, unlike a lot of lava lamp projects, this one needs no chemicals mixed and uses common stuff.... ;)
I really like it! It's an awesome and completely safe idea! Thank you!
biblioops6 years ago
Anybody know if glitter stay suspended in the soap/water mixture or just settle at the bottom?
babblin5 (author)  biblioops6 years ago
I haven't tried that, but you'd want really lightweight glitter,like maybe some mylar cut into little pieces... there's not a lot of agitation going on with this, which is what gives it that dreamy look. The nice thing is that you can try just about anything... more soap, less soap, food coloring, whatever, and if it doesn't work, just refill it =)