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How can an old-school "Lava-Lamp" be upgraded? Answered

I want to use LEDs to be energy efficient but it requires heat to still FLOW. I understand that the heat moves the oil "Lava" but how much is necessary? Can this be done?



7 years ago

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I would like to keep the existing lamp, sentimental reasons, but upgrade it to an LED if possible.

They need the heat.
You could build something different, maybe with a mechanical circulation of suspended particles?


+1. To make a more energy-efficient lava lamp, you'd need to come up with a new pair of immiscible liquids of almost-but-not-quite-identical density, such that one floated in the other only when heated.... and even then, with lower energy input, it's likely to move much more slowly. You might be able to do some other kind of convection lamp

The system seems to have dropped most of my note... If your goal is to create an interesting/entertaining light, rather than specifically a lava lamp, you may want to do some research; there were lots of other "desktop light show", many of which didn't need heat or which could have the convection engine replaced by a motor or pump. It would be much easier to improve the efficiency of those.

> heat moves the oil "Lava" but how much is necessary?
.  Lava Lamps are a rather delicately balanced system and the amount of heat required falls within a pretty narrow range. Since the vast majority of energy that an incandescent lamp puts out is heat (~90% according to Wikipedia), a heater with 110% of the lamp wattage may work.

. Your LED driver may provide the "extra" 10% needed.

The bulb that is in the lamp is just the right amount. Changing to another source isn't going to be any more efficient. What size bulb are you running in it right now?