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Home Lava Lamp FAQ

Lava Lamp FAQ


A product as culturally pervasive as the original Lava Lamp is bound to generate a great deal of conversation. Lava Lamps are also somewhat mysterious, evoking questions about their origin, history, and of course, "how do these things work?"

Below are replies to a few of the more common questions that were heard quite a bit at and

Q. Why is my globe cloudy?
A. First, we'll assume that you're referring to the globe of your Lava Lamp. If that is in fact correct, the only reason the globe will become cloudy is if the motion lamp has been shaken, stirred, moved, dropped, or caught in an earthquake while the Lava Lamp blobs are warm. We're sorry to inform you that this is probably a permanent problem. If this unfortunate event should ever happen to you again, you may be able to save your lamp if you immediately turn it off and let the wax settle to the bottom of the globe and completely cool. Then, turn the lamp on until the wax breaks up, and as soon as it begins, shut the lamp off again until it cools. Running the lamp in these short "bursts" may result in a clear lamp.

Q. Why do the Lava Lamp blobs stay as a glob at the bottom of the globe?
A. The base of your unit may not be getting hot enough, or, conversely, may be getting too hot (see the Illustrations below). If it isn't moving, there are two things to check:
1) Check your bulb to be sure it isn't burned out.
2) Be sure not to use the lamp beyond recommended time, which results in over heating.

Q. Why do my Lava Lamp blobs break up into a multitude of little balls?
A. Each Lava Lamp has its own personality and these formations are often a normal occurrence. This can also be a symptom of the lamp overheating because it has been operating for too long.

Q. Why are there speckles of light on my globe?
A. Each globe is made of glass and is likely to have the manufacturer's marks and bubbles, both of which are normal.

Q. Why did the liquid color fade in my motion lamp?
A. Ultraviolet rays, my friend. If you allow your lamp to sit in direct sunlight, the sun's rays can cause the color to fade. Unfortunately, it's also permanent.

Q. Why is there airspace at the top of the globe?
A. The reason for the airspace is to allow for the expansion of the liquid as it heats up. To allow for this space, there may be as much as a 2" gap from the top.

Q. How do I remove the light bulb?
A. Sometimes the light bulb can be difficult to remove. This is not a defect. To remove the bulb, unplug the Lava Lamp, press down lightly on the bulb, and turn counterclockwise. If the bulb resists, don't give up—with a little persistence, it will come out.

Q. What type of replacement light bulbs do I need?

Model Name


Bulb Wattage, Model Number and Common Name



15 Watt (Sewing machine bulb. Really small.)




25 Watt (Refrigerator bulb.) *






32 oz


40 Watt A15 (Appliance bulb.)


Wizard, Starship


40 Watt SN11 *






Giant, Lava Grande (motion), Queen


100 Watt 100R20F (Floodlight bulb.)


Lava Grande (Glitter)


60 Watt Floodlight Bulb






* Delineates the same size base to bulb socket requirement.

LAVA®, LAVA® LITE®, the motion lamp configuration and the base and globe of the motion lamp are registered trademarks of Haggerty Enterprises, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, in the U.S.A. and in other countries, and all images and the LAVA® brand philosophy are not to be used without its express permission. All rights reserved. ©2005 Haggerty Enterprises, Inc.

Use and Care

Operating and caring for your Lava Lamp is pretty straightforward. However, because of their unique engineering, all Lava Lamps need to be handled carefully to ensure a trouble-free life span. Below are a few important points of note.

Turn Me On, Light Me Up, and Watch Me Melt

During initial warm-up of your Lava Lamp, the coil in the globe may tend to stand on end or float to the top of the globe. If this happens, keep your Lava Lamp operating for four hours or more to allow the secret "LAVA®" material to become completely melted. The coil should then automatically drop to its correct position at the bottom of the globe. If the coil does not drop down, then twirl the globe GENTLY in the base and the coil will drop. Do not shake. Handle with care!

Uncommon Conditions

Although no two Lava Lamps will function the same, the patented LAVA® design will produce a characteristic flow. The charts below demonstrate a normal flow along with several abnormal conditions.

How To Ruin Your Lava Lamp

With proper care, your Lava Lamp will last a really long time. There are, however, a few no-no's that can mess up your Lava Lamp.
• Do not loosen or remove the bottle or screw cap on globe. Breaking the seal will ruin your product and VOID YOUR WARRANTY!
• Do not move or shake your Lava Lamp while the Lava Lamp blobs are "WARM." This will cause your Lava Lamp to become cloudy and permanently malfunction!
• Operation or storage of a lamp in direct sunlight will cause colors to FADE.
• Never operate your motion lamp for more than 10 hours at a time. This will ensure proper operation and a long globe life.
• DO NOT store in temperatures where the globes can freeze.
Safety Dance

This portable lamp has a polarized plug (one plug is wider than the other). As a safety feature, this plug will only fit in a polarized outlet one way. If the plug does not fully fit in the outlet, then reverse the plug. If you still encounter problems, then call a qualified electrician. Never use with an extension cord unless the plug can be fully inserted. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BYPASS THIS SAFETY FEATURE.
Your Lava Lamp operates at a very warm temperature. The glass globe and base will become "HOT!" Do not handle your LAVA® brand motion product while it is still operating or hot to the touch.

Health and Materials Info

All Lava Lamps are nonhazardous. However, should you need specific health or materials information, call 630-315-3300 and ask for Consumer Service during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST, or contact RMPDC after hours at 303-739-1110 or visit their web site at

Warranty Info

Your Lava Lamp is warranted by LAVA® World International® against defects in workmanship or materials for 90 days from the date of purchase.
Within the 90-day warranty period, if for any reason (other than a burned-out bulb or misuse) your Lava Lamp does not run properly, return the part to your retailer.
It is not possible to buy replacement fluids for the Lava Lamps. If you have a defective lamp, depending on the model number and year produced, it is possible to order replacement globes through our Consumer Relations department at 630-315-3300 or send an email to Please include the model number, color, and style of your lamp. Replacement globes are NOT available for sale; they are only available in the case of a defective lamp within the 90-day warranty period. A receipt or proof of purchase may be required before replacement is authorized.


This warranty shall be void if the Lava Lamp has been subjected to abuse, negligent handling, disregard of operating instructions or attempted repair by anyone other than the manufacturer. U.L. Listed.


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