One of the most fascinating pieces of décor today is the lava lamp, also known as Astro lamp. You would be surprised to know that this much sought-after décor has been around for more than half a century, having been invented in 1963 by Edward Craven-Walker, a British accountant who happened to come up with the brilliant idea from watching the mechanisms involved in a homemade egg timer. Taking on certain principles of fluid mechanics, he was able to develop a special kind of novelty lamp that we now enjoy today either as a night light or as a décor. Regardless of how you’re going to use these novelty items, we can bet you’re going to find our list of 10 cool lava lamps in 2017 to be especially interesting.
10 Seriously Cool Lava Lamps[toc]
2124 Classic Silver Based 14.5 Inch Lava Lamp by Lava Lite
If you are familiar with the original design of the classic Astro lamp in the 1960s, then you will definitely appreciate the novelty item from Lava Lite, the 2124 Classic standing 14.5 inches tall from its silver base up to the top. This is inarguably the best lava lamp you can ever get since it remains faithful to the original design of the very first motion lamps in the 60s. The Classic resurrects the iconic gizmo that provided a groovier feel to many homes in the early part of the 20th century. The retro feel should not dampen the spirits of those who were born in the 90s as the hypnotizing splendor of its bubbles more than make for a contemporary, modern vibe. The brushed steel base also adds to the modern feel and look of the Classic so it should come as the perfect bridging décor for both the old and new generations. The steel base provides an excellent anchor for the whole unit so it is stable and won’t get easily toppled over. The light it emits is gentle and very soothing, making it perfect for turning your room or office into a relaxing and peaceful den. It can actually turn into the perfect night lamp to make you sleep sounder. The Classic’s warm glow comes from a 25W incandescent bulb to provide a more lava-like look to the illumination. For best results, it is suggested that you let the Classic run for a minimum of 8 hours the first time you use it to make sure the blobs of colorful lava make for a wonderful thermospectral spectacle.
What We Like about It – The 2124 Classic is easily the best lava lamp you can get because of its sturdy base, wonderful glow, and fidelity to the original.
Aurora Borealis Star Projector Lava Lamp Night Light by Deneve
One very spectacular sight to behold is the Northern Lights. There are a lot of myths and legends as to how this astral phenomenon occurs or why it does so. Some say it is to signify the happiness of Nordic gods and goddesses raining their blessings on communities of the north. Whatever it is, it sure is going to be fun bringing home the spectacle right in your own room. The Deneve Aurora Borealis Star Projector may not really by a lava motion lamp by its strictest definition but it sure is one magical novelty item to behold. The fact is that the Aurora Borealis Star Projector is not just a visual spectacle in itself because it can also serve as an auditory tool to provide you with a very unique multi-sensory experience. It doesn’t come with the usual 3.5 mm audio port but instead with a ¼ inch or 6.35 mm port. You can purchase an adaptor to connect your 3.5 mm-ported mobile device so you can play the most appropriate songs to go along with the visual spectacle. The Aurora Borealis comes with 12 different LED colors to provide you with a really starry experience. The light effects can be easily projected onto your walls or even on your ceiling. The unit is also waterproof so you can also put it in the bathroom or by the poolside for a more relaxing bath or swim.
What We Like about It – The Aurora Borealis Star Projector may not be a lava lamp in its strictest sense. It can nevertheless, provide for a more relaxing experience.
2160 Colormax 14.5 Inch Lamp with Tri-Colored Globe with Silver Glitter and Northern Lights Decal Base by Lava Lite
The Lava Lite 2160 Colormax is a very modern take on the classic retro styling of the 1960s motion lamp. The Colormax has the geometric design and styling that is faithful to the original. The only thing that is different is the design of the base and top. Instead of a metallic brushed-steel base and top, the Colormax features instead an aluminum base and cap that is covered with a beautifully designed northern lights decal. This styling seamlessly melds with the unique flow of the clear liquid and silver glitter mixture in the chamber. It comes with the same 25 watt bulb to provide a certain glow that is reminiscent of the sun’s rays. What you get is a wonderful 14.5 inch spectacle that can erase the worries off your face and let you forget all your problems while your eyes are transfixed on the Colormax.
What We Like about It – The Lava Lite Colormax may not be like the original classic but it can provide a more relaxing glow and mood to any modern home or office.
1953 Accent 11.5 Inch Lava Lamp with Silver Base by Lava Lite
If you’re looking for lava lamps for sale, you can check out the 1953 Accent 11.5 inch wonder from Lava Lite now and you will be treated to a price that is half its normal price. What’s best is that you get the same iconic geometric form that has helped make these novelty lamps a must-have in the 1960s and well into the 1970s. The light blue bubbles rising to the top of the sleek lighting fixture then slowly drops towards the bottom again, provide a wonderful contrast to the deep sky blue liquid environment. You would think that there are miniature clouds forming inside the Accent before they form a nimbus then fall back to the base again. Like the classic design of the 60s and 70s motion lights, the 1953 Accent has a beautiful and stable wide base made of brushed steel. The cap on top is also made of the same material to provide a more symmetrical look. Since the Accent is about 3 inches smaller than the Classic or the Colormax, it will not require a 25 watt bulb; a 15 watt light should suffice. Bring the beauty of the clouds in the sky in your home and find yourself relaxing a lot easier.
What We Like about It – The 1953 Accent is perfect for homes and offices that require a piece of the calming nature of the warm blue sky.
5225 Classic Silver Based 16.3 Inch Lava Lamp by Lava Lite
If you need a much bigger Lava Lite lamp, the 5225 16.3 inch Classic should be a great choice. It has the same features, and hence, the same benefits as the 2124 Classic. A wide brushed-steel base providing ample support for its sleek glass body and then topped with the same brushed-steel cap makes the 5225 Classic a marvelous piece of décor and night lamp to any room. The slow-moving colorful bubbles rising to the top can be a great way to relieve the stress and tension that’s building in your mind. It’s perfect for a more relaxing evening or even a more peaceful and quieter weekend. The 5225 Classic comes with a 40 watt bulb to help provide both heating and illumination to the substances that mimic lava bubbles inside the glass housing. Add a touch of the 60s to your contemporary décor with the 5225 Classic. Its towering silhouette should provide an elegant piece to your existing interior design. What’s more, if you get it now, you’d get wonderful savings as this is one of those cheap lava lamps that is never cheap in elegance and style.
What We Like about It – The 5225 Classic remains faithful to the original design of the lava lamp for a price that’s friendly on the pocket.
2131 Rainbow Glitter 14.5 Inch Lamp with Clear Liquid and Golden Base by Lava Lite
For individuals who love the colors of the rainbow, the Lava Lite 2131 Rainbow Glitter is a surprisingly cool motion lamp that has the same signature styling of the classic. The base and cap are plated with gold to add to the spectacle of the yellow liquid in the glass globe. Specks of glitter in different colors provide a richer, more phenomenal flow. Just watching these starry specks is enough to melt your worries and help you prepare for the day ahead. As in all products of Lava Lite, the Rainbow Glitter requires a minimum of 8 hours of continuous first-time use to allow the proper and more efficient flow of the lava-like material. Now, you’ve got a really luxurious looking light in your room or office.
What We Like about It – The Rainbow Glitter exudes with a more luxurious feel, thanks to the interplay of the golden base and cap and the glitter effects on the glass globe.
2186 Chalkboard 14.5 Inch Lamp with Silver Glitter, Pink Liquid, and Chalkboard Painted Base by Lava Lite
Designed with kids and teens as well as adults who have a more carefree attitude in life, the Lava Lite Chalkboard is a great addition to the aesthetics of a fun room. The base and cap are still made of the same high grade aluminum to give it superior balance and stability. The difference is that it is adorned with decals of a chalkboard complete with doodles and drawings that mimic those of chalks. The pink liquid bathes the thousands of tiny silver glitters that are truly marvelous to watch. With the Chalkboard, you get a whole new experience but still set within the classic design of the very first 1960s and 1970s lava lamp. The Chalkboard may not be the best lava lamp but for kids and teens alike, this is a really exciting way to spice up their rooms.
What We Like about It – The Chalkboard retains the classic lines and design elements of the original but in a slightly more fun and child-friendly base and cap.
Motion Lamp with Bluetooth Speaker in Classic Retro Style by Sharper Image
The Aurora Borealis Star Projector looks mighty awesome and super functional, too. Unfortunately, its appearance is unlike the other products that define this novelty item. If you want the same functionality of the Aurora Borealis but in a more or less classic design, then the Sharper Image Motion Lamp with Bluetooth Speaker is for you. Designed with a classic retro style, the slender glass body of the Sharper Image makes it a gem of a find. At the base is a Bluetooth speaker that can seamlessly connect to your Bluetooth enabled smartphones, tablets, music players, and other mobile devices. The same Sharper Image base has controls for managing your music experience including the ability to adjust the volume, pause and play songs, and even skip tracks altogether. Just understand that you can use the Bluetooth speaker of the Sharper Image even without the motion lamp activated. If you want simultaneous operation, simply flip the switch and you’d be treated to a really sensory experience like no other. Another fabulous characteristic of the Sharper Image is that it is really tall at 17.5 inches, making it the tallest and sexiest in our list. Sharper Image lava lamps for sale are now available on Amazon, giving you a superb value at 10 percent the original price.
What We Like about It – The Sharper Image offers a unique combination of lamp magic with music connectivity in a tall and slender body.
Electroplasma Lamp by Lava Lite
We all know what a lava lamp should look like. You have bubbles slowly forming at the bottom of the glass globe, slowly rising to the top, and conglomerating into one gigantic blob just underneath the cap. By the time the giant blob has reached a density that is heavier than the liquid bathing it, it sinks to the bottom and restarts the process. It is this cyclical nature of these proprietary molecules that has fascinated man ever since the very first motion lamp was introduced in 1963. The Electroplasma, as the name suggests, is not really the classic definition of a molten magma-like lighting fixture. This Lava Lite product is more like the electroplasma ball that we often see in disco houses and other popular places where lights and sounds create a very different kind of sensory experience. One can say that the Electroplasma has a very unique design is still based on the same thermo and fluid dynamic principles that have made these novelty items such a huge hit when they were introduced in the 60s. The Electroplasma is designed to mimic an electrical storm complete with branching and forking lights that simulate a very chaotic lightning frenzy. As tall as the Classic 16.3 inch masterpiece, the Electroplasma can be a really great conversation piece for your visitors at home.
What We Like about It – The Electroplasma is at the pinnacle of lava lamp design thanks to its unique electrical storm-like fluid movements. This can truly create a very unique visual experience.
Pirate Skull 13 Inch Lava Lamp by Rhode Island Novelty
Buccaneers and Captain Jack Sparrow-wannabes will love to get their hands on the Rhode Island Novelty Pirate Skull. These cheap lava lamps take on the shape of a rocket or even a slender bomb that is reminiscent of World War II projectiles. This is largely different from the conical nature of the geometric shape of other brands. The cylindrical, more rounded nature of styling makes the Pirate Skull look more like a cigar but with a gently curving top. The base looks more like a suction cup that is connected to a sturdy support that houses the glass globe. Dollops of waxy substances float towards the cap before they sink again to the bottom. A pirate skull with matching crossbones adorn the base support of the Pirate Skull Novelty making this the perfect gift for those who are fans of pirate-themed objects, films, and other things.
What We Like about It – The Rhode Island Pirate Skull is a uniquely shaped lamp that is sure to provide an interesting element to your room or even office.
How We Chose the Amazingly Cool Lava Lamps in Our List
It was not easy coming up with really cool lava lamps to include in the list because the technology itself already makes it super cool. So it was like choosing from a bevy of beauties from the Miss Universe pageant or some other competition.
Since lava lamps are largely decorative pieces, it was important for us to look at its aesthetic value. Will it be able to bring out the real aesthetic qualities of a room in your home or even in the office? This was the main question that we sought to answer. We also looked at the safety features of the product since these all run on electricity and are essentially made of tall glass. The danger of tipping over is very real and so is the risk of electrical short circuits and fires. We had to evaluate inherent product features that will point to the novelty item’s overall safety profile.
We really couldn’t put value on the satisfaction ratings for these products because of the rather subjective nature of a decorative item. Nevertheless, we still read what other people think so we’ll have a better idea of how to justify our decisions in including and excluding some products from our list.
Tips to Ensuring the Safety of Your Lava Lamp
There is a controversy regarding the use of a lava lamp in homes. A 24-year old Kent, Washington resident lost his life when the lamp he was watching exploded and sent shards of glass that pierced his heart. The incident prompted calls for an evaluation of these gadgets. As it turned out, the man placed the lamp on a stove perhaps in an effort to speed up the lava-making process which typically requires 8 hours to complete if it’s the first time. This was later verified and confirmed by the show Mythbusters.
However, it should be noted that the incident could have been prevented if the correct safety procedures were observed. Lava lamp safety is a very important issue whenever you decide to adorn your home with one of these devices. Here are some tips on how you can ensure the safety of lava lamps.
- Always heat your device using only the bulb that it came packaged with.
- If you need to replace the bulb, make sure to check the recommendations of the device manufacturer and adhere to these guidelines.
- Do not ever attempt to touch the glass globe of the device or any part of it once it has been turned on after some time. Heat is always an issue in electrical devices.
- Place the device on a firm, flat, and even surface and away from flammable and combustible materials.
- If you have to handle your device, make sure to switch it off first, remove the plug from the electric outlet, and allow it to cool before attempting to touch or tinker with it.
- Do not ever throw away the instruction manual or owner’s manual that came with the package as this typically contain all the information you need on how to ensure optimum safe handling and operation of your device.
The Bottom Line
Lava lamps are not only very cool to look at; these can also help you relax and find a little peace of mind in your own room. With the 10 cool lava lamps in 2017 we’re confident you can improve the aesthetics of your home, provide a more relaxing evening to your bedroom, and give you another way to fight stress.