This page is NOT about LavaRnd. Be sure and see our LavaRnd web site!
SGI, and SGI Classic lavarandtm do NOT manufacture, market or sell LAVA LITE lamps. SGI does NOT service or repair LAVA LITE lamps. SGI simply used six LAVA LITE lamps in their lavarandtm setup.
Our LavaRndtm is not the same as SGI Classic lavarand.
LavaRnd does NOT manufacture, market or sell LAVA LITE lamps. LavaRnd does NOT service or repair LAVA LITE lamps. We simply have two LAVA LITE lamps in the field of our camera.
You should contact Lava World International for a list of LAVA LITE lamp dealers in your area, or for any LAVA LITE lamp service related issue.
What the LAVA LITE lamp is a low maintenance item, it should be treated with some care. Abusing the lamp can ruin it, permanently. In addition to the instructions that come with each LAVA LITE lamp, here is a list of do's and don'ts that we practiced at SGI. While we make no guarantees regarding our practices, our experience suggests that not following them leads to trouble.
Never ever shake, swirl and otherwise mix up the ``Lava'' inside your LAVA LITE lamp while it is warm. While some lamps can take a minor amount of abuse, most will not. And it will be too late when you find out that it was too much.
There are a number of signs of a mis-treated lamp. Often the ``water'' will become cloudy. Sometimes the lamp's lava, after warming up, become a large ``Goose Egg'' blob at the bottom. Like dead puppies, dead lamps are not much fun ... :-)
You may take great care to not shake your LAVA LITE lamp, but others who don't know better think it is fun to pick them up and swirl them around. For some lamps, all it takes is a little abuse. We have seen lamps ruined very quickly by children, night time cleaning people, security guards, etc...
Earthquakes, large trucks driving by, people bumping the table they are on, etc... are all possible situations where a LAVA LITE lamp can fall over and break. Take some effort to reduce the chance that they will be knocked over.
For the SGI classic lavarand 6 lamp setup, we used VWR parts to build a "lamp clamp cage":
click to enlarge
The following VWR parts were used:
- 1: VWR Talon Two-Prong Clamps, Single Adjustment, Medium size (held the camera)
- 12: VWR Talon Two-Prong Clamps, Single Adjustment, Large size (held the 6 lamps)
- 36: VWR Talon Frame Connectors (held together frame rods)
- 4: VWR Talon Lab-Frame Feet (attached frame to acrylic base)
- 4: VWR Talon Rods, Aluminum, 48 inch (long side frame rods)
- 4: VWR Talon Rods, Aluminum, 24 inch (short side frame rods)
- 4: VWR Talon Rods, Aluminum, 18 inch (corner post vertical frame rods)
- 5: VWR Talon Rods, Aluminum, 18 inch (vertical rods for lamp & camera clamps)
The above setup was bolted to a 1/2 inch thick, 48 inch by 24 inch, smoked Grey acrylic sheet from TAP Plastics store in Mountain View, CA USA. To the base we also attached 4 handles, one at each corner, to allow two people to carefully move the entire setup if necessary.
Not only did the clamp cage keep the lamps from falling over in an Earthquake, they kept them out of the hands of people who might otherwise hand been tempted to pick them up and shake them.
It also give the SGI classic lavarand setup a certain "scientific" look that we thought looked cool. :-) Your taste may vary.
Obviously the above setup is overkill for someone with a single LAVA LITE. Something such as the following might work for just one lamp:
- 2: VWR Talon Two-Prong Clamps, Single Adjustment, Large size (to hold the lamp)
- 1: VWR Talon Rod, Aluminum, 18 inch (vertical rod to hold the clamps)
- 2: VWR Talon Connectors (attach clamps to vertical rod)
- 1: VWR Talon Lab-Frame Foot (attach vertical rod to a firm base)
The LAVA LITE lamp is not designed to be left on all the time. While the Lava World International folks have told us they should not be left on for more than 10 hours at a time, we use mechanical timers to keep our lamps on for 8 hours and off for 4 hours. The 4 hour rest allows the lamp to cool off and harden before starting another 8 hour cycle. If this 4 hours off time bothers you, buy 2 or more lamps and put them on offsetting timers.
Some lamps can deal with a room as cold as 20C (68F), most want it warmer such as between 21C (69.8F) and 23C (73.4F). Very few like it as warm as 25C (77F).
Warning: Operating a LAVA LITE lamp in a warm or hot environment can ruin them! We found that in one case all it took was a few hours at about 28C (82.4F) to ruin a lamp.
Your LAVA LITE lamp can get very warm or hot while it is operating. Do not allow flammable objects such as paper, cloth, drapes, window shades (or yourself :-)) to come in contact with the lamp. Consider placing your lamp on a tile or other non-flammable surface.
LAVA LITE lamps do not do well when exposed to direct sunlight over time. Their colors seem to fade and they seem to move slower over time.
To safely move a lamp, you need to hold on to both the glass top and the lamp base. The glass part on the top simply sits on top of the base. There is nothing holding it on but gravity. The glass part is more heavy and thus can top over with ease. And glass breaks so be careful!
If at all possible, do not move a lamp that is warm. In addition to the above mentioned issues relating to not shaking a lamp, you have the problem of having to hold on to a hot piece of glass. Worse if you drop the lamp, you get splashed with hot liquid as well as glass. It is best not to move lamps until they are cold to the touch.
Never open the top ``bottle cap'' of your LAVA LITE lamp. There are no user serviceable parts inside. :-)
Do not attempt to fill up or top off your LAVA LITE lamp. Some lamps have a larger bubble of air at the top. This bubble of air is both normal and is critical to the operation of the lamp.
Never operate a lamp with a broken seal or cracked glass. You don't want to deal with the stuff inside your LAVA LITE anyway.
Most LAVA LITE lamps are designed to operate with a frosted 40 Watt appliance bulb. An appliance bulb is the type of bulb that is usually found inside a conventional oven.
Do not use a different wattage of bulb. Do not use non-appliance bulbs.
A potential source for appliance bulbs is a hardware store, or a kitchen appliance store/repair shop or a specialty lighting store.
We recommend visiting a quality retail store that specializes in or only sells lighting fixtures. Such stores often sell or will be able to order the proper 40 Watt appliance bulb for you.
We buy our 40 Watt frosted appliance bulbs in bulk from:Beacon Lighting 550 W El Camino Real Sunnyvale, CA 94087-1200 USA Phone: +1 408-736-4505
LAVA LITE lamps are designed to operate with a small colored cap on the top. The caps protect the seal and change the thermal conditions of the lamp somewhat for the better.
Once in a while you will find that the appliance bulb inside your LAVA LITE lamp does not want to come out. This sometimes happens due to the heating and cooling of the base, even when you do not screw the appliance bulb in tight in the first place. You can extract the bulb, and with a little care you can get it out.
Note that we are not responsible for what may happen with this procedure. You are on your own here ...
Your LAVA LITE lamp should be ready to operate again.
We call them ``LAVA LITE lamps'' because that is what they are called! The term LAVA LITE is a registered trademark of Haggerty Enterprises, Inc. Haggerty has asked SGI to call call them LAVA LITE lamps, and we suggest that you do the same.
The LAVA LITE lamp is a kind of lamp. In fact, they are a particular type of lamp. The name of their lamp type is LAVA LITE. Haggerty requests that their trademark be spelled with an upper case ``L''.
While we are on the topic of trademarks, please be respectful of their trademark! Notice the trademark example at the bottom of this page. Also notice that we use a ® after the first use of the term LAVA LITE or after the first picture of a LAVA LITE lamp. For example:
LAVA LITE ® lamp
Again, we urge you to be respectful of the Haggerty trademark. The folks at Haggerty are very cool folks. Some people try to rip them off, and that is not cool.
And just to be clear, the following names should not be used:
- Lava lamp <<== wrong
- Lava Light <<== wrong
- Lava light <<== wrong
- lava light <<== wrong
- Lava Lite <<== wrong
- Lava Light lamp <<== wrong
- Lava lite lamp <<== wrong
- lava lite lamp <<== wrong
- Lavalamp <<== wrong
- lavalamp <<== wrong
- Lavalight <<== wrong
- lavalight <<== wrong
This is what you should use:
- LAVA LITE lamp <<<<<===== RIGHT!!
Enough said ...