Have you ever wanted to own one of those groovy lamps you’ve seen in the movies or already have one on display in your room? Well, Spencer’s is an expert in lava lamps and all things fun, cool, and even trendy (or maybe retro in this case?). Although a lava lamp seems like the type of decoration that you can just turn on and off without ever worrying about, you actually have to take care of them. In fact, there are probably a few more things about them that you didn’t know. So, let’s dive right in.

Welcome to Lava Lamps 101. In this class, we’re going to cover everything about lava lamps that you need to know but probably don’t. Don’t worry—there won’t be a final exam.

Facts About Lava Lamps

Spencer's Lava Lamps

Invented sometime between 1948 and 1954

Every website we visited told us something different about who actually invented the lava lamp, so let’s just say it was either Edward Craven Walker or Donald Dunnet. In reality, it’s nbd. Cool guy, girl, or whoever it was. Because of them, we have a ton of awesome lava lamps!

The lava lamp’s original name was the “Astro Globe”

Once it was brought into the U.S., it was renamed “Lava Lite Lamp” by the American right holders. We guess it somehow transitioned into just lava lamp after that because it was shorter. And, ya know. #lazy

Most popular in the 90s

Confused? Us, too. It always seemed like everyone had a lava lamp in the 60s and 70s, right? But when were you seeing that? Probably on TV shows and movies that were set in that era but filmed decades later. Remember Austin Powers? We’d like to think that this International Man of Mystery is to blame for their revived popularity.

Help you stay calm and relaxed

A lot of people say that the glow and movement of the wax in lava lamps help them unwind and de-stress. Since the lamp itself isn’t bright enough to illuminate an entire room, it helps your eyes relax instead of being strained. And some say that if you focus on the movement of the wax, you may even fall into a meditative state.


How to Take Care of Your Lava Lamp

Spencer's Lava Lamps

Only store and use away from direct sunlight

Pop quiz! What did we learn about letting other things heat our lava lamps? That’s right! The sun is the brightest, hottest, and most powerful light source in the universe. So, yeah. Even the sun should stay away from this one.

Don’t move or transport when warm

If you do, the liquids can combine and make it all cloudy and gross-looking. And who wants a gross-looking lamp in their room?

If it does get cloudy, don’t panic

We have a solution! Let the wax settle at the bottom of the globe and completely cool down. Then, turn on the lamp until the wax breaks up. After breaking begins, shut off again until it cools, then repeat. Running the lamp in short “bursts” will help clear it up. And like we already said, do not move or shake the lamp while warm to ensure it won’t happen again.

If you use it a lot, the bulb will burn out

Didn’t realize that lava lamps even had bulbs? It’s probably because you never really looked under the surface, but that light and heat have to come from somewhere! If your lava lamp bulb burns out, you can buy replacement lava lamp bulbs here! Once you carefully lift the globe from its base, you’ll see where the bulb sits. It will also tell you on the inner base what wattage bulb to use. And we’ll say it one more time to make sure you remember, but avoid overheating your lava lamp! Only use a bulb with the same wattage as directed and not one higher or lower.


Okay, so if you got a little worried about how much work a lava lamp actually is, we’ve hoped we eased your mind! It’s really not so bad. Trust us; we’ve played around with thousands of lava lamps over here. With tons of new colors, styles, and sizes coming in all the time, there will always be at least one that you’re bound to fall in love with and that would look perfect in your room.

We just got a ton of new lava lamps for you to check out! So either run over to your closest Spencer’s to watch it flow in person or browse all the lava lamps we’ve got here! We want to see which lava lamp you grabbed up. Send us a pic of your fave to spencersblog@spencergifts.com for a chance to be featured in a feature post.