Customer Reviews

199
3.2 out of 5 stars
Lava Lite 4200 17-inch/32 oz. Designer Lava Lamp, Red Wax/Clear Liquid/Red Base
Color: Red Wax/Clear Liquid/Red BaseChange
Price:$46.15 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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125 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2011
I am an avid lava lamp collector and have over 40 lamps in my collection. I have lamps from the late 60s up until the early 2000s, before Lava Lite moved their production to China. Somewhere around the early 2000s, Lava Lite moved their lava lamp production to China and the quality of the lamps have diminished so greatly that I find no reason whatsoever to purchase any of their new lamps. There is a reason you don't see ACTUAL photos of their lamps on their website and Facebook - all their images are digital renderings and not real photos. Wonder why that is! :)

Awhile back, Lava Lite promised they were working on the formula. Even though they swear the formula hadn't changed, they were promising to fix it. Hmmm. Well, I was duped. I had bought a Lava Lite in summer of 2010 when I was just starting my collection. That lamp was cloudy and didn't flow. I returned it the next day and started doing my research. It doesn't take long to figure out that Lava Lite's quality has been in the pooper for awhile now. However, being that us collectors were promised a change, I excitedly ordered the Designer lava lamp when they were released a few months ago, in clear/red with a red shiny base. I should've known better. When I received my lamp, it was cloudy, and though older US-made lamps WILL indeed clear up with running, this lamp did not. There were white flecks in the liquid, too. Big, white flecks.

The base was an interesting change, but the metal is cheap and even the holes at the bottom weren't all machined straight. I did find the finish on the base to be acceptable.

The lava lamp did flow, but if you've ever owned a US-made Lava Lite, there's no comparison. With the newer formula (I'm pretty sure they've lost the original formula) you get one or two blobs floating up and down and that's it. This lamp simply wasn't pretty to look at.

Most of us collectors know we're fighting a losing battle here, so I believe our only point is to inform the public - do not buy these lamps. This is NOT how lava lamps are supposed to look. Though this is indeed the same company that produced beautiful lamps for over 30 years, they've been bought and sold one too many times and clearly, whoever is running this company does not care about quality. You can write Lava Lite all day long and complain and you'll get the same answer/excuse every time; "They were shaken during shipping", "Run them for a few weeks and they will clear up", "We'll ship you another lamp (that's guaranteed to arrive just as cloudy)", "We have lamps here in the office and they look just fine", "We haven't received many complaints", "The formula hasn't changed"...

Spend the extra money and buy a vintage (before 2002) lamp on your favorite auction site or a Mathmos lamp. Sure, it'll cost more, but you'll love it and you'll be happy with it for years to come.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2011
Milky white water with a red blob at the bottom. A red blob that doesn't move. It just sits there. What a disappointing waste of money.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2013
When these lamps were in their heyday in the 1990s, the 32oz. Silver Streaks and Midnights went for around $60 at Spencer's. Back then, Lava Lite lamps were proudly made in the US. Lava Lite shipped production overseas (China) around 2003 and quality took a nose-dive for the next several years. I started collecting lava lamps in 2010 and since then, have come to learn all there is to know about these neat lamps, but truthfully, vintage (pre-2000) Lava Lites are still the way to go.

Quality HAS improved, specifically, in the last year or so. There were rumors that Lava Lite was bringing production back to the US, but it looks like this was an empty promise. However, I was happy to see many lamps at Spencer's the other night, all clear, all flowing. Only time will tell if they will hold up. When I went in last year, many of the lamps were COOKED - brown lava, all hanging out at the top of the lamp.

This is the 2nd version of the Clearview lava lamp. Last year's batch were sold exclusively at Target. The ones that came out last year did not have the frosted part on the clear cup, which meant the lamp would blind you since the seam caught the light of the bulb and shot all that intense light right at yo' face. As a member of a small, but enthusiastic group of lava lovers on the net (OozingGoo), we often write reviews/post pictures and it seems Lava Lite may have made this change due to our complaints. Wishful thinking, perhaps. :) And it looks nice - the frosted part also has the Lava logo on it, which looks pretty cool. They haven't put their logo on a lamp for years.

So, why all the history? Well, how you feel about today's lava lamps from Lava Lite greatly depend on if you're a collector (smaller group with higher standards - a group who knows the history and how wonderful the lamps USED to be when they were made here in the US) or if you're someone who buys one or two, or buys them for your kids. If you're a collector, you're more likely to be disappointed with the lamps and hold them to a higher standard. If you're new to lava lamps and not really a collector, your frame of reference will be totally different and generally will find them to be cool/acceptable.

I got this lamp at Spencer's for $20 on sale (Normally $25) and for the quality and performance, it's aptly-priced. My friend got one shipped from Spencer's and hers was completely cloudy. Quality really is hit and miss. If you *can* get one locally, you're better off. For some reason, these often don't ship very well. And once these go cloudy, unlike the vintage lava lamps, there's only the slimmest of chances the lamp will clear up.

My Clearview is amazingly clear. The clearest I've seen really (I'd show you, but Amazon no longer allows customer images!!!). You'll need to run the lamp several times to really know how it's going to perform. The flow is decent, but nothing compared to the flow of the lamps from the 70s-90s. Most times, you've just got a couple of round blobs exchanging positions, but not much of that stretchy lava flow that many of us love.

The base and cap are decent (a glossy non-metallic purple), though the image on the box the lamp comes in is inaccurate. The cool little switch on what looks like the FRONT of the lamp, is actually on the back, and the cord is right next to it. It looks really dumb, to be honest. I thought it'd be cool to have that switch on the lamp in front, but the rendering of the lamp you see on the box is incorrect. The switch on mine is situated a little crooked, too, so maybe it's best not to show it off. Lava Lite should really consider putting actual images of their lamps on their product boxes. In this case, this lamp is was more attractive in real life than the picture lets on. They've been using digital renderings for their boxes for a long time and the colors are often off.

The globe is nice, but does have some glass imperfections, which is standard for these lamps. Though mine has a weird slant to it on one side, it's better than some of the glass I've seen lately that has little pinholes of light all over it. The "clear" part of the Clearview name is actually pretty cool. Normally, the bottom fourth/fifth of the lamp is covered by the solid base. In this case, you can see the entire globe, which is pretty awesome. More lava to watch! On this particular color, you can see the yellow lava at the bottom, but as it rises, you'll see it look more orange. It's definitely a gorgeous color combination.

Like many of the lamps that have come out in the last few years, this one has wax that sticks around the very bottom of the base. They are NOT supposed to do this. In most cases, it does not impact the flow and look of the lamp, but it's a quality issue they have yet to correct. Of all the lamps I've bought new in the past year, 50% of them have wax stuck to the glass at the very bottom.

For $20, this lamp was a good buy. I got a nice, clear one. Flow is only so-so, but quality has improved and for the price, this lamp is worth getting. If you get a cloudy one, SEND IT BACK. Don't keep it and don't throw it out.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2012
I was about to give up on purchasing one of these lamps due to the large number of negative reviews. What people are receiving seems inconsistent at best, but I got lucky. Nothing was broken, the fluid was clear, and the lamp works exactly like it should.

I bought the lamp with the yellow wax/purple liquid/purple base. It does not look totally like the picture though, which is a good thing in my mind. The wax varies in color depending on where it is in the globe, changing from yellow- to orange- to red. The fluid looks purple during the day, but I run the lamp at night, and it looks more 'red' than anything. This is what I wanted, and took the advice of others who posted pictures in their reviews. If you are looking for a lamp where the dominant color is red, this is it. I posted a couple of pics in the item description.

Also, the purple base looks more like a 'metallic lavender'. It's much lighter in color then shown in this listing(and in my personal photo).

After plugging it in, it took about an hour and 15 minutes for the lava to become active(as the manual states). In the subsequent nights, it's taken about 60 minutes to become active.

I'm now thinking about getting another lamp, and hoping for similar results.

Update 5/24/12: I purchased a Grande Yellow Wax/Purple Fluid shortly after this. The fluid in that lamp was cloudy compared to this lamp, and I also noticed more imperfections in the glass. I see another negative review popped up on this lamp, and I think it's safe to say that this lamp should not be purchased unless you have the time to return it.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2011
I bought the yellow lava, clear liquid lamp thinking it would resemble the lamp I saw on the packaging resembling bright yellow melted crayons. Sadly it does not. The liquid is cloudy and the lava is such a orange-yellow color that it looks exactly like egg yolks floating around in the egg white which would be cool if displayed at Waffle House but not in my theater/game room. I've used the lamp twice at 6 hours each time. The liquid has seemed to clear a bit, not totally, yet the lava will probably always look like egg yolk.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2013
When I received my lava lamp the water in side was milky. I waited a few days to let it settle down but it is still milky, however not quite as bad.. I called the number on the instruction paper and the lady said she knew what was wrong with it and would send me another one. In the meantime I received the second lamp I had ordered, a green one with clear water. It also was milky. Again I called the same lady and she asked if I was the one who had called about the blue one. I said I was and she acted like she didn't believe me. She said she would look into it. That was at least 2 weeks ago and I have not heard a word from her nor do I have new lava lamps. I would be happy to send these two back if necessary. I just want my two lava lamps with clear water in them. I have a collection of them and the clear ones are very clear so I know what they should look like. If you can help me I would appreciate it. Thank you. Jo Dickison jkranch2004@aol.com
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2013
Water was cloudy tried it several times to see if it would clear up it didn't I am returning it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2012
Why haven't these been recalled? Why are they still for sale? I should have "listened" to other people's comments about this item. I took a chance and regret it. The "clear liquid" isn't clear at all. Very cloudy. The stand was in good condition. Just a small hardly noticeable dent in it. The socket for the bulb was out of place. Not aligned very well. This item I'd say is very poorly & sloppily made. I was very disappointed with my purchase. Please do not buy this. Buyer beware!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2012
This red lamp came in very murky with little dirty white things floating around. Had bought in late Nov. as a Christmas gift, now am out of the time window to return. This was a present for my Grandmother, and it took me 2 months allowance to save for.
Thanks... for nothing
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2013
Cloudy liquid! Not worth buying! Ordered 2 and they both were defective! Going to find one at a regular store, maybe shipping caused cloudiness? Neither was packed very well either. Not enough packaging material to protect lamp. Don't waste you money here, find one at a regular store!
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