Most helpful positive review
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Quality is improving, but you get what you pay for
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.