I couldn’t pass up this new toy – it was only $19.95 and a lucky pull at the casino paid for it…. The little lamp is so cool. Did you know a glitter lamp appeared in a Star Trek movie?… In Star Trek III (The Search for Spock) there is a bar scene with McCoy talking to someone about getting a lift to the Genesis planet. In the background you will see an old style “Continental” model of glitter lamp made by the original manufacturers of the lava lamp.
As much as I like regular Lava Lite lamps (my Ebay handle is “LuvThoseLavaLamps”) with their oil and wax effects, they draw a lot more power and get very hot. They also take a hour or more to warm up. Lava Lamps don’t like to be shaken when warm which makes them less-than-desireable traveling companions. A glitter lamp seemed better for journeys.
Glitter lamps have been around a long time in various forms. Once powered by a little light bulb that generated heat and thus created a swirling movement, these beautiful lamps have now been updated with LED technology and a little motor that spins a magnet inside the globe to stir things up! The result is a gorgeous lamp that twinkles with an ever-changing, sparkling light that goes from blue to green to red. The twinkling effect is much like a beautiful Star Trek transporter beam. (Though the original “transporter” effect was actually made with Alka Seltzer bubbles in a tank illuminated by a light)
This lamp is van-friendly because it uses LEDs and draws a tiny amount of current. The base has an input for 4.5 volts DC. The included wall adapter only consumes 2.6 watts at 110V. The power jack is a common size, too. I checked the polarity and plugged in a universal 12V adapter that can be set to 4.5V DC to run off the Trekker Van’s house batteries. It’s that easy. Without the inefficient indoor AC adapter, the lamp likely uses about two watts or less – one fifth of an amp per hour at 12V. This little lamp could be run overnight for about an amp and a half. There is no warm up needed – the glitter stirs up and spins within a matter of seconds. That’s why I say that this decoration is perfect for energy consumption and conservation.
A few words of caution… Because of the liquid in the lamp, do not let it freeze. It is also quite heavy for its size because, like the older lava style lamps, the globe is made of glass. It can fall easily. I intend to store it in the cylindrical cardboard tube it came in, strapped to the wall to prevent it from crashing on the floor. During cold weather, it’s going to go inside the house but would also fit in a gym bag, too.