Purple Lava Lamps

Written by Serena Berger
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Purple lava lamps are fun, pretty darn cool, and of course, very psychedelic. They've been around since the 1960s, and it was during the latter part of that decade and into the 70s that they were quite popular. To this day, however, they remain a desired choice for decoration and illumination, especially by college students and young people.

The way lava lamps work is at once simple and ingenious. A bulb which produces heat is turned on beneath a canister which contains liquid and wax. When the wax is cool, it has a higher density than the liquid, but when it is hot, it has a lower density. Thus, the hot wax expands and rises to the top of the canister, where it is then far enough away from the heat source that it is cooled by the atmosphere to the point where it will fall to the bottom of the canister. The movement of the thick melted wax resembles lava closely enough that these lamps were given their name, and people tend to become oddly transfixed and serene watching a lava lamp in motion.

Price and Color Options for Purple Lava Lamps

There are quite a variety of purple lava lamps on the market today, and they cover a fairly significant price range. The larger "classic" lava lamps can run up to 90 or 100 dollars, while smaller novelty lamps can be closer to 25 dollars. Incidentally, you can find a number of products marketed as or with lava lamps that feature other substances like glitter or floating (plastic) fish in a canister lit from underneath.

Purple lava lamps might consist of a pretty color of purple wax in a clear liquid, but you can find dozens of other color combinations as well. In keeping with the psychedelic or disco vibe, it's likely you'll find purple paired with other bright colors like tangerine, crimson, or magenta. One reason, however, that people often use lava lamps only in casual decorative schemes is that they look significantly less attractive when unlit--just bear that in mind if you're thinking of leaving one out on your end table.

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