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How Long Can You Leave a Lava Lamp On? (Read This First!)

Lava lamps are a beautiful addition to a room as they can be quite endearing to watch and have around. Some people claim that it even helps them to sleep better. If you plan on keeping your lava lamp on for longer periods then it is important to find out if it’s safe to do so. 

How long can you leave a lava lamp on?

Even though lava lamps can seem harmless, there is a chance of them getting overheated. This is why it is suggested that you never leave it on for too long. You should not keep it turned on for any more than ten hours in one go as it can get overheated and dangerous. 

It requires quite a bit of time for the lava globules to form inside the lamp. This can easily take up to five or six hours. After that, you can keep your lamp on until it starts to heat up. Whenever you notice that it has started to heat up you must unplug it or it can get very dangerous. 

In most cases, you should not keep your lava lamp on for more than ten hours in a go because after that it tends to start overheating. 

Can I leave my lava lamp on 24/7?

You certainly should not keep your lava lamp on for twenty-four hours. There are a lot of things that can go wrong if you keep it on for more than the recommended amount of time. 

Ruining the lamp:

Lava lamps are relaxing and act quite like a stress reliever. However, it is never a good idea to keep it on for too long. The lava globules that form inside the lava lamp are a lot more delicate than you might think it is. 

If you keep your lamp turned on for way too long, your lamp may start to get heated. This can damage the smooth-moving lava globules inside your lamp and instead create a big blob that does not separate.  

Over time, it can destroy the globules completely and it may not look as calming as it once did. It starts overheating after ten hours at which point you must turn it off and let it cool down to normal before using it again. 


You must keep your lava lamp operating in a safe place. They must be kept at a place where it’s cooler. This is because hotter areas can cause the lamp to become heated way too quickly than normal. 

There are also chances that the temperature may end up destroying the little lava lamp blobs. It can join together, get cloudy or end up fading over time.  

Lava Lite 2124 Lava the Original 14.5-Inch Silver Base Lamp with Yellow Wax in Blue Liquid

Fire threat:

Not only is there a chance that the globules might get destroyed but there are also other risks associated if your lava lamp overheats. You cannot leave your lava lamp turned on forever or even overnight. 

There are certain instructions present when you buy a lava lamp that you must follow. You should not operate majority lava lamps for more than ten hours as they can overheat badly.

Overheating your lamp for prolonged periods can get very dangerous as it can end up causing a fire. 

Can you leave a lava lamp on all night?

You cannot leave a lava lamp on all night as there are a lot of problems that might occur because of it. One of the most common problems that occur is that the lava lamp starts to get heated. 

When that happens and if you keep your lava lamp on for more than the time that you should, there is a chance that the functions of your lamp may get destroyed. 

The little lava blobs that move inside the lava lamp will start to move slowly and form into one single blob which is not aesthetically pleasing. 

Not only that, if your lava lamp gets shaken while it is in its heated state then the inside of your lava lamp will turn cloudy. A heated lava lamp is quite sensitive. Any form of movement can upset the lava blobs and ruin their shape, texture, and color. 

If you want to keep your lava lamp pretty for a long time then you must let it cool down and rest once it starts to heat up. This will retain the lava blobs and the lava lamp’s function so that it is more efficient. 

Lava the Original 16.3-Inch Silver Base Lamp with Yellow Wax in Purple Liquid

Is it safe to sleep with a lava lamp on?

It is certainly not safe to sleep with a lava lamp turned on. Every lava lamp comes with a safety guide which is very important to follow to prevent any mishaps from occurring. Most lava lamps should be turned off immediately after you have noticed that it has started to heat up. 

That is not quite possible to do if you have fallen asleep. A lava lamp should not be kept on for more than ten hours. 

This is because once it has started to overheat, it can end up ruining the function of the lamp. But not only that, if it has been overheated for quite some time then there are chances that it can cause a fire. 

If your room is warmer than usual that can also trigger your lava lamp to overheat faster. It is never a good idea to go to sleep with your lava lamp turned on.

Why do lava lamps get so hot?

Lava lamps are supposed to get hot which makes it more difficult to decipher if it is overheating or not. Lava lamps get hot because of the way they operate. It operates by the conduct of heat. 

The lava globules that are present inside the lamp are made exclusively of wax. When heat is transferred to these wax elementss, it becomes much lighter in weight than the colored water it is surrounded by. 

When it travels upwards it starts to cool down and move back downwards. This is what allows them to move around the lamp smoothly like an amoeba. 

This constant heat that is provided throughout the lamp allows it to get so hot and even overheat which is why you should not keep it out for too long. 

Lamp 2700 Lava, 14.5-inches, White Wax, Clear Liquid, Graffiti Globe, and Black Base

Can lava lamps overheat?

Yes, it is common for lava lamps to overheat. There is a constant heat distribution throughout the lava lamp which allows the globules inside it to move around. 

Since there is heat being provided constantly, if you keep your lava lamp turned on for more than eight to ten hours it starts to get very hot and as a result, starts overheating. 

What happens if a lava lamp overheats?

If your lava lamp is overheated for too long, not only does it get ruined, there is a chance of a fire risk as well. If your lamp starts getting too heated it starts affecting the globules inside it. They become denser and stick together and as a result, move slower than usual. 

If your lava lamp stays overheated for way too long then it can also cause a fire once it gets way too hot. 

Lava Lite 5224-4 Premier 16-2/7-Inch 52-Ounce Silver-Based Lava Lamp, Yellow Wax/Blue Liquid

How do I know if my lava lamp is too hot?

On an average basis, you should never leave out your lava lamp for more than ten hours as that is when it starts to overheat and get too hot. However, since lava lamps are generally too hot to touch, the best way to figure out if it is too hot is by looking at the lava globules

If you notice that the lava globules are separating too weirdly into tiny balls or if they are sticking together like a giant glob at the bottom of the lava lamp then it indicates that your lava lamp is too hot. 

Do lava lamps expire?

It is wrong to say that lava lamps will expire, however, if you use them for a very long time then they can slowly start to fade away. 

It will not function as well as it did and usually, that means that your lava globules will not move as smoothly, they will be stuck together like a giant glob or the inside of your lava lamp will be quite cloudy. 

14.5-Inch Tie Dye Pink Spiral Lava Lamp

How long do lava lamps last?

There are very vague figures when it comes to how long your lava lamp will last. It is said that you can use your lava lamp for approximately two thousand hours before it starts to fade out.

However, if you let your lava lamp overheat way too often then the lifespan of your lava lamp will shorten considerably. 

Final Thoughts:

It is best to read the safety manual that comes with your lava lamp to operate it correctly. You should never keep it on for more than ten hours as it can damage the inside of your lamp as well as be a safety threat. Letting it cool down will restore its function and keep it efficient for longer.