Monday, January 5, 2009

Your Questions About Effusion Lamps



Effusion Lamps

I hope everyone had a great holiday! 

 Since I've been writing this blog the largest percentage of questions I get via email
 are about effusion lamps.  I started using them about
 three years ago and could only find limited information on how to use them, take care of them and just about anything you would want to know.  I stumbled upon a web site in Canada where I learned a lot about these lamps.  I've never been able to find that site again but fortunately I took copious notes.

Through experimentation and practice I think I have it down to a science.  There is plenty to learn about these great little lamps and sometimes I wonder how people can even use them when purchased from a retail store because they come with very basic instructions.  It must be frustrating.

Keep in mind that I am no expert.  There are probably plenty of people out
 there that know much more than I do. This is how I do it and it works for me.  I'll share everything with you and hope that you learn to enjoy them as much as I do.

Before I begin I'll tell you this-  I was a huge "candle" person for years.  I always had them burning in my home and I was always looking for the strongest fragrance I could find.  Since finding effusion lamps I've done some research on candles and really don't like what I read.  Don't get me wrong, I still burn them on occasion, but they are not a constant in my house anymore.

First of all, When you burn a candle made with paraffin wax  are actually burning refined gasoline, a byproduct of
 petroleum.  Paraffin is harmful when burned emitting 11 toxins, 2 of them above the cancer risk. This results in unhealthy air quality in your home.  This
 information I found on the EPA site and The American Lung Association site.  So if you like candles you may want to try soy candles.  I use these and they scent up the house very nicely.  From what I've read, they appear safer to use.  The soot that candles emit sticks to fabrics such as curtains, carpet and upholstery and is difficult to remove.

If you want more information just Google it yourself and you'll find plenty of information.  Again, I do use them but not as much as I use to.  It's effusion lamps for me.  Read the history of them and you'll find it pretty interesting.

The Glass Effusion Lamp

So let me see if I can answer some of your questions.  Let's start with the glass lamps themselves.  They range in price starting anywhere from $6.00 to hundreds of dollars.  I find them discounted in stores all the time.  The glass
 lamp itself doesn't have to cost tons of money.  The wick is the important part!


Here is a lamp that I purchase in a specialty store at the mall for about $25.00. This particular one has solid glass so you can' t see into it as you add the fuel.  You only fill your lamp 1/2 way with fuel because it needs Oxygen to burn properly.  Never fill it up more that 3/4 ....ever!  That said, you can also buy these lamps with see through glass which makes it easier.
Any brand of these lamps is just fine.  You do not need to spend a ton of money on them.  I love them and collect them as decorative pieces. You will notice that the above lamp is capped with a brass top.  This means that this particular lamp is not in use and is cold.  If you want to "turn" off your lamp, cap it with the brass top.  They all come with one.  When it comes to the bottles:

  1. you don't have to spend a lot of money
  2. only fill them 1/2 -3/4 up with fuel
  3. the brass cap is used to turn it off

The Wicks

The wicks that you use are critical.  This is where everyone has problems. When you buy a new effusion lamp it always comes with a generic wick.  Everyone I have ever purchased has looked like this.
Notice this wick is solid in the center with a scalloped edge.  These wicks do not work!!!! and they come with every lamp I've ever bought.  I have never gotten more than three burns with one of these wicks. Period.

If you are using these wicks then that's why you're having problems.  Even the expensive ones don't seem to work.

I only use Lampe Berger wicks.  I buy them six at a time on Ebay from some place in Hong Kong.  It gets to me within a few weeks and I pay about $7.00 per wick which is a very good price.  6 wicks will last me over a year and I burn my lamp almost every day.  Just search "Lamper Berger" wicks on Ebay and you will find plenty.

The photo below shows a Lampe Berger wick.  Notice the hole in the middle?  These are the only wicks that work for me.

Taking care of your wicks.

  Buy a small Rubbermaid container and fill it with 91% Isopropyl alcohol. When you are done burning your lamp and the wick has cooled, drop it into the container and let it sit in there until you are ready to use it again.  It can sit in there for weeks and won't get hurt. Remember that the "whole " wick and stone goes in.  The stone is actually the part that needs soaking because that is what get clogged with oil.

Photo below shows one of my wicks soaking.  I usually soak one and burn one, alternating every day.


Here is the small Rubbermaid container that I soak my wicks in.  Keep it sealed and remember you can leave those wicks soaking for weeks.
If you have a problem wick that won't light or stay lit try any of the following.

  1. Try burning pure alcohol (91%) with no oil.  This cleans the wick.
  2. Soak your wicks for a few days.
  3.  Force them to burn.  Use a small torch lighter.  You can buy them in Walmart or other discount stores.  It's used to light grills and looks like a little torch.  This works very well to light a stubborn wick.  You keep it on that stone for 3-4 minutes until the stone turns red hot.
  4. As a last resort you can take the wicks apart, cut the black off of the wick and reconnect them.  Soak for 24 hours and light.
If you continue to have problems with your wicks then you have to look at the oils that you use in the fuel.  They have to be 100% essential oils.  Those cheapo oils that you can get in the Walmart or craft stores do not work and will clog your stone.  Good quality essential oils are a must. I've told you before about Brambleberry.com.  I order from them only because I never have any problems with their oils clogging my stones.  If you take your stone apart and it is filled with gunk, you are either using bad oil (not 100% pure) or your stone is just worn out and old.  You should expect to get at least 6 weeks from your stone if you burn it EVERY DAY and take care of it.

I know this sounds like a lot of information and work but once you practice, get the hang of it and do it the correct way this becomes very easy and quick.

Check my prior posts from 2007 on Effusion lamps and you'll find even more information including the recipe to make your own fuel. My recipe includes distilled water.  Some people have questioned this.  You don't have to include it but it works for me.  Those previous posts include step by step instructions on how to use these lamps, so please read them.

If you should have any questions or need help just send me an email at clturner3@aol.com and I'll be glad to answer you.

Christy

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55 comments:

  1. Thanks you so much for taking the time to respond in a such a thorough manner. I really appreciate all of the info. I thought I was using high quality essential oils, but obviously not! I had done everything you suggested. I even had the same Tupperware container for my wicks.
    I will follow your advice: order Lampe Berger stones; order my oils from Brambleberry.

    Again, many thanks.
    Betrock

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  2. try www,fragrancelampekits,com website. they are wonderful , everything you need to make your own lamp

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  3. Yes, I have ordered from Fragrance Lampe Kits. I agree they are wonderful, superior products, excellent customer service, above and beyond what you expect. Johnna.

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  4. Thank you for getting back to me soo soooon. I was going nuts with all these wicks burning out after only once or twice. Thanks for all the info. Janet

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  5. thank you for all this info on wicks. I was about to throw it all out the window. My wicks were going out after 1-2 uses. I will get these other wicks and enjoy my lamp. Thank you again, Janet

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  6. how do I find the 2007 post with more instructions and the recipe to make your own oils?

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  7. How do I find the 2007 post with more informations and the recipe to make my own oils? Thanks

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  8. Jan,

    Here is the site.
    http://christys-thriftydecorating.blogspot.com/2007/11/effusion-lamps.html

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  9. Hi Christy. How wonderful to find all this info. on effusion lamps. I'm such a research hound!
    Will fragrance oils work as well as the 100% essential oils? If I buy one brand of lamp, can I buy a different brand of oil?
    Thanks sooo much!

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  10. Hi Christy!! Just wanted to let you know that I have been getting my Lampe Berger wicks from luxurygem8 on ebay. They are located in the US so shipping is quicker than buying from Hong Kong and I pay $24.99 for 10 which includes S/H.

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  11. Christy, I can't thank you enough for providing this wonderful info. You have literally saved me hundreds of dollars by teaching me how to make my own fragrance liquid. I live in Okla, and a 16 oz. bottle of Lampe Berger fragrance sells for around $20 at all the shops here. I have 3 lamps (Alexandra's, La Tee Da, and a Lampe Berger) and I use them almost daily, so you can imagine how much fluid I go through. The owner of the shop where I purchased my Lampe Berger WARNED me not to ever try making my own liquid or to use any other brand than Lampe Berger. She said it will ruin the wick, and she would not guarantee the lamp if I do, etc.. I sure am glad I ignored her! LOL This is what I started doing at the beginning of summer, and three months later, so far so good: Pour 1 to 1.5 oz. of fragrance oil into a 16 oz. bottle of 91% isopropyl alcohol, put the lid back on, shake it up and it's ready to use. There is enough air space at the top of the bottle to hold the oil. Total cost = about $5. I didn't add the distilled water, mostly because I'm lazy! I did use some oil from the craft section at Wal-Mart tho...(Elegant Expressions brand, cinnamon nutmeg scent) but I was there to get the alcohol and found the oil too before reading your post to not do that. I bought a lot of it, and decided to just go with it and see how it works. No problems so far, but next time I will buy my oil from Brambleberry as you suggested :) Thanks again for all the thrifty info, you ROCK!!!

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  12. I think it's a great idea to keep your extra wicks soaking when not in use so that you always have one ready to go. Thanks Christy for that suggestion! But a little while back I started doing something a bit different and so far it's worked out good. Instead of always soaking them in plain 91% isopropyl alcohol with no scent, I only do that when I need to "clean" them, maybe once every 5 - 10 uses. The rest of the time I soak them in my homemade fragrance fluid. That way the lamp starts scenting the air immediately. I started doing this because I noticed that when the wicks are saturated in unscented alcohol it takes a little longer for the lamp to scent the air, since it's burning plain alcohol for a little while until the fragrance soaks into the wick and up to the stone. It doesn't take long, maybe an extra 10 or 15 minutes, but if company is at the door and I want to freshen up the air quickly those few minutes can matter! Like when I've been cooking fish, or if the cat's litterbox was due for a change yesterday... :) Is this a good idea?

    Oh, and I also read about the "exploding lamps" somewhere else on this site. This is very curious to me, I've never personally known anyone with this problem and I know a lot of people that have used them for years. I am thinking "user error!" Maybe they were filled too full - heaven forbid to the rim! Or maybe they used the wrong ingredients to make the fluid, or purchased the wrong fluid? As Christy has been very diligent in pointing out - your effusion lamp DOES NOT BURN "LAMP OIL!" And when purchasing fluid, always check the ingredients list too - lots of knockoffs out there that look just like a name brand and some do not even list the ingredients. Who knows what's in there so not use them! If purchasing your fluid, do so from a trusted retailer and make sure the ingredients have nothing but isopropyl alcohol, fragrance/essential oil, and maybe some water. I think you're better off making your own, provided you use Christy's exact instructions. You will save money and you'll know exactly what's in it. Absolutely stay away from those knockoffs, some can look just like the real thing and may even lie on the ingredients. Be wary of "flea market" type places and unknown internet retailers.

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  13. Christy,
    I was thinking of purchasing my first effusion lamp and stumbled across your web page by accident. I had no idea what was involved. I am an avid candle burner and wanted to try something different. My sister had one of these lamps and I just could not believe how wonderful her whole house smelled. When she said it was an effusion lamp I said "a what?" I never heard of such a thing. I used incense, candles, canned air freshener sprays, but an effusion lamp?, What's that? Anyway, I have deffinately learned something about this type of lamp from reading all your comments. I want to learn more and will try to find your past postings. I feel that I am prepared to make my first purchase. I am kind of scared and excited at the same time. Keep the experience info coming. For I think I just had my first on-line class. Good teacher! Am adding you to my Favorites List. :-)

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  14. 10.14.09 I tried to find luxurygem8 on ebay to order the Lampe Berger wicks and had no luck. If that poster would respond and give a company's phone number, I'd appreciate it!

    Also, I did see on ebay wicks with a center hole that say they "fit" Lampe Berger lamps. Will those work?

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  15. I just found the above three posts. Let me address them one by one. First, Versace. Some excellent points! I had not thought about soaking the wicks in the fragrance, but if it works-why not? Sounds like a great idea to me. I think you are correct. User error may be what causes some of these lamps to ignite. It goes without saying that you are burning alcohol. That is flammable, so you must use care. I always light my effusion lamps in an open area, near my sink. I never leave it's site until it's done burning and I have blown out the flame.
    Thank you for your comments. I think they are very helpful to all that use these lamps.

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  16. Anonymous wrote that she/he was unable to find luxurygem8 on Ebay. I looked recently on Ebay for effusion wicks. This time around they were more difficult to find and seem to be more costly to purchase. I did, however find someone and ordered 6 of them. I look for only Lampe Berger wicks that come in the navy blue box. If they don't show the "picture" of the box, then I don't buy them. They are the only ones that work for me. If they say they "fit" Lampe Berger lamps, they may NOT be Lampe Berger wicks. Be careful you order the correct wicks. Hope this helps.

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  17. The last anonymous writer. Thank you for your comments. I am excited for you as well. You are going to love these lamps. Since you are already experienced their scent, then you know what to expect. Read all the posts on effusion lamps. It will give you all the info you need to get started. I was like you too. Candles, sprays and air fresheners were always on my shopping list, until I found these lamps. I love them. Candles are actually very bad for the air quality in your home. I'm pretty sure I wrote a post about that too. Thanks for writing and keep me updated.

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  18. Great information, thank you so much!
    SB

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  19. How will I know if the wicks will fit my lamp?

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  20. Christy,

    I have made the oil just as you described, and let it sit now for a week and it still smells overwhelmingly like alcohol...what am I doing wrong...please advise...thank you.

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  21. Let me ask you this. Have you actually used this "mixed" scent or are you just smelling it, before you have used it in the effusion lamp? All of them smell strongly of alcohol, but don't when you burn them.

    Put it in the effusion lamp and see what it smells like after an hour.

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  22. I have followed all of your instructions and I thank you sincerely. I make all my own oil using 100% pure Patchouli oil and 99% alcohol. However, when I light my lamp and when it's burning after I blow out the flame I get smoke at times. Any idea what's causing that?

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    Replies
    1. My La-Tee-Da lamp instructions say "You will ntoice steam rising from your lamp during use as it oxidizes air particles. This is just water vapor, not smoke or soot". I have seen this only about 2 times myself.

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  23. Some scents do throw off a white smoke. One of my favorite oils actually makes my whole house fill up with a light, white smoke. Most of them don't though.
    The white smoke (unlike the black smoke that comes from candles), won't hurt anyone or your furnishings. So don't worry.

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  24. We almost had a fire today with the effusion lamp! OMG! Anyway, sometimes I have trouble with my wicks and my daughter has seen me soak them in bowls of alcohol for days at a time, take them out, put them into the lamp and immediately light with no problem.

    Well this evening I lit my lamp (dry stone - not previously soaked) and after 1 minute the flamed blew out. My daughter thought it fine to pour a little alcohol right on top of the stone while it was still in the lamp (not lit). Flames erupted from the lamp, flew into the kitchen and caught the cabinets on fire. I immediately started throwing water on the flames. thank goodness it is alcohol based and not oil based as the flames were actually subsiding on their own before I was able to get water. No damage but very scary. there were flames everywhere. Anyway, I told her she is not to touch the lamp but I can't explain the science behind the alcohol. Frankly i don't understand it myself. If you soak the stone in the bowl you can immediately light your lamp. Pouring alcohol on the same stone while already in the lamp cause spontaneous combustion. Can anyone explain why?

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  25. That's very scary. I'm not a chemist, but my theory is the "oxygen" factor. The lamps is a fairy closed system. The stone is over 400 degrees when it's hot (and been burning for a while). Throwing alcohol on the stone with a combination of oxygen in the air, makes it very, very flammable. These lamps do require supervision even while they are not actively flamming. I leave the house with these lamps going, but keep them far away from any kids, dogs of cats. Please be careful because you know how dangerous they can be when they are messed with. Throwing alcohol onto one with a very, very hot stone is an accident waiting to happen. I'm pretty certain is was the combination of intense heat, isopro. alcohol and vast amounts of oxygen in the air, that made it "explode" like that.

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  26. Christy,
    I have had effusion lamps for many years. I buy my wicks on ebay from Pens_n_things8, they are not Lampe Breger brand. I have bought them a couple of times and sold some of them to friends. I can usually get 10 wicks for about $25.00 and that includes my shipping charges.
    so far I have never had a problem with them and I burn my lamp every day for 5 to 6 hours a day. Like you, I keep my stones soaking in 91% alcohol so I always have a fresh stone ready. when I burn my lamp I always let it burn till all of the fuel is gone. I have found that when you use the snuffer cap to put it out, the stone seems to get clogged in no time at all. I buy my fragrance oils from, www.wellingtonfragrance.com and I usually get the premium fragrance oils that way I only have to use about 1 TBSP. per 32 ounce bottle of 91% alcohol. I have bought oils from other places and they would clog my stones. If you have not tried them at least check out the site. They hundreds of scents to choose from and they are reasonably priced.

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  27. Hi Christie,
    Thanks for putting all your great info on these lamps in one place, Finally I was able to make it work!

    Recently I bought one and we had huge issues trying to get it to run properly. Coming from an engineering background and being a frugal Welshman I decided to make our own fragrance-fluids for the lamps, as the price of the official stuff is outrageous. (This was part of my problem!)

    I tried many concoctions, mostly based on 99.8% Isopropyl Alcohol (Isopropanol)...

    It was rather disasterous, starting well, then going out after an hour, then not lighting at all!

    The secret is actually the Water thats added in many recipes...

    For my 99.8% alc. I add 65mL Distilled/De-ionised water, (which is much the same as adding 15mL to your 91%...
    --Not sure what the water actually does, maybe improves the 'wicking effect' --all I know is that it works, even on the stones that previously would not function at all. (During my experimentation, I bought a couple of spares)

    Ive made up various fragrances from those scented plug-in wall-wart air-freshner refills, adding around 5mL of the liquid to 500mL base alc/water mix.

    Another tip is to clean the stones after use --Soak in 99% alc. overnight and then Dry them out before use, Let 'em stand in the lamp for half-hour before use to allow the fluid to re-wet the stone....

    When lighting, allow the flame to burn until the flame deminishes to around an inch or so in height, then leave for a little longer before blowing the flame out. This works well for us....

    Thanks, Al.

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  28. Thanks Al. That was some great information!!

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  29. Does anyone know how to trim the wick? She mentions as a last resort trimming the black part off and reconnecting. I can't figure out how to feed get the wick to pull through as it seems too tight!

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  30. Enjoyed reading the comments. They have been very helpful. I went to BrambleBerry.com and noticed they have "essential oils" and "fragrance oils" What is the difference and are both acceptable to use when making fragrance oil?

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  31. You can use either. The fragrance oils are a mixture of scents: example-Apple + spices. The essential oils are one pure scent. Like, mint. Hope this helps.

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  32. Carrie, The wicks are very hard to get back in. Try using plyers to stuff it back in. I've done it, but it's hard. Do yourself a favor and purchase the new "platinum" wick. No stone, instant lighting, no clogging or soaking. It is the greatest thing. Go to the top of this page, upper left corner and see the ad. Click on that for details and order one of these to try. You will love it!!

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  33. Hi Christy,

    I was so excited to learn about effusion lamps from your blog. After searching all over town I was so excited when I finally found one at my local pharmacy. While waiting for my Bramble Berry essential oil order to arrive I decided to do some research about the safety concerns for using it around my parrot and I couldn't find anything at all on the lamps but I did find some very alarming information about ozone gas, which is one of the bi-products of the effusion lamp. Here's one of the many links I found: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html. I have no way of knowing what the output is from the lamp so I'm not going to be able to use it around my bird and I'm not sure it's even safe for any other living beings in my home. Have you read about this?

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  34. I have read the entire article that you sent to me. I does not mention effusion lamps anywhere. This is a government website that talks about "ozone generators". It also talks about controlling the "machine" and adjusting it to low, medium or high. You can't do that with an effusion lamp. This article is not referring to an effusion lamp. The only thing you are burning here is isopropyl alcohol and scent. In the amount and concentration, keeping in mind these have been used for over 100 years, I am certain that you will not be harmed. The concentration is not overwhelming. If they cause health issues, you would have read about it already. Have you read any articles that specifically target effusion lamps? Please forward if you have. They used these lamps in hospitals 100 years ago. They claim it "cleans" the air, but there is no direct evidence to support that.
    Christy

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  35. Hi Christy,
    Thanks for your reply.
    Oops, sorry I didn't mention that in my reading I learned that effusion lamps release ozone gas, the EPA link I mentioned explained a bit about the dangers of ozone gas. Here's a wiki article on effusion lamps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragrance_lamp) that also mentions the ozone it says "One of the by-products of these fragrance lamps is low-level ozone, which has been attributed to the "purification process" of the lamps in eliminating odor. Then it continues in another paragraph "Ozone has been proven to trigger asthma, causing breathing difficulty and fatal to those in bad health condition". Wiki is certainly not a scientific journal so from there I researched ozone gas and found the EPA article. In my opinion it looks a bit too risky to burn this thing every day for hours at a time. I'm really bummed about this. BTW, I'm not intentionally writing anonymously, just don't have an account.
    Holly

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  36. The article states that fragrance lamps are considered a low-level ozone. Low level ozones have been used for years in our environment safely.
    Low level ozone have been used widely to control harmful bacteria, mold, viruses and other biological hazards in water. At very low levels, ozone can inactivate airborne hazards that can be present in indoor environments. One example is chlorine. It sanitizes the water but is in "low" enough levels that it won't harm us. The key word here is: low levels.
    Ozones are natural components of the earth’s atmosphere and many scientists consider it to be nature’s method of cleaning our air. I haven't seen any literature to suggest that these lamps can harm you. As a matter of fact the company that produces the new platinum wick also sells fragrances that have been approved for use in the environment in California (which is very strict about what you can put into the air). Visit their site and read more: www.stonewick.com
    What it comes down to is that it's a personal choice.....If you don't feel that you want to burn them -then you don't. It's like a candle. They emit all sorts of toxic things into the environment and can be a fire hazard, but people chose to burn them. The effusion lamps burn alcohol and scent. You are burning approximately 3 ounce in one bottle over the coarse of several hours in a large space. The amount couldn't possible overwhelm someone. I also think if this were the case, then we would have heard about it in the news. Do you agree?

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  37. I beg to differ.. My husband has a sensitivity to ozone and had a severe reaction yesterday when I had my lamp burning. Chest tightness, unable to breathe properly...very frightening. He hasn't had a reation like this since he worked in a water bottling plant that uses ozone to purify the water. So YES it does produce enough ozone to overwhelm someone. He had to remain outside until I cleared the air and he was in distress for sometime. Becareful to have all the facts. Up until I did some research, I was unaware that the lamps emitted ozone. There should be a warning on the label.

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  38. You are certainly entitled to "differ". The post about yours does state that there are low level ozones in effusion lamps. That info came from the EPA website.
    If my husband had a clearly defined sensitivity to ozones, I would not "burn" anything in my home. This would include candles, air fresheners and effusion lamps. It is no surprise that he had a reaction to your lamp.
    This is a blog, not a government informational website. It contains information for sharing purposes only. I don't make money on effusion lamps, I don't sell them and I don't promote using them. I simply share the information that I have learned over the years. I'm sorry that your husband had such a bad reaction. There is a simple solution. Don't burn anything in your home.

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  39. Hi Christie,
    I am a newcomer at this & would like to know if is it ONLY Essential Oils you recommend for making the oils for my lamp?
    Also, here in Canada I can't purchase 91% isopropyl alcohol,only 99%. If I use 99% should I dilute it with distilled water & if so what amount?? Can't seem to find the 2007 blog that you mentioned that answered a host of questions. Could you please let me know how I can get into this site.
    Thanks SO much for your help & looking forward to getting started on making my own oil.
    Have a blessed day.
    Marie.

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    Replies
    1. Marie,
      You can use essential oils or fragrance oils. Either is fine as long as they are 100% pure. You can use 99% alcohol-that's fine as well. Keep the recipe the same. Distilled water does not have to be used (I use it though). I'll look for the Q&A post and will let you know.
      Thanks for visiting!!

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  40. Marie,
    Here is the question and answer section for the effusion lamps.

    http://christys-thriftydecorating.blogspot.com/2008/01/effusion-lamp-questions.html

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  41. Wow! What a wealth of information! I've been using these effusion lamps for years... Lampe Berger and Scentier both make beautiful lamps - and excellent fragrance fuel. I've recently been experimenting with making my own fuels with various degrees of success. The issues I have on occasion are smoking or clogged wicks and citrusy fragrances sometimes overwhelming. I thought perhaps the smoking may be from impurities in the 91% isopropyl alcohol. I've been making perfumes using Graves 190 proof grain alcohol - which is the same as Everclear. I've read that you should not use ethyl alcohol for catalytic fragrance oil but I can't find any info as to why... does it give off an off odor when burned or is it just more flammable? I'd appreciate any info on this... don't want to accidently mix up a molotov cocktail or anything!

    Thanks!
    Liz

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    Replies
    1. Liz,
      Please don't use the Everclear for an effusion lamp. You may blow up the house. I've made perfumes as well and I use the same thing you do. Only use 91% or 99% isopropyl alcohol. The smoking is from the scent oil, not the alcohol. Some scents emit a "white" smoke. It's not really smoke, but steam, so it won't hurt you. Make sure you are using 100% pure essential or fragrant oils.
      Soak your wicks all the time. This helps them from getting clogged. Try the new platinum wick! It's great and never clogs.
      If a fragrance is too strong, dilute it with more alcohol. I hope this helps. Let me know how that works out for you and if you have any more questions.

      Delete
  42. Thank-you for all this info. I bought a Lampe Berger lamp yesterday and you're right, the instructions are next to useless. With all your info hopefully we will now have a lovely smelling house.
    Thanks
    Sophie
    xxx

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  43. Sophie,
    I wish you luck. Thanks for the comment!

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  44. First, thank you so much for putting together all the information, in one tidy place! I've used your recipe, and it works, perfectly.

    I have a few questions. I've located the platinum wicks on Ebay. As I'm in Canada, there is no shipping fee. (Bonus.) I can order one, or six. My question is.. Why would I order, six? If they don't clog etc., wouldn't one do? Or is the purpose of extras for the various fragrances one may enjoy. (So that they don't mix with use.)

    Also, whilst looking around on the internet, I notices parts sold for the lamps and wicks. Handy. I agree. But I did wonder why the cotton wick alone, would be sold. Why would a cotton wick, wear out?

    If my questions seem silly, I apologize in advance. I'm very new to using these lamps. Well, a burning lamp of any sort, really.

    Thank you again!

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  45. Jane,
    You should only need one of the platinum wicks because they don't clog as easily. I always order an extra, just in case. You only need one for "all" fragrances, not one for each.
    Cotton wicks do burn (a little at a time), so yes, you need several because they do get replaced. Just like a candle wick will eventually burn down. You're questions are not silly, they are actually very smart! Good luck with your lamp and please let me know if you need any help.
    Christy

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  46. Hey,

    We just got out first lampe berger and decided to try the homemade oil method. Well we used 91% isopropyl and about 12 drops of an essential oil from wholefoods and it really only smells like alcohol in the house when the lamp burns. Any suggestions?

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  47. KMV,
    Check to see if the oil you purchased is 100% pure essential oil. If it isn't....you won't smell it. Many retailers sell oils that are not pure and mixed with something else. Check the site: www.brambleberry.com That's where I order mine-they are all 100%. Good luck. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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  48. Hi,

    I sent you an e-mail with some questions about issue I'm having with my wicks staying hot. No matter what I do, or how many directions I follow, the stone will get cold and nothing happens.

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  49. I always get to useful sites late:-) But...better late than never.
    I have recently bought a Berger lamp to keep off insects. Wonderful the best! But I use a litre of Berger anti-mosquito oil in about two weeks, using the lamp every evening for 30 minutes. This is about 38 $ every two weeks!
    I shall certainly think of (hoping to) making my own:-)

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  50. I was curious if anyone had ever experimented with making the wicks longer. I have some lovely antique bottles that are too tall by half for the wicks, but would make lovely lamps. Can you buy any type of wick and splice it into a loop? Does the wick have to be a loop? Replies welcome to cmcnaught@knology.net THANKS!

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  51. Hello Christy, thanks so much for all the helpful tips! I have just one question though. I noticed that you mentioned a few times that if we decide to make our own oil blend, it is very important that we us Isopropyl alcohol. So, my question is, why is it so important that we use Isopropyl alcohol? Is it okay to use Ethyl alcohol as a substitute? I live in Costa Rica and I am having a difficult time finding Isopropyl alcohol, but there is plenty of Ethyl alcohol. Also, I bought an effusion oil (in the U.S.) that is made with 90% Ethyl alcohol, so I figured it would be ok for me to use Ethyl alcohol in my blend. I've only used this blend once but it seems to work fine. Any clarification you can give me would be great. Thanks again!

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  52. Eli, I have only ever read that you can you isopropyl alcohol. I have not seen anyone using Ethyl alcohol. As you know, both of these are flammable and dangerous around fire. I can't recommend using the Ethyl, because I am really not sure. If you got effusion oil that has the ethyl alcohol in it, you may try calling the company and asking them. (that may be tricky if you tell them that you're making your own fuel). But you could try. Also, keep looking around the Internet to see if you can get the isopropyl shipped to Costa Rica. That may be tricky too, because I'm not sure if they would ship it. Please be careful with all this. I just don't know for sure if you can use ethyl. I hope this helps. Good luck! Christy

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