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Not necessarily an "everyday problem", but something I believe is a valid question.

I have a Mathmos glitter lamp which has orange oil-based fluid, and used to have a green-coloured base on the glass cylinder. Over time, the green colouring has faded, so the lamp no longer has a green tint as it did when new. What can I apply to the base of the glass which will restore the original green glow?

I thought about some form of glass paint, but the glass cylinder sits above a bulb which gets rather hot. The paint would need to be suitable for direct heat.

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  • 1
    Please provide a photo for better (and more) replies to your question.
    – Stan
    Oct 21 '20 at 17:17
  • Paint will absorb heat. Dye will not. Most any gelatine filter will work. The lamp will not get hot enough to melt it.
    – Stan
    Oct 21 '20 at 17:24
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I suggest you buy a piece of stage lighting gel of green colour, cut and shaped to place between the lamp and the base.

I am talking about the gel placed in front of a stage light, which is designed to be very close to a hot bulb. These lamps emit a tremendous amount of heat compared to domestic lighting.

It needs to be for this specific purpose. You can buy other coloured gel sheets, but many are not heat-safe.

Here is one example (for illustrative purposes only because it is for flashlight photography, not for a sustained heat source).


Update: buy a green bulb.

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  • Thanks, that's not a bad suggestion. The issue would be mounting it, as there's nowhere to affix the gel to. P.S. I've worked backstage in theatre before (running the fly rail), I don't know why I didn't think of this! Oct 21 '20 at 12:55
  • Can the weight of the lamp secure it? I am not sure of the shape but if it is curved you could cut a slit in (or a wedge out of) a circular piece and place it in the stand. The warmth of the lamp might encourage it to form the right shape after that. If it turns out to be not quite right, use it as a template for a second attempt. Oct 21 '20 at 12:58
  • Yes, it could be held in place by the glass bottle. My concern would be the gel physically touching the bulb, which may become an issue. Oct 21 '20 at 13:00
  • Those lamps are only about 25 watts aren't they? The gels are designed to be very close to 1000 watts. You could trial-and-error. Sit by the lamp for a couple of hours and check it. Oct 21 '20 at 13:02
  • It's running a 30w at the moment. I'll get one on order. Thanks for your help. Oct 21 '20 at 14:15
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Have you tried making your own coloured bulb by dipping?

Mix a deep green with food colouring and food gelatine (according to the instructions). Wash and dry the bulb so that the mix will coat the bulb evenly. Dunk the glass bulb into the gelatine dye mix a few times to coat the bulb. Then, let the dye set. A drop of liquid detergent may help the dye coat the bulb more evenly if you have hard water.

After the bulb dries, you can turn it on to see how it looks. Repeat as necessary to get the desired colour strength.

If you don't want to try to mix your own, there are commercially available materials of silicone for the same application.

Good luck.

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  • I hadn't considered that, nice suggestion. Oct 26 '20 at 8:02

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