Digital lava lamp!

Forget the iconic conic shape of the lava lamp from the sixties and seventies — Julian Butler’s digital lava lamp gives you all the magic of its predecessor, without any of the hassle!

I lava you (I lava you not)

When I was a teenager, we had a lava lamp at home. It was orange, it took an age to get going, and once the lava was in full flow, it radiated with the heat of a thousand suns.

Julian Butler’s modern version is so much better. “Showcasing the construction and display modes of [his] programmable digital lava lamp,” Julian has shared a rather hypnotic video on his YouTube channel. He’s also created a three-part build tutorial about the project.

Inspired by his co-worker’s salt mood lamp, Julian decided to build something similiar, aiming to smoothe out the creases and add more functionality.

Using a Raspberry Pi and Micah Elizabeth Scott‘s FadeCandy board, plus 120 NeoPixel LEDs, Julian got to work programming lights and prototyping casings until he was happy with the result.

The face of Julian happy with the result

And the result is a beautiful, programmable digital lava lamp: all the mesmerising fun of a regular lava lamp, without the excruciating wait time and significant risk of second-degree burns. Plus, it will never leak, and it can be any colour you like!

Get groovy, baby

Watch Julian’s video, ooh and aah at the swirly-whirly wonderment of his digital creation, and then visit his blog for all the details of how to make your own. Julian has plans to add more interactive elements to the lamp, including voice recognition, and we can’t wait to see the final result!


Andrew Oakley avatar

Learn how to program WS281x neopixel RGB LEDs at Cotswold Raspberry Jam (Cheltenham, UK) this weekend! Free string of 3 addressable LEDs to everyone who attends the RGB LED workshop.

Andrew Oakley avatar

It’d help if I gave the URL for getting free tickets:

1-4pm at Park Campus, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham. There are about 5 RGB LED workshop tickets left and loads of general admission capacity. Other workshops are full, sorry.

Dave avatar

An effect like the Star trek transporter beam would be awesome too

Chargen avatar

Das Blinkenlava, truly awesome, wicked and things!

Andy avatar

It’s really clever, well done

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