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Luminglas Plasma Lamp, retail $100-$120 (
Manufactured by Can You Imagine (
Last updated 08-08-10

O wait...wrong phrases. They belong on Candlepower Forums, not on a page about a Borg lite. :-/

There, that's better.

This lamp was seen in the movie Star Trek 8: First Contact, and a green version of this lamp was often seen on the TV program Star Trek: Voyager, usually at the tops of Borg regeneration alcoves.

I found this lamp on ebay for about $75; you may pay a little more or a little less depending on where you get yours. I didn't buy this lamp because it had LEDs in it (it doesn't), and I didn't buy it because I wanted to review it on this website. I bought it because I wanted one. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. :-) Although this website is called "The LED Museum", I've reviewed more than just LEDs and LED flashlights here. I've reviewed incandescent flashlights, incandescent Halloween lights, and have pages with tritium glow tubes, electroluminescent wire, plasma lamps, plasma lasers, diode lasers, and neon & argon glow bulbs on them. So it's only fair that this Luminglas lamp makes it up here. :-)

The lamps come in four colors: blue (the one I have), green (used on Star Trek in Borg regeneration alcoves), magenta (a reddish purple color), and sunburst (an orange/amber color).

Note: The lamp's website is, I believe, all in Macromedia Flash, so you'll need that installed before you can visit it. Let me try it with a non-Flash-enabled browser and see what happens...BRB...hmmm works on that browser too, maybe Flash is already installed in it. Let's try disabling Active-X on the browser I usually use and see what happens...BRB...well I don't know how to do I'll leave it in your hands to see what happens.

This is the 16" version of this lamp, with blue "sparks".

The lamp is pretty much ready to go right out of the package. Here's how you get things ready:

Remove the large styrofoam carrier from the outer box. Note which side has a styrofoam disc taped to it, and orient the carrier so that side faces up. Use a knife or razor to slit the tape from the edges of the disc, and lift it off. Remove the lamp from the carrier, and remove the plastic from the lamp.

Inside the carrier, there is a lidded compartment with "AC adapter inside" stamped on it. Also in this compartment are two round, rubbery ball-like things. Please do not disregard them or throw them away; you'll use them in a sec.

Remove the twist tie from the AC adapter's cord, and dispose of or reuse the tie as you see fit.

Grab the two rubber ball things, the AC adapter, and the lamp, and take them to where you want to set the lamp up.

On the back of the lamp, there is a plastic stand or bail; extend this outward until it stops. There was a mention of two metal stabilising things ("metal locks") for the tilt-out stand in the instructions, but they were not present on my lamp, so I cannot describe where they are or how to affix them to the plastic stand.

Now, take the balls and affix them to the glass front of the lamp, and push them downwards so they touch the table or whatever surface your lamp is on. The photograph near the top of this page shows where the balls should be affixed to the glass; look toward the very bottom of the picture to see them.

Plug the small plug on the end of the cord of the AC adapter into the lamp (the receptacle is on the back of the lamp, right-hand side), and plug the large squarish thing into any 2- or 3-prong 115VAC household outlet.

There are two knobs and a three-position slide switch on the back of the lamp. Slide the switch to "manual" or "auto", and adjust the "pattern" and "sound sensitivity" knobs as you see fit. Slide the switch to the center position to turn the lamp off.

The instruction sheet that comes with the lamp will describe the use of the switch and knobs in more detail; read that for more details here.

Since this product is designed to use household AC power, this section can and will be skipped.

The Luminglas "Borg lite" plasma lamp is a lamp that's meant to be put somewhere stable, not a flashlight that's meant to be carried around. So I won't try to drown it in the commode, slam it against a steel rod, run over it, let the dog go to the bathroom on it, or perform any other indecencies that an ordinary flashlight might have to endure.

From the Luminglas website: Lightning mysteriously dances inside a disk of fine quality glass less than a 1/2" thick. Luminglas transforms electric current into a spectacular array that is very unique. Adjust the size and shape of the light with easy to use controls. Includes a sound response control which creates a pulsating rhythm of light that will respond to music or voice with no wires.

There is an easy-to-remove sticker on the face of the lamp advising you that the small beads (small glass BB-like things as I have since learned) inside the lamp may be missing in the center and that this is normal; be sure to remove this sticker now or it might tick you off later.

The lamp is bright enough to be viewable in virtually any household lighting, but dim enough to use as a nightlight. So you can set it up in the bedroom without it disturbing your sleep if you decide to leave it on.

According to somebody who has one of these lamps:
Warning: if you have any implanted electronics, pacemaker, insulin pump, TENS unit, etc. DON'T go near the lamp.

Photograph showing the lamp generating its plasma-based sparks in a somewhat dim (low ambient light levels) location.

A screen dump from a YouTube video I made.
In this video, I used a green filter over the camera's lens to make it look like a true Borg regeneration alcove light.

Quicktime movie (.mov extension) showing the lamp's sparks.
This clip is approximately 4.5 megabytes (4,817,700 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than twenty five minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.

Video clip on YourTube showing showing the "sparks".

This clip is approximately 11.995645345771 megabytes (12,111,116 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than fifty nine minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.

Video clip on YourTube showing showing the unit in subdued lighting; both in "automatic" and "sound sensitive" modes.

This clip is approximately 13.444342357659 megabytes (13,601,332 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than sixty seven minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.

I cannot provide any of these videos in other formats; so please do not ask.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the "sparks" in this plasma lamp.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the "sparks" in this plasma lamp; newer spectrometer software & settings used.

USB2000 Spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

Unit was purchased on ebay and arrived on the afternoon of 03-15-04.
The link to the specific ebay page I bought this lamp is on is right here, but will quit displaying around 06-12-04. Use the ''View Seller's Other Items'' link to see if he's still selling this lamp.

UPDATE: 08-24-04
I have decided to rate this product 4 1/2 stars and place it in The Trophy Case on this website.

UPDATE: 08-27-04
I have heard from a user of this lamp that if you break it, those little glass BBs inside will go everywhere, and are very difficult to remove from the carpet even with a very good vaccume cleaner. Even about a year after this person broke the lamp, he's still finding glass in the carpet from it when he vaccumes the area.
So the crux of the matter is: DON'T BREAK THIS LAMP OR YOU MIGHT BE SORRY!!!

UPDATE: 10-31-05
My housemate suggested I set this lamp in the window facing out on Halloween 2004, but I could not find the AC adapter for it. But I set it out this Halloween because I purchased a new adapter for it on Ebay. My housemate thought it would look rather spooky for the Trick-Or-Treaters.

UPDATE: 08-08-10
Since moving here in very early-2009, this unit has been deader than a doorknob.
But on 08-05-10 (or "05 Aug. 2010" if you prefer), I gave it one last try before consigning it to the dustbin (garbage can). I removed the back to check for a loose wire, saw only a single high-voltage wire, screwed the back back in place, and rooted around briefly for its AC adapter -- which I found (the one furnished with the unit, not the replacement purchased in 2005)...after a brief delay, the unit sprang to life!!!

So not only did I save it from the "big fat meanie" (garbage truck), I was able to perform spectroscopy of it and shoot the two Yourtube videos that you see a bit farther up this web page.

Very unique
Pleasant to look at
Very unique - o wait, I said that already. ;-)
Uses very little electric power
Stays cool to the touch

Made primarily of glass - so it is breakable if abused or knocked over
Cannot be used near medical electronics

    MANUFACTURER: Can You Imagine
    PRODUCT TYPE: Decorative household lamp
    LAMP TYPE: High-voltage plasma
    No. OF LAMPS: N/A
    SWITCH TYPE: Slide on/mode/off on back of product
    BEZEL: N/A
    BATTERY: None
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    ACCESSORIES: AC adapter, two "balls" that affix to glass for stability
    WARRANTY: 45 days


    Star RatingStar Rating

Luminglas Plasma Lamp *

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