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FLAMING SKULL LAMP



Flaming Skull Lamp, retail $12.99 (Found at Wallgreens)
Manufactured by (Unknown)
Last updated Halloween (10-31-14)





This isn't really a flashlight, and it's kinda seasonal (Halloween), but it uses LEDs, and a member of Candlepower Forums needed it tested, so here ya go...
(That blue light in the lower left is a computer mouse, not part of the lamp)

The "Flaming" Skull lamp is a large, plastic affair that's meant to be hung from the ceiling or set on a shelf or high table around Halloween (October 31 in the US). When you load it with batteries or plug in the included wall-wart and turn it on, four LEDs (three reddish-orange and 1 blue) should come on right away, and a small electric fan should spin up inside the skull, blowing a yellow silk "flame" upwards, where the LEDs can shine on it.

Place one of these in a window or on a porch with the eye sockets aimed out, and it'll scare your little trick-or-treaters so much that some of them might piss the bed that night.



To use the Flaming Skull lamp, first you'll need to get it out of its package. I think the easiest way is to open up the bottom of the package, and untwist the wires that hold the skull in place. Lift the skull straight out, and it ought to be good to go. The AC adapter is in a small box toward the back of the larger one the skull comes in; remove it from its box, remove it from its plastic bag, and remove the twist tie that holds the cord all bundled up together.

Plug the small end of the AC adapter into the receptacle for it on the lamp base, then plug the larger square thing into a 115VAC outlet. Tip the lamp upside down to be sure the yellow silk "flame" isn't caught on something; reach through the eye sockets and free the end if it is. Now, turn the lamp on, wait a second or so, and then turn it right side up.



Set the lamp down on a level surface like a shelf, dresser, or high table; or hang it from a hook in the ceiling using the rope loop you'll find attached at the top of the skull. The lamp should be placed at just below eye level or higher, so you can't directly see the LEDs or fan. You want to see the "flame" from the lamp's eye sockets and nose hole, not what makes it.



The Flaming Skull lamp uses a 6V AC adapter, or 4 alkaline AA cells.

If you want to use the Flaming Skull lamp away from an AC outlet, install the batteries like this:
Turn the lamp upside down. Unscrew the phillips screw with a small or medium phillips screwdriver. Remove the battery door & screw, and set them aside. Install 4 AA alkaline cells, being sure the flat (-) side of each battery faces a spring in the battery compartment. Replace the battery door, and screw the screw back in.

Since there are no instructions otherwise, I'd probably want to remove the batteries anytime you want to plug the AC adapter into the lamp. You should also remove the batteries when storing the lamp away after Halloween is finished up.

Current usage measures 587mA on my DMM's 4A scale.




The Flaming Skull lamp appears reasonably durable, but remember it only costs $13 from Wallgreens, so it could be made of materials which could become broken if the lamp is dropped or falls off a table. Care should be taken not to bang it against walls or in doorways while you're putting out the Halloween decorations. While I don't think the "guts" will care very much if you do this, the outer "skull" could crack or get broken.

The "flame" effect is rather nice, provided you place the lamp where you can't directly see the LEDs or the fan. The interior surfaces of the skull are illuminated in a kind of magenta color, with the "flame" being significantly brighter. You can see both the "flame" and the interior of the skull through the eye sockets and nose hole. The "flame" is primarily colored orange on its edges and blue at the center. It's actually quite eerie - as a Halloween decoration should be. :-)

I just got this lamp (10-08-03), so I'll need more time with it before I can update this page much more.



This picture was taken through one of the eye sockets, and
shows the blue LED, a reflection from one of the reddish-orange
ones, and some of the yellow silk "flame" inside the lamp.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the blue LED in this skull.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the orange LEDs in this skull.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.



WMP movie (.avi extension) showing unit in operation.
This clip is approximately 2.2 megabytes (2,492,904 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than fifteen minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.
I cannot provide it in other formats, so please do not ask.




Video clip on YourTube showing the Battery-powered LED Halloween Lights wrapped around this product.

This clip is approximately 2.699676 megabytes (2,749,990 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than thirteen minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.
I cannot provide it in other formats, so please do not ask.




Video that shows that after more than 11 years, the Flaming Skull Lamp is still plugging along! :-)

This video is 103.7467932556 megabytes (103,866,574 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than five hundred eighteen minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.





TEST NOTES:
Unit was purchased at Wallgreens on the afternoon of 10-08-03, and it was high on the shelf occupied by other Halloween decorations. I couldn't get it down by standing on my wheelchair, and the man who got it down for me nocked down and broke another large Halloween decoration in the process. :-/

The "flame" is made of a silk fabric, and comes pre-installed in the lamp. You should be sure the end of the silk doesn't hang down where it could get sucked up the fan intake when you turn the lamp on. If you wish, you can turn the lamp upside-down so the silk hangs freely and then turn it on, then turn it back over and put the lamp down on a flat, stable surface or hang it up on a ceiling hook by its included rope loop.

The AC adaptor is rated for 6 volts DC at 600mA. It terminates in a male 3.5mm stereo phone plug (!). The tip of the plug is (-) and the base is (+). I don't believe there is any connection in the center.
Open-circuit voltage is approximately 7.1VDC.


UPDATE: 10-10-03
The AC adapter seems to run a bit on the warm side (around 105F on its front, and around 130F on its sides). In MY OPINION, they should increase the rated output from 600mA to 700-800mA, just so the transformer runs cooler.
This is my opinion though, and your results may vary.
Just to be on the safe side though, plug the AC adapter in an outlet not blocked off by curtains, bedclothes, piles of dirty wash, boxes, or other materials. Follow the usual safety rules for AC outlets, adapters, and plugs; and you ought to be alright.


UPDATE: 10-26-03
I finally broke down and bought one of those non-contact laser-guided infrared thermometers, so I'll measure the AC adapter temperatures with it in a couple of weeks when it gets here.


UPDATE: 11-01-03
Using the laser thermometer thingie I bought from ebay, I measured around 130F on the sides, and 141F on the front of the lamp's AC adapter. The surface temperature of surrounding surfaces is 60F - the receptacle is near an open window and outside temperatures are in the mid to high 30s. So you won't burn yourself on the adapter, but you will get a rather unpleasant surprise if you brushed up against it with a bare arm or leg.


UPDATE: 08-30-05
Here is a photograph I just took of the lamp in total darkness.




UPDATE: 10-14-05
I plugged the lamp in a week ago or thereabouts and set it in the window. After just now checking, it is functioning correctly. So I've had it for just over two years now, and have no malfunctions to report.


UPDATE: 10-10-06
I installed it on the outdoor patio today, and surprise ***NOT!!!*** it still works properly. It has been through two moves (one local, the other interstate) and nothing unfortunate has befallen it.


UPDATE: 11-02-08
Here is a photograph I took on Halloween of the skull lamp deployed on our porch:




UPDATE: 10-29-09
I performed spectroscopy of its LEDs; this necessitated disassembling the product insofar as removing the "innards" from the "skull". The disassembly went fairly smoothly, and it appeared to function properly after reassembly.





PROS:
"Flame" effect is scary and realistic - be prepared to clean urine off your porch.
Uses cool-running LEDs so user's or other curious viewer's hand cannot become burned.
Tested sample is quiet


CONS:
AC adapter seems to run a bit on the warm side
Large outer "shade" (skull) could become busted if lamp is dropped


    MANUFACTURER: Unknown
    PRODUCT TYPE: Decorative holiday lamp
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 4 (1 blue, 3 reddish-orange)
    BEAM TYPE: N/A
    SWITCH TYPE: Slide switch under lamp
    BEZEL: N/A
    BATTERY: 4x AA cells or 6V AC adapter
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 587mA
    WATER RESISTANT: Probably light splash resistance only
    SUBMERSIBLE: NO WAY HOZAY!!!
    ACCESSORIES: 6V AC adapter
    WARRANTY: Not stated

    PRODUCT RATING:

    Star RatingStar Rating





Flaming Skull Lamp * (URL unknown)







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