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How to Change a Himalayan Salt Lamp Light Bulb

How many Sherpas does it take to change a Himalayan salt light bulb?

Well, only one, providing they have read through these instructions first!

Instructions for Changing the Light Bulb of Your Salt Lamp

Firstly, unplug your lamp and set it on a table on its side. You may want to lay out a mat or a tea-towel to protect your table from the big-ass lump of rock.

Depending on the size of your lamp, your lamp is likely to come fitted with a 15 or 20W, small screw fit light bulb. These little beauties are the kind that we use in fridges and ovens, and they are durable and extremely long-lasting. However, there will eventually come a time when your trusty little bulb gives up the ghost and heads on up to that great Himalayan Salt Chandelier in the sky, and at that point, you are going to have to roll up your sleeves and get a new one put in as soon as possible.

Himalayan Salt lamps are designed for continuous use, even in bedrooms, since their warm orange glow does not mess with your circadian rhythms like blue light does.

The fittings are virtually universal and consist of a small socket with metal springs attached to hold it safely inside the salt lamp. This means that all you have to do is carefully pull the socket out of the bottom of your lamp, being careful to make sure the springs don’t whack you on the finger as they come free of the lamp.

Whilst you are changing the bulb, you may as well take the opportunity to check the integrity of your cable and socket. make sure there are no bare wires exposed along the length of the cable, and that the wires going into the plug and in and out of the switch and into the socket are all securely attached. Don’t yank on them to test this though! Just a little gentle investigation on your part will tell you everything you need to know.

Make sure that the socket itself is not broken. Carefully unscrew the spent bulb and dispose of as normal. The bulb should unscrew easily with no forcing required. If it jams at all, you may find that it has been screwed in badly and now you need a new fitting. Same applies if your new bulb will not screw in easily. It only needs to be finger tight – handle the bulb carefully whilst you do this and don’t squeeze it too hard. Like I said, if any excessive force is required, you probably need a new fitting.

Once the bulb is in, check that it is not wobbling about in the socket. Now you can test your bulb is working by quickly plugging it in and turning it on. this is a good time to see that your switch is working as it should. If all is well, unplug it again, because you are ready to put your fitting back into your light.

This is pretty straightforward. Just gently squeeze the spring arms in so that your fitting will fit back into your light and then let go when the bulb is safely inside your lamp, with only the wire sticking out. Put your beloved lamp back where it belongs, plug it in, and turn it back on.

Voila! You’re done. Good work!

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Electromagnetic Radiation and Himalayan Salt Lamps

Many people believe that Himalayan Salt Lamps can somehow alleviate the stress that they believe may be caused by having multiple sources of electromagnetic radiation in our homes and daily lives, but is there any scientific truth to all these glowingly impressive but almost completely anecdotal reports?

The short answer is, possibly.

If you are the kind of person that is happy to take people’s word for it, then there are great many people who swear blind that the presence of a Himalayan Salt lamp in their home has brought a kind of calm that they associate with being in natural settings, like on the beach or by a beautiful waterfall.

The truth is that most completely ‘natural’ settings are far removed from a great many of the technological items that surround us on a daily basis as the average modern city-dweller.

Electromagnetic radiation is everywhere

Of course, as any scientist will tell you, we are constantly bathed in electromagnetic radiation from the sun. The earth itself also has an electro-magnetic field, so indeed to all humans, down to the very last individual cell. The idea that our health may be affected in unforeseen ways due to the presence of modern televisions, wi-fi, computers, smartphones etc is a controversial one, but the plain truth is that there has not been a great deal of research into the matter, considering the sheer weight of discoveries made in the course of the last one hundred years since electricity has been harnessed for human use.

Technology has simply been moving and progressing so fast, and our ability to measure different things has also advanced so drastically that it has simply not been possible to completely map all the effects of these new discoveries, as yet.

We do know that there is an electrochemical element to the majority of our biological processes at a cellular level. We do know that electromagnetic radiation, in the form of light, can signal the body to make profound hormonal changes in the individual, signalling the best times for sleep and so on. We also know that our moods can be affected by these hormonal changes, as can other things like our appetites, our ‘energy levels’ and so on.

It is likely that in the future there will eventually be a much more complete understanding of the electro-magnetic properties of the human body, and how it can be affected by different kinds of electromagnetic radiation in the environment, but for now, the science is in its infancy.

We also know that Himalayan salt lamps are not separate from this world of electromagnetic waves, they were created by the Earth, and the Sun, and so they are an electromagnetic effect, just like life itself.

They are made up of a crystalline matrix of their constituent elements, all of which are in ionic, and thus electrically charged form, even if they are held in a neutral and stable matrix in their solid state.

Once dissolved in water, rock salt will vastly increase the electrical conductivity of that water.

Other crystals, such as quartz, have measurable and slightly unfathomable electrostatic effects, hence their heavy use in our modern electrical devices. Although rock salt is an insulator, it is not just any insulator, it is a very specific type of insulator, with a measurable resistivity.

Since we do know that insulators can be just as important as conductors in the storing of energy – capacitors, for instance, are constructed of both conductive and insulating material – who is to say that there are not effects of Himalayan salt lamps on the ambient electromagnetic radiation present in the modern home?

The staunch skeptic may say that any effect of this kind would be negligible, but if that is the case, then why do so many people love salt lamps?

Whatever it is they are doing, it is likely to have an electromagnetic element to it, even if it is only on the properties of the beautiful, refracted, pink-orange light that comes from Himalayan Salt lamps.

Maybe that’s all there is to it, but that doesn’t make it any the less wonderful as far as I’m concerned. 🙂

 

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What’s So Special About Himalayan Salt Anyway?

Good question.

Himalayan Salt has become a major export of the Punjabi foothills of the Himalayas in Pakistan of late, and you will find it gracing menus and tables all around the world even as we speak. The health benefits of this remarkable salt are manifold, but not many people really understand what it is that makes Himalayan Salt so special. Let’s have a closer look at it and see if we can work it out.

It’s PINK!

Now, this may not be a big thing for you, but there are plenty of people out there who simply love the colour pink, and the pinkness of Himalayan Salt is indeed remarkable.

Even if you don’t like pink per se, you might still like having pink salt. I know I do.

This pinkness, believe it or not, demonstrates the major quality of Himalayan Salt that makes it so special. It’s not the pinkness itself, it’s what the pinkness shows us. You may already know that humans have always prized salt, Sodium Chloride, NaCl. It is the most common salt in seawater, and in the human body.

However, once upon a time, humans discovered this fact and decided that NaCl, Sodium Chloride was essentially all the body needed. If you were going to mass produce a salt product for everyone to put on their food, it seemed like all you needed was pure Sodium Chloride. This is what we know as common table salt. It’s not pink, it’s white.

But that’s not all we need…

The problem was that this assessment by our scientifically minded forefather was not complete. Yes NaCl, or Sodium Chloride, is very important, essential in fact, to many processes in the human body. However, and this is where they basically screwed up, it is not the only salt that the human body needs by a long chalk.

Sure enough, after years of giving people nothing but pure NaCl to put on their chips, we began to discover that people would use too much of it, and too much ‘salt’ can be very damaging, as I’m sure we all know by now. But, if it’s so damaging, why are people always using too much of it?

People always thought that it was just because humans were stupid or lacked self-control, but I think the answer is more simple – they weren’t getting enough salts! Plural. Not Salt NaCl, salts, plural. Like what you get in Himalayan salt.

What gives the salt its colour is the fact that there is not just one type of salt in there, there are hundreds.

Put simply, a salt is a metal combined with another element or elements. Sodium BiCarbonate is a kind of salt. Magnesium Chloride is a kind of salt Potassium Sulphate is a kind of salt. Actually, the body uses a massive spectrum of salts to fulfill all its metabolic needs. If you only give it table salt – Sodium Chloride, your body will still be craving more salt, because you’re only giving it one kind.

Himalayan Salt has an extremely rich mixture of salts in it, and each of those salts is a slightly different colour. There are other compounds and elements in there too, and these just add to the mix.

This is what makes Himalayan Salt Pink. It’s what makes it taste ‘more salty than salt’, and it’s the reason that people are using it more and more across the world. Thinking that ‘salt’ was just Sodium Chloride was a mistake, and millions have died from it, but you can start satisfying your salt needs today by switching to Himalayan Salt, or any of the coloured ‘gourmet’ salts, which contain a variety of different minerals.

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Why Is My Salt Lamp Leaking Water?

Well, the short answer is, it isn’t. Although Himalayan salt, like most salt does contain some water molecules locked up within its crystalline structure, these will only be liberated by exposing the ground salt to extreme heat for some time.

The water you see coming from your lamp is in fact water vapour from the air. Salt is a drying agent – it attracts moisture from the air and absorbs it.

If you are using your lamp in a very humid environment, you might find that there is so much water collected by your lamp in this way that the exterior of it feels damp. In extreme humidity or dampness, this water may collect in such volumes that it runs down the outside of the lamp and gives the impression that the lamp is leaking.

Just to be clear, your lamp is not leaking!

However, it may be wise to place your lamp on a plate so that any water collected by your lamp in this way collects in the plate, rather than around the base of your lamp. If your lamp is on a varnished surface of some kind then this water could leave a ring on your table or shelf where your lamp is placed.

The bottom line is that if your lamp is collecting water in this way, it is a good thing. Excess moisture in the air is not always good for your health since that dampness can lead to the growth of mould and therefore the spreading of mould spores throughout your house. This, in turn, can lead to all kinds of infections, making the lives of those living in the damp house pretty miserable.

If you are experiencing persistent infections of the ears, nose, and throat, you might find that excess dampness and moisture in your home is the problem.

In colder, wetter places, this can be a real problem in the winter, as the warmth and damp air from breathing leads to condensation on bedroom windows, which, in turn, can lead to the growth of black mould around the window frames and on curtains.

Salt lamps, because they collect water in this way, can really help with this kind of thing, especially because they also release negative ions into the surrounding air, which are extremely beneficial to health.

If you are experiencing excessive dampness in your home and persistent colds, then salt lamps are a great addition. Not only is their light warm and lovely, but between the absorption of excess moisture in the air, and the release of negative ions they can make a real difference.

You may want to consider getting a de-humidifier if your house is overly damp, and a salt lamp will help you determine if your house is very damp if you are unsure.

If you install a lamp and it consistently seems as if it is ‘leaking’ water, you may well have a damp problem. The solution is either to get a great many salt lamps (which is a nice option if you can afford them and have space) or to simply get a dehumidifier and get that running. Many dehumidifiers will also filter out mould spores and have an anti-bacterial filter.

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Himalayan Salt Lamp Benefits

Himalayan salt lamps are not only beautiful, there are a range of health benefits that come with them. You may have even heard about the seemingly miraculous benefits that people report from having them in their homes. The kind of things that people report feeling definite improvements in, once they have installed a salt lamp or two in their homes, include:

Better sleep

Relief from allergies and asthma

Relief from stress

Relief from the symptoms of electromagnetic stress

Relief from breathing issues like asthma or bronchitis

Overall mood and concentration improvements

Improvements to seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Now, you may be wondering how one or two or three little lamps in your home can affect all of these things, but if you take a closer look, you will find that the properties of Himalayan Salt Lamps, and the properties of mineral salt in general, are consistent with the benefits that people feel from having them around.

Rock Salt is Hygroscopic

What this means is that your Himalayan Salt Lamp absorbs water in the air. Because impurities in the air from air pollution and other contaminants are generally carried around in water vapour in the air, this means that the salt lamp attracts that water, and the impurities, and then the gentle warmth of the lamp evaporates the water, leaving the impurity behind, locked in the ionic crystal matrix of the lamp. The air quality in our cities is noticeably different to that in the countryside, as you have probably noticed, and for this reason salt lamps and other types of negative ion generators are becoming increasingly popular with city-folk.

Salt Lamps Generate Negative Ions

Environments that are rich in negative ions have long been believed to be beneficial to the health, particularly of the respiratory system, but also to skin conditions. Salt baths, salt spas, living by the sea or up in the mountains – humans have always known about the healing properties of environments that are rich in negative ions, long before we were speaking about things in terms of negative or positive ions.

The fact is that combustion engines, generators, sub-stations, electrical equipment – things that you find in abundance in any modern city, generate positive ions. Positive ions are proven to be detrimental to health – because of their ability to ionise things that they come into contact with. If that thing is your skin, or the delicate mucous membranes of your eyes, nose, or lungs, then this can cause real problems for some people, especially over the long term.

Since Salt Lamps generate negative ions and absorb positive ones through hygroscopic action, it makes sense that people report benefits to such a wide range of conditions from having them around.

The bottom line, if there is one, is that Himalayan Salt Lamps are beautiful and give off a warm, sleepy glow that makes them perfect for bedroom lighting and evenings when you are winding down. They also generate negative ions and remove impurities from the air.

It goes without saying, if you are experiencing serious health problems, then you should consult with a medical professional. However, if you are interested in general overall health and well-being, Himalayan salt lamps are a beautiful way to cleanse your home.

Honestly, I think it is unlikely we will ever get a comprehensive understanding of all their benefits, but the fact is that millions now swear by them, so what are you waiting for?

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Why is My Salt Lamp Turning White?

Himalayan Salt lamps are quintessentially low-maintenance items. I mean, they’re just a big lump of salt with a light inside. I mean, honestly, there’s not a lot that can go wrong.

The salt is mined from the Punjabi foothills of the Himalayas, and, unlike the refined table salt that many of us are used to calling salt, this stuff is a reddy-ambery-pink colour. Unlike refined table salt, which is just Sodium Chloride, and nothing else except maybe an anti-caking agent, Himalayan rock salt is chock full of a whole host of other minerals. These different mineral salts all naturally have a different crystalline structure and thus refract light of different wavelengths. The result: all the beautiful colours of your salt lamp.

Himalayan Salt Lamps, like most salts, are hygroscopic, which means that they attract water out of the air. This is, in fact, the process that allows the Himalayan lamp to purify the air in your home. Impurities are generally contained in this water vapour, and when the water is attracted to the lamp, so are they.

Since the light is supposed to be left on, the light should be warm enough to then evaporate that moisture, leaving behind the impurities, and releasing the now negatively ionised water vapour back into your environment.

Now, when the water lands on the surface of the lamp, it will quickly cause some of the ionic crystalline structure of the salt to break down – ionic bonds are always soluble in water.

However, when the water evaporates, the ionic bonds will reform again as the solution turns once again back into salt. As a result of this process, you may find that the outside of your salt lamp gradually accumulates more and more completely white crystals. The overall composition of the lamp has not changed, but the surface arrangement has, on a molecular level.

In short, it is nothing to worry about. These changes are only happening on the very surface of the lamp. If you don’t like them, remember, they are water soluble. Wiping with a damp cloth should be sufficient to remove this top layer without damaging or significantly diminishing your lamp. Remember, though, that the lamp, being salt, is water-soluble, so be very careful to make sure your cloth is only slightly damp. Certainly, do not give your lamp a rinse under the tap!

The great thing about Himalayan salt lamps is that they are nice big chunks of salt and your lamp is in no danger whatsoever from this process of attracting and evaporating water.

This is what they do.

If you don’t like seeing more of these white crystals, carefully remove them as shown above. The bulk of your light will be unaffected and will continue to give you that warm red-amber glow whether you clean the outside of them or not.

In my experience, salt lamps do benefit from being gently cleaned on a fairly regular basis. This removes dust, and when done with a slightly damp cloth it will also remove the outer molecular layer of the lamp (how often can you say that?).

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Instructions for Caring for Your Salt Lamps

One of the great things about Himalayan Salt Lamps is that they are an extremely low-maintenance device. In non-humid conditions, your salt lamp will require very little attention from you at all.

Like anything else in your home, you salt lamp will get dusty, just in the normal run of things. It is also worth remembering that the way the salt lamp removes impurities from the air around it is that they are absorbed in tiny droplets of moisture in the air. The water evaporates from the surface of the lamp when it is on and slightly warm. For this reason, as well as because of the natural accumulation of dust, it is worth cleaning your salt lamp at least once a month, but there is no harm in cleaning it more than that if you are so inclined.

Cleaning your Salt Lamp

Simply take a slightly damp cloth and wipe the outside of your lamp gently. This will remove any dust that has built up, and also wipe away the impurities that can build up on your lamp through prolonged use. If you live in a city, you may need to do this fairly regularly, as city air is rarely clean and dirt free – quite the opposite in fact.

Just a quick wipe like this will be sufficient to return your lamp to its original pristine condition.

Keep a Stock of Bulbs In

Although Himalayan Salt is a great mineral to have around your house, it’s de-ionising properties increase dramatically when it is lit, and you should try to make sure that yours is on as much as possible. They only require small, low-wattage bulbs, and so do not eat up the electricity like other electrical devices can.

To make sure that you can enjoy uninterrupted warm salty amber glowy loveliness, and also feel the continuous benefits of the salt lamp’s ability to clean the air of impurities and distribute negative ions, it is worth buying a pack of replacement bulbs at the same time as you get your salt lamp.

Troubleshooting

If you have any other problems with your salt lamp they will likely fall into one of two categories.

The first is excess moisture.
If you live in a very humid place, the levels of water vapour in the air may be so high that your salt lamp appears to ‘sweat’. This is quite normal and shows that your lamp is working properly. There is not need to panic! Simply place your lamp on a saucer or plate to catch any moisture that runs down the sides. Do not ignore it as it may mark the table or desk where you have your salt lamp. Also be careful that excess water does not have a chance to be carried down the wires to the switch or to the plug socket. A little care when placing your lamp should be sufficient to make sure this does not happen.

The second problem is faulty electronics.

If your lamp flickers or has stopped working despite you having made sure there is a working bulb in it, you may have a problem with the electronics. It may be that the fuse needs replacing in the plug. If so, make sure you use the same kind of fuse that the lamp came fitted with – most likely a 3A fuse.

If that is not the problem, then it’s most likely nothing more than a loose connection somewhere. If you are ‘handy’ or know someone who is, this is most likely a very easy problem to fix. Don’t try to fix it unless you are confident that you can do it yourself, and for goodness sake unplug the thing before you try and do anything with it.

If you really don’t know anyone who can help, and are not confident yourself, any neighbourhood electrician will be more that capable of fixing it for you – just give one a call!

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Is it Safe to Leave a Salt Lamp on All Night?

The answer is emphatically, “YES!”. Not only can you, but you probably should, if you don’t mind it.

Himalayan salt lamps have small, low-wattage bulbs in them, so there really is no problem in leaving them on in terms of your electricity bill. Also, because there is a low-wattage bulb, the lamp does not get hot, it only warms up a little. This means there is no risk of the lamp over-heating because of being left on too long.

It’s worth remembering too that Himalayan Salt lamps are not de-ionising fans, they are not de-humidifiers – they are not high technology, they are low technology.

They are analogue, like vinyl, tapes and valve amplifiers. They work slowly. In short, they work best if you can leave them on continuously.

The Longer You Leave a Salt Lamp on the Better!

The bulb inside the lamp warms the salt up slightly, and this encourages the process by which the lamp takes positive ions and free radicals and impurities out of the air, and releases negatively ionised water vapour in return.

Salt is hygroscopic, which means it attracts moisture out of the air. Many impurities we find in our air, particularly in cities, are bound up with water molecules. Car exhausts release water vapour as well as CO2 and soot and various other noxious gases. When your salt lamp absorbs this water, the impurities are bound up into the salt’s ionic matrix, and the water then evaporates due to the gentle heat from the salt lamp – all negatively ionised and pure like water vapour should be, like morning mist in the country, like the spray off a waterfall.

Now, if your salt lamp is in your bedroom then I would advise you to exercise some caution. It is well known that the very best sleeping is done in total darkness. Some people don’t like it, but I recommend trying it if you never have – you won’t look back.

With that said though, the truth is that the warm orangey-amber glow of salt lamps is probably about the next best thing – if you have to have a light on. They are ideal for children’s rooms for this reason – what kid doesn’t get frightened of the dark from time to time?

With one of these as a night-light you know that your child’s sleep will not be disturbed by blue daytime wavelengths of light – which can really negatively affect you sleep.  You also know that your salt lamp is doing its work to help purify the air in the child’s room all through the night. It’s a pretty comforting thought.