|Salt Lamps are becoming ever so popular, the beauty and benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps are fueling a rapid growth in demand for them in North America. Are all Himalayan salt lamps created equally? Unfortunately not! As in any other unregulated industry, the quality of the products can vary greatly from one supplier to another. A variety of factors; such as color, clarity, carver's experience and fixtures, can have a significant impact on the quality and resulting price of a salt lamp. GAMMA SALT CRISTAL LTD. has been manufacturing Himalayan Salt Lamps for more than 10 years and has had the opportunity to inspect the products offered by the major exporters of salt lamps to North America. This guide will share some of what we have found and give you an idea of what to look for, and the questions to ask prior to committing to your salt lamp purchase.
Contrary to the claims of some suppliers, there is no independent mining in this region. All mines in Pakistan are under the control of PMDC (Pakistan Mineral Development Corp.) PMDC give contracts to major mining companies, who mine various grades of salt for a number of usages. Most of the salt is used for industrial purposes; a small amount of salt is crystallized which traditionally is used for consumption. Private manufacturers like GAMMA International purchase salt and hire local Artisans to carve the salt into lamps and candles. The grade of salt used and the talent of the Artisan will have the greatest impact on the quality of the product and the resulting price you pay for your Himalayan Salt Lamp. Some of the manufacturers have sales offices outside of Pakistan, mainly in Europe. GAMMA International is the only manufacturer who has a warehouse and a sales team in North America to deal with customers directly. Most of the salt lamp suppliers in North America purchase their lamps from trading companies who buy lamps from different manufacturers and have no control over the quality of the products. Here are a few things to look for prior to investing in your lamp:
Clarity of the crystals
Millions & millions of years ago, with the formation of the magnificent Himalayan Mountains, came the existence of Himalayan Mineral Salt Crystals. Tremendous pressure and heat refines the structure of the salt crystals and make them translucent. Salt at the foothills of the Himalayas was crystallized at varying temperatures. Salt formed at a higher temperature is more translucent than that formed at a lower temperature. The salt formed in cooler conditions often has large, flaky deposits, which do not allow light to penetrate. A high mineral content, such as iron, can inhibit the distribution of light waves through the salt. We at GAMMA International emphasize greatly on hand picking the crystals that will be used for our lamps. Thus obviously a premium price is paid for premium salt crystals.
Color of the Crystals
Himalayan Salt Lamps vary in color from light apricot to dark orange, with every shade of pink and peach in between. This colorization is caused by the infusion of minerals within the salt crystals: the redder the salt, the higher the iron content. The most common colors are a medium peach or pink. Some of the crystals do have a reddish glow and some crystals are deep red or almost brown; these lamps are very hard to light up even with higher wattage light bulbs.
Size of the Salt Lamp
GAMMA Salt Cristals sells lamps according to their heights.
Below is a standard correlation between salt lamp sizes and their Heights:
|Mini Salt Lamp ||Small Salt Lamp ||Medium Salt Lamp ||Large Salt Lamp ||X-Large Salt Lamp|
|5" - 6" ||6" - 8" ||7" - 9" ||9" - 10" ||10" - 12" |
Salt lamps emit negative ions. It is one of the therapeutic qualities for which they are valued. We won't get into the science of negative ions and the claims made about them here. Suffice it to say, the amount of ions emitted by a lamp varies in direct proportion to the exposed surface area of the salt lamp: the larger the surface area; the greater the output of negative ions. Negative ion output drops off dramatically within a few feet of the lamp regardless of its size and ion output. As a result, if it is ionization you are looking for, you may prefer to have more salt lamps placed throughout a room rather than one excessively large one.
Shape of the Salt Lamp
Natural shaped lamps are carved by local Artisans in Northern Pakistan. The quality of your carved salt lamp is greatly affected by the talent and experience of these Artisans. Northern Pakistan is a very impoverished region.
GAMMA International does not compromise in selecting our craftsmen, who are the best in their field. We at GAMMA International never hire any under age employees to cut corners. Our employees are paid the best salaries & health benefits are offered to all.
Shaped or Feng Shui Salt Lamps such as Pyramids, Balls, Eggs, and Prosperity Bowls also require expensive machinery and additional time to produce.
Hand crafted lamps such as Dolphin, Swan, Horse, Heart, and Cross lamps are hand carved by the most experienced craftsmen Pakistan has to offer. It's a time consuming process.
When purchasing Salt Crystal Candleholders, be sure to inquire as to the depth of the hole drilled for the tea light. Often sub-standard salt candleholders will have a very shallow hole and, as a result, the salt will not glow when the candle is lit.
CSA/UL Tested and Approved
Is your salt lamp CSA /UL approved?
This is a big one; don't compromise on quality here for obvious reasons. None of the suppliers in North America has their lamps tested by CSA or UL for safety standards. It costs a lot and it is a time consuming process. GAMMA International is the first company to acquire CSA approval for their entire line of products for USA and Canada. Our Salt Lamps are
UL Listed as well.
The last major contributor to the quality of your salt lamp is the fixture used to create it. Quality can vary greatly from one manufacturer and distributor to another. We recommend asking the following questions before purchasing your salt lamp.
1. Is an electrical fixture included?
Read the small print! Many sellers force you to purchase the electrical fixture separately, yet still call their items lamps in the listings. If you haven't read the fine print you may end up frustrated and disappointed.
2. Is a protective base provided?
Salt is hydroscopic (it attracts water), so if your salt lamp does not have a protective base, water damage can occur to the surface upon which it is placed.
3. Is the base actually attached to the lamp?
We've seen a lot of salt lamps where the salt just sits freely on the base. These lamps are unstable and dangerous. You don't want 10 pounds of salt landing on your toe!
4. How is the light fixture and bulb held within the salt lamp?
The large majority of inferior products on the market fails to have any type of system to hold the light fixture safely and securely within the lamp. The light fixture is often pushed up into the salt lamp with compression clips to hold it in place (as seen in the right picture below). Our unique stainless steel GAMMA Quick-Change Light Bulb Assembly TMis used to prevent rust, and to eliminates the potential hazard of a loose bulb breaking. It also stops the time consuming struggle of changing a light bulb, unlike all other salt lamps.
Our Lamps vs Their Lamps
We hope you have found this guide to be of assistance when purchasing your Himalayan Salt Lamp. If you have any further questions about Himalayan Salt Lamps we would be happy to answer them.
GAMMA Salt Cristals is one of the first companies who introduced Himalayan Salt Products into North America. While of course not legal, we are flattered that many newcomers to this business have copied much of our web contents; including text, pictures and our GAMMA Quick-Change Light Bulb Assembly TM.
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