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Christmas Pyramids/Windmills FAQ
Christmas Pyramids bring a lot of joy with their soft candlelight and movement.
How do they work?
The idea is simple, when candles are lit, they heat the air. As hot air rises, it causes the propeller to spin, making the display turn.
So do I need a big temperature difference?
- You don’t need a huge temperature difference but a pyramid will always work better in the evening, when the temperature is a little cooler.
- Traditionally, a pyramid would be lit in winter in Germany so there would be a very big difference but they work just as well in Australia.
Will my pyramid work in an Australian Christmas?
- Yes. We select pyramids with larger fans to ensure they will spin.
- While lighting a pyramid in the middle of a 30 degree day will always be problematic, a summer evening in Australia is cool enough to get the desired movement.
Will my pyramid work in front of a fan or aircon?
Yes…but it will turn backwards.
- Think of it this way, the pyramid turns because of hot air rising. It is like having a fan on the floor blowing up to the ceiling.
- If you use a fan or air-conditioner blowing DOWN, the fan blades will spin in the opposite direction
- The solution? If your pyramid has detachable fan blades, simply turn them around so they point in the opposite direction. You will know it is working if you blow down on the pyramid and the figures are now moving forwards
This section provides a step-by-step for getting your pyramid up and running. When you first set up your pyramid, there are a few things to consider:
1. Ensure the central pin is clear of all cardboard
- To protect your pyramid, we always ship them with a small piece of cardboard, just below the central base (the part that spins).
- It is important to make sure that you remove this cardboard so that your pyramid will spin freely.
2. The central pin should rest on its glass plate
- It may be a little hard to see at first but, if you take a look at where the central pin connects with the base of your pyramid, you will see that is rests on a small glass plate.
- Make sure that the pin is aligned with this plate so that it will spin freely
3. The angle of your fan blades is important
This is the most common reason why people say their pyramid won’t work. It is really important that the blades of your pyramid are aligned at the correct angle so that the rising hot air can catch the blade and then keep rising:
- If the blades are too flat, then too much heat catches underneath and wont rise.
- If the fan blades are too vertical, then the heat escapes too quickly.
Use the following picture as an example of the ideal angle:
4. When you have assembled your pyramid and checked the above three things, test it by blowing...
Blow gently near the blades (Like you are blowing on a hot coffee or cup of tea). The blades and display should spin freely.
5. Place your pyramid in a cool, draught-free spot
'Cool and still' are your pyramids best friends:
- If it is too hot, the fans will not spin very fast.
- If it is too breezy, the heat from your candles will disperse rather than rise.
And there you have it. Your pyramid should now spin like a champion. It may take a little tweaking at first but, once you know how to set it up, you will have many years of illuminated Christmas magic to enjoy.