When shopping for an electric fireplace there are several things that you must consider. First, how does it look? Are you going to want this in your home or office for years to come? Flame first– if it does not catch your eye right away it probably never will. Style– does the style fit your home? Next is noise, if you can hear it running in the showroom from one foot away it will be irritating in your home. The showroom has a high level of background noise, your living room will not. The last thing to consider: quality of construction. Is it well built, with nice fitting parts and LED bulbs? You do not want to buy anything with less than LED bulbs in it, the cost and service will be troublesome. Heat is another item that is always asked for. Electric heaters can be a great way to warm a room and take a chill off of a cool evening.
Electric fires have advanced many times over since the old days of real wood logs cutout with a transparent sheet of plastic on them so a light bulb could be used to light up the center of the log set. Back then the illusion of fire was made by having the heat of the light bulb cause a pinwheel to rotate and the light on the translucent film to fluctuate looking like light from flames. Today we use a motor to create a rotation of reflective materials to create an upward moving flame reflection on a background panel. The lights have advanced from the old incandescent bulb to hundreds of small LEDs of different colors to create a more realistic reflection of flame. The blue LED gives an even more realistic flame appearance.
Another feature that has been added to help create that feeling of a real wood fire is the introduction of a heater. The extra heat makes for a more compelling feeling that the flame is real and generating the heat. Many people have asked if it is a real flame and when told it is not they ask where does the heat come from. The electric heater typically comes with different output settings with a fan to help the heat move around a larger area of the room.
In the past electric fires were either log sets or they were made to look like a masonry fire place. The construction was not built to last for many years and were never much of an added value when it came time to sell a home. Today’s electrics are well constructed and designed to last. They have an electronic operating board that drives the motors and LEDs in the system to get quiet, efficient, and long lasting use. The LEDs in an electric fireplace today consume next to nothing in the way of power. As little as 2 cents to run the fire for 24 hours in most places. The LEDs will also last what will seem like forever. LED bulbs can last 100,000 hours for a good quality bulb. Even then if one or two of hundreds do stop working you will not notice it in the flame.
Installations of today’s electrics is also very simple. On a wall hung unit the installation is as simple as hanging a mirror or a picture. Simply locate the area, determine the stud locations. With a screw gun simple screw a minimum of 4 screws in the mounting frame to the studs. Then hang the body on the frame and snap the glass front in place. Only 10 minutes from start to finish. Inserts can take even less time. Simply assemble the surround attach it to the insert and slide the insert in place. No screws, drills, clamps etc. then just plug the unit into an existing outlet and it is ready to enjoy!
Post by Eric Hawkinson, VP Operations and Engineering