Technology has been taking over the world and everyone is getting ready for industry 4.0. But we still love our good old fireplaces. For years, fireplace companies have been innovating relentlessly to meet the current customers demand while satisfying safety requirements at the same time.
Many of us don’t mind switching over to electric fireplaces as it is a more environmental and healthier choice. You get enjoy the sparkling flame and ambiance without the smoke and fume particles flying around our houses.
One thing that we as customers simply won’t compromise is the degree of realism in electric fireplaces.
Luckily, companies that are forward thinking have been investing a lot in research and development to incorporate the latest technology into electric fireplaces. Let’s have a look at the top tier players in the market and what they have to offer!
Just to refresh the concept, electric fireplace is a replica of wood or gas fireplace which warms the place and lit the flame by using electricity.
Electric fireplaces have three broad kinds of technologies: Flame technology, heat technology, and sound technology. Below we will share with you some interesting technology deployed in modern electric fireplace.
Flame Tech 1: Hologram
Hologram powered fireplace produces some of the most realistic flames. It uses videos and images of a real burning fireplace to reproduce the same quality of real fire that creates nostalgia.
For the record, hologram is not new since its was invented as far back as 1918. What makes it innovative is the fact that it is applied in the electric fireplace industry.
Essentially, the electric fireplace is a projector that displays the pre-recorded footage of a real burning fireplace. Giving it a truly ‘real flame experience’, which can’t be easily differentiated from real fire.
The only real downside of holographic electric fireplace is the price. Keep in mind that you are essentially buying a holography projector – a highly sophisticated & expensive equipment even when it’s bought individually.
Take an example of MagikFlame whose basic model like Magik HoloFlame, would set you back for about $3000. But the product does justify the price as it also comes with many cool features such as app powered remote control, fire crackling sound system and bluetooth connectivity
Flame Effects Tech 2: Water Vapour
This is one of the latest tech in the industry. It is unique in such a way that it produces cold, yet realistic flames with water vapor where it is cold when you touch it with bare hands.
The technology uses water to generate flames. Generally, it is connected to a a water tank or pipeline. The sump will convert the water to mist. The mist is then lightened up by the reflection of LED lights which are fixed behind the logs.
The combination of LED lights, water vapors, and ultrasonic technology creates realistic flame that dances around in an unpredictable pattern. Similar to real fire.
Water vapor technology is quite a recent technology. Therefore, few countries are producing them and it is only available in a few key countries. Making this type of electric fireplace relatively costly. The basic model of the Dimplex Optimist would cost not less than $1000.
Flame Effects Tech 3: 3D Flame Tech
3D flame technology is present in the majority of electric fireplaces of nowadays. This technology lit realistic flames of orange, red or any other colours of your choice with the help of its LED technology or different mechanisms that are present in different fireplaces.
The LED technology is all about light emitting diode (LED). It is a device that conducts electricity at a particular range of temperature. They are used as incandescent lamps in electric fireplaces; therefore, the device emits light or lit the flame behind the logs that mimic the real flame when current flows in it.
Other technologies and mechanisms include the use of image plate and light producing device that lightens up on the passage of electricity and transfer that light to image plate after combing its two colors to make the flame three dimensional.
Color technology, on the other hand, mixes two colors, red and blue, of the light produced by LEDs or light source which creates a layered effect that turns an electric fireplace into a decoration piece. Its flame colors, brightness, and speed can be adjusted via its remote.
3D flame technology fireplaces varies widely. Some of them are as cheap as $195 so some are as expensive as $1000; depending on the features and quality you are looking for.
Heating Tech 1: Infrared Quartz
This technology uses infrared waves to warm the room. Infrared technology is based on Radiant heating. Therefore, such electric fireplaces have heat or quartz infrared lamps.
Quartz or heat infrared lamps have quartz tube or glass tube which consist pressurised inert gas, combined with halogens. That pressurized gas and halogen are called heating element which resides in the glass tube. The glass work as a barrier. It does not let the gas to escape in the room.
With the help of reflectors, the heat is directed outside the fireplace once the heating elements get warm enough.
Infrared and quartz elements emit short infrared waves. These waves travel in concentrated pattern to radiate directly. Yet, they travel in parallel lines in a vacuum. Therefore, surrounding air does not affect them. Think of infrared waves like the heat derived from sunlight, except they are healthier without the the presence of ultraviolet rays.
Infrared quartz is quite common among electric fireplaces. Especially for those that targets to heat a wider area (up to 1000 sqft). The reason is that it warms the room faster. Secondly, it does not reduce humidity because it heats up objects directly. Lastly, it is cheap to run. Electric fireplaces which have infrared quartz technology will cost $.12 to $.14 per hour to warm the room.
Heating Tech 2: Convection Heating
Convection heating technology is based on convection. It pulls cold air in to the heater, heating them up, and blow out heated air to surroundings. To carry out the whole mechanism of convection, electric fireplaces like these have a heavy machine, by the name of convection heater.
Convection electric fireplaces generally takes longer to warm the room because air is a poor conductor of heat. Secondly the machine warms the air until it reaches uniform temperature due to which the process of expanding the molecules slows down.
Hence, this feature works as minus point for different electric fireplaces, like AKDY Freestanding Electric Heater Fireplace which has different features of keeping the environment safe and having an automatic thermostat, but its only disadvantage is slow heating.
On the bright side, the opposite is true as well. It takes longer to heat up the room, and the heat linger longer after you have turned the heater off.
In comparison, you will instantly feel the difference upon turning on/off an infrared heater.
Besides this, convection heater tend to be louder since it employs an engine to draw and release air in and out of the heater. Although it does depends on the quality & design of heater.
Sound Tech 1: Fire Crackling Sound System
Fire crackler sound system can make the flames more realistic by creating flames like popping and crackling sounds.
The small device of Comfort Fire Crackler Sound System makes the noise, that actual fire makes, by using three AAA batteries which you can adjust by changing volume settings to make loud, slow or medium.
The device is required to be placed in a front box or decoration pocket of an electric fireplace. Comfort sound system, however, lacks automation. Therefore, users are required to switch it on or off manually.
This sound system is portable because of its size. Moreover, it is cheaper than other sound systems.
Comfort costs around $30, but other fire crackler sound systems which might have features of automatic switches and Bluetooth connectivity costs you around $60.
Sound tech 2: Stereo system
The stereo system is larger than fire crackler sound system. This already built-in sound system consist of subwoofers that make the sound louder, auxiliary ports which are compatible with Apple devices and radio as well.
For example, Firefly LED wall mounted electric fireplace has 2.0 stereo speakers that enhance the sound at pace of any music or crackling sound which will be played on it by connecting devices either via Bluetooth, auxiliary ports or using its mobile application.
Stereo system, although is pricier than the previous system, is affordable. The simplest stereo speakers-based fireplace can be purchased for $265 and the feature-filled fireplace which would have better stereo speakers cost around $1000.
Sound tech 3: Sound Reactive Fire
Sound reactive fire technology is just like a stereo system, all the difference lies in the fact that it makes the flame dance & flicker according to the beat.
Currently, Music City Fire is the only fireplace which has this new technology that can make the flames of its different modes to react on music while keeping the controlling the height of its colorful flames which go up and down when that music is played. This fireplace is ideal for residential settings because of its ability to create space for you with its features.
Electric fireplace has came a long way by constantly innovating year after year.
Unlike 10 years ago, electric fireplaces today manages to become more powerful and realistic than before.
I think we can all agree that electric fireplace is better option compared to traditional fireplace, in many cases. Some of the biggest attraction of electric fireplace is safety, eco-friendliness and simplicity