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Do Any Electric Fireplaces Look Real?

Do Any Electric Fireplaces Look Real

If you are reading this article, you’re wondering if an electric fireplace can produce realistic flame effects. After all, what’s the point of owning an electric fireplace if it doesn’t look authentic and creates a burning fire’s ambiance? Only flames that appear to be real fire can relieve stress and put the mind at ease with hypnotic, life-like visuals. A great electric fireplace should closely resemble a wood-burning fire and fool the mind into believing it’s real. Some pull it off in spectacular fashion, but the vast majority fall flat. This guide will help you avoid the latter.

Can electric fireplaces look real?

Very few faux electric fireplaces can achieve photorealistic flames, but most do not. It comes down to the technology used to make the flame effect. This guide will show you how to quickly identify the fireplaces with the most realistic flames and avoid the ones that don’t make the cut. This comprehensive article has been written by an electric fireplace manufacturer’s chief engineer. We’re about to blow the doors wide open and bring to light the dirty secrets of the fireplace industry that other brands don’t want you to know!

Do electric fireplaces look fake?

To be blunt, most of them do look fake and are entirely unrealistic. However, some look incredibly close to the real thing and are a significant game-changer for fireplace enthusiasts who care about the realism of the fire effects. Let’s cut to the chase and discuss the recent outdated technology used to make fake-looking fires and how you can avoid those at all costs while focusing on the real fireboxes

The hidden truth of the electric fireplace industry

Unfortunately, most fireplace manufacturers don’t concentrate on creating realistic flames for their products. They are focused more on building a heater with some sort of glowing fire effect as a secondary consideration. This is mainly due to the low-cost technology that many fireplace manufacturers use to make their fake-looking fire effects, which covers almost everything out there, except for a diamond in the rough. We’ll point you in the right direction so you can spot the critical differences for yourself. 

There are three types of electric fireplaces, and two of those look very fake!

It’s expensive to innovate, and most electric fireplace manufacturers don’t do it. There is a lot to be made by selling the same technology year after year, as research and development are extremely costly and take years to see the light of day. That is if the engineers can get it right at all, which takes a lot of time and money. Most companies fail to bring new products to life because of these complications, and that’s why there are so few fireplace companies out there that make fireplace inserts that look real. For an electric fireplace manufacturer to gamble on the future by placing a bet on realism is rare, but there are a few brave enough to take the risk and try a different approach to making an electric firebox look real.

40-year-old fireplace technology doesn’t cut it in 2022

Most fireplaces use technology developed nearly 40 years ago to make their flames and are long outdated. These mechanical fireplaces work using an inexpensive electric motor to rotate a spindle that reflects led lighting through a flame silhouette and onto a panel behind the log set, making for an artificial fire effect that would never be mistaken for a real flame.

The reality is that moving orange lights shining through a fire-shaped stencil do not replicate the subtle details of the fire, like true-to-life colors, the organic and natural movement of the flames, and subtle but necessary details like rolling wispy smoke and rising burning embers. Old school fireplaces also use outdated IR (infrared) remote control technology when we’re living in a world of Bluetooth and smartphones. Is there anything better?

What about water vapor technology – does that look any better?

Several years ago, Glen Dimplex developed a new technology for fireplaces and labeled the Opti-Myst. This type of wall-mounted electric fireplace replaced the mechanical motor with an ultrasonic fogger. And uses vaporized water as the basis for its flame effect. That gray mist is tinted orange with halogen lights instead of LED lights to look somewhat like a real fire, but not really…

Because this system works with a physical effect, the flames on the Dimplex Opti-Myst look a lot better than the mechanical effects. However, they still leave a lot to be desired regarding the photorealism of an actual fireplace experience. While the Opti-Myst does look much better, it still lacks the details of a real fire, like smoke and burning embers — not to mention the realistic coloring of the flames themselves over the burning logs. Water vapor technology is a step in the right direction. However, it still doesn’t cut it when looking for an ultra-realistic electric fireplace experience that is nearly indistinguishable from the real thing.

Do any electric fireplaces look real?

There are electric fireplaces out there that use a completely different technology developed just a few years ago that are almost indistinguishable from the real thing. It’s incredible how far electric fireplaces have come in the last half-decade. The groundbreaking advances in this industry are genuinely awe-inspiring compared to the half-baked efforts that have been normal until now. There have been a lot of poor-quality electric fireplaces sold by the big box retailers that have made it into too many homes. Still, boutique manufacturers have stepped up their game to create a new breed of electric fireplace that looks nearly indistinguishable from the real thing and creates the ambiance of a real fire. 

How do electric fireplaces look real?

The key to generating realistic flames in an electric fireplace is to move away from the fake mechanical fire effects and transcend into the realm of holographically driven electric fireplaces that are capable of producing 3D flames that are so vivid and so lifelike they can almost be mistaken for an actual wood burning or gas fireplace. It’s an experience that must be seen firsthand to understand just how good a freestanding modern electric fireplace mantel can look in a living room. For a true-to-life experience, a realistic modern electric fireplace will instantly transform any space, become the focal point of conversation, and a mecca for relaxation. 

The secret to making an electric fireplace look real

The secret to producing such a life-like and authentic flame effect starts with a real video of an actual fire from a real fireplace. Then holographically projecting that video of real fire onto an actual log set that sits inside a firebox. Making it possible to look like that log is actually burning. Because these types of holographic fireplaces use actual video of a real fire, the flames’ effects look very realistic because they are real to a large degree. It’s time to sideline outdated mechanical technology, including water vapor mist systems, and embrace the future of electric fireplaces that use holograms instead of motors and mayhem to create a realistic flame that deserves to be the focal point of your home and worth the price of admission. 

Holographic fireplace technology is the game-changer for realism!

With holographic fireplaces, you get all of those subtle details of real, fire-like wispy smoke and burning embers that fool the mind into believing that you are looking at a real fire. Holographic electric fireplaces sample actual fireplace sounds, in addition to flames, and playback the log crackling sounds, along with an authentic fire appearance, for a true-to-life fire experience that’s almost indistinguishable from propane, natural gas, or wood burning fireplace. 

MagikFlame has developed an electric fireplace that looks photorealistic

Technology has come a long way when building electric fireplaces. The new generation with holographic technology, like those by MagikFlame, fills the void for enthusiasts looking for a realistic electric fireplace that mimics the look of a wood-burning fireplace, but without the hassle, and drawbacks, of the traditional fireplace. The MagikFlame HoloFlame truly has to be seen to be believed. You can view videos of the fireplace running on their website, YouTube and Facebook. It’s a sight to behold. But be the judge for yourself and let us know your thoughts.

Does an electric fireplace have real flames?

No, electric fireplaces do not have real flames. However, the best of the bunch using holographic technology look almost as realistic as actual flames without actually setting something on fire. By utilizing safe and efficient holographic technology, modern electric fireplaces in your bedroom look just like the real thing, without an actual ember bed of wood and coal burning.

Can an electric fireplace produce heat?

Most electric fireplaces do contain a heater, but some do not. You will have to check the specific model you are considering. If the unit does have a heater, it will be either fan-forced technology, using a heating element in the form of a coil, with a blower, or a newer infrared quartz-based technology, similar to how the sun heats, using UV light, which is more capable of warming a large living space. Electric fireplaces do not require venting like wood-burning fireboxes. The heat output capacity is measured in a BTU unit, and the higher the number, the more square feet it can warm. Almost all units with a heater also have a thermostat to control the heat settings, so you can really dial in your ideal temperature on chilly nights. 

Are there buying guides for choosing the best electric fireplace?

There are a lot of electric fireplace choices out there, and they come in many forms. Electric fireplaces can take the shape of a Fireplace TV stand; wall-mount electric fireplaces, linear electric fireplaces, and freestanding stoves, to name a few. Some of the big names in electric fireplaces are Dimplex, ClassicFlame, Duraflame, Touchstone, Amantii, and MagikFlame. Most of these can be purchased from a retailer, Amazon, and big-box stores, but some, like MagikFlame, only sell directly to the consumer. But which is the best electric fireplace and why? We’ve answered that question in detail with our comprehensive buying guide, but you can cut right to the chase and find out our pick for the best electric fireplace below.  

What are the most realistic electric fireplaces?

In this day and age, there is no reason to settle for anything less than photorealistic flames. The HoloFlame Fireplace by MagikFlame is a glimpse into the future of what an electric fireplace insert should look like in 2022. It’s the only game in town if realistic flames are what you desire. The fire may not be real in the classical sense. But they are so close you’ll almost be fooled into believing that the fire is real. Therefore the Zen-like experience of relaxing by the fire comes to life in your living room, without the hassle of a traditional wood-burning fireplace with this innovative flame technology. Yes! An electric fireplace can look real.

MagikFlame is NOT affiliated with Dimplex, ClassicFlame, Duraflame, Amantii, or Touchstone.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for general informational purposes only. While we strive to ensure accuracy, there may be errors, omissions, or discrepancies. The author and publisher make no warranties about the accuracy, reliability, or suitability of the information contained herein.

Product specifications and features are subject to change without notice and may vary from actual products available. Readers should consult the manufacturer or retailer directly for the most up-to-date information, installation requirements, safety guidelines, and warranty details.

The author and publisher shall not be liable for any loss, damage, or inconvenience caused by reliance on this information. The use of any information provided is at the reader’s own risk.

Please note that some links may be affiliate links, and we may earn a commission from purchases made through these links. This does not impact our editorial content or recommendations.

For questions or concerns, please contact the manufacturer or retailer directly.

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