History of the Electric Fireplace

The history of electric fireplaces is more interesting, and perhaps a bit longer than some might think at first. From its belittling introduction to the majestic marble mantle-clad wonders of today, knowing this history will make you unable to look at your electric fireplace the same way again.

Humble Origins Among the Stars

Traversing the ages, fire has been a common theme in man’s journey and advancement, especially in technological improvements. While the electric fireplace sits relatively late in the table of harnessing fire, it can claim to be an important innovation, rightly deserving to be made a part of the modern home. But for the first electric fires in 1912, the play was their restriction.

First Electric Fireplaces in Theater Productions

Electric fires were first used in theatre productions like this one – By Central Litho. & Eng. Co. (signed) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons; available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID var.1527.; image is a reproduction, also in the public domain.

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Do electric fireplaces really work?

Staying warm can be done efficiently, affordably, and aesthetically through the use of an electric fireplace. It’s commonly and incorrectly assumed that electric fireplaces can’t produce any heat; however, many models can produce anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 British Thermal Units (BTU’s) of heat. This may not be enough to warm your entire home, but it is certainly enough heat to warm up a small apartment or an entire home living room.

Dimplex Prism Wall Mount Electric Fireplace

The best-selling electric linear fireplace just got better with the all new Prism Series. View the all new Dimplex Prism Wall Mount Electric Fireplace with 4,198 BTUs.

What is an Electric Fireplace?

An electric fireplace is a heater that uses electricity to work, rather than a traditional fireplace that burns coal, wood, or natural gas. The electric fireplace is present in many modern homes, as it is better for the environment while also just as effective and aesthetic as the traditional counterpart.
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The Optiflame® Fire by Dimplex

Patented electric flame technology is at our fingertips in the Dimplex Optiflame® fire effect. This world-renowned electric flame can be seen in many Dimplex products, including the latest electric inserts and wall fireplaces.

Electric fireplaces were brought to life by Dimplex, when the Optiflame® was incorporated into the very first fireplaces on the market. Since then, the company has been consistently made the effect even more realistic year after year.

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How Electric Fireplaces Work

Whether you’re the current or soon-to-be owner of an electric fireplace, you’ve probably asked yourself, “how do electric fireplaces work.” It doesn’t take a physicist or electrical engineer to know this marvel, so let the experts at PortableFireplace.com teach you how electric fireplaces and electric inserts work.

Classic Flame Cannes Espresso Electric Fireplace TV Stand 23MM378-E451

Classic Flame Cannes Espresso Electric Fireplace TV Stand – $663.99 with Free Shipping

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Electric Fireplace Warranties

Electric Fireplace Warranties

Graphics created using Piktochart

Being knowledgeable about your electric fireplace’s warranty will make it easier for you to resolve any technical issues quickly. By being able to solve any problems that you may have, you’ll be able to be fully satisfied with any product that you own. Here’s the Portable Fireplace guide to the warranty information you need on your electric fireplace.
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The 5 Most Realistic Electric Fireplaces in 2018

Modern electric fireplaces feature realistic flames that have been able to simulate the charm of robust crackling flames in amazing fashion. Technology and innovation have led to various optical techniques that have created some of the most realistic electric fireplaces on the market. Everything from LED lighting, hologram images, and videos of actual wood burning fireplaces have been used in search of the most realistic electric fireplace.

Most realistic electric fireplace

Soot, smoke, and the sound of crackling wood—the most realistic electric fireplaces come with features like this in order to give you an experience that’s as close as possible to the real thing. This list of five of the most realistic models of 2018 demonstrates the range of technologies being used today to create that ambiance. Expect to find glowing embers, soot-stained brick backgrounds, and—of course—realistic flickering flames.

While detailed information on new innovations provides technical backing, we’ve included videos to let you see just how real electric fireplaces can look. Seeing is believing!

The Most Realistic Electric Fireplace

Sourcing a quality electric fireplace can be difficult if not impossible. You have to travel to a specialty store to find engineered fireplaces that don’t just aim to meet your budget without any regard for durability and heating capacity.

We’ve put together this list of The 5 Most Realistic Electric Fireplaces to showcase some of the most revolutionary products. Each of the units on this list were carefully chosen after being reviewed based upon flame simulation, sound, and other unique criteria.

1.) Dimplex Revillusion Built-In Firebox (43.25”)

This electric fireplace from Dimplex comes with all sorts of hyper-realistic features that make it look just like a genuine wood fireplace. The Revillusion flame technology creates large, bright flames that flicker organically from hardwood-cast logs that glow like the real thing and rest in a full-size grate. The brick background even has natural soot marks, making it look even more authentic. Enjoy the ambiance, warmth, and comfort of a wood-burning fireplace with zero carbon emissions.

Dimplex Revillusion Electric Fireplace

2.) Dimplex Prism Wall Mount Fireplace (74”)

The Prism series from Dimplex takes an already top-selling electric linear fireplace and makes it even better. The company’s patented LED technology gives the Dimplex Prism incredibly lifelike flames. Install right into your wall and enjoy supplemental heat for a room of up to 400 square feet. While the flames make this one of the most realistic electric fireplaces in 2018, you can also turn it on Prism mode to have the bed of acrylic ice embers glow in a variety of rainbow colors.

Dimplex Prism Fireplace

3.) Dimplex Optimyst II Insert (28”)

The Dimplex Optimyst II Insert gets its name from the real mist that rises from the logs, which reflects light to create the illusion of real smoke. This, combined with the pulsating embers of hand-crafted logs, make this one of the most realistic electric fireplaces of 2018. Place this insert in an existing fireplace, and you’ll fool all your friends into thinking the flames are real. The Dimplex Optimyst does not give off heat, meaning you can use it to provide instant ambiance even in the warmest weather.

Dimplex Optimyst II Electric Fireplace

4.) Dimplex Opti-V Duet Fireplace Insert (54.25”)

The Opti-V Duet from Dimplex is another incredibly realistic electric fireplace. Three-dimensional logs glow with LED technology, but the best part is that they periodically sparkle and crack! With the Opti-V Duet, you can enjoy not only the look of a real fireplace but the sound of one, too, with the crackling sounds it gives off. The company’s patented LED flame technology is also used to create hyperreal electric flames. This is not only one of the most realistic electric fireplaces in 2018; it is one of the most realistic electric fireplaces of all time.

Dimplex Opti-V Duet Electric Fireplace

5.) Dimplex Ignite XL Linear Electric Fireplace (100”)

If you’re looking for a large, sleek, realistic electric fireplace for a large space, then look no further than the Dimplex Ignite XL. This trim-free model can be installed seamlessly into stone, brick, and more to give your room a refined contemporary vibe. The 100” model can also provide heat for a space of up to 1000 square feet, or it can be used in heat-free mood for ambiance on warmer days. Dimplex’s signature LED technology creates incredibly realistic flames with none of the maintenance or carbon emissions.

Dimplex Ignite Electric Fireplace

Honarable Mentions: Rounding out the Top 10

You’ve just seen our top picks for 2018. Below is a list of additional fireplaces that deserve an honorable mention that are worth considering as well.

6.) Dimplex Optimyst Electric Fireplace – 3D Flame complete with Ash and Pulsating Embers – $949-$2,249

Dimplex has been at the forefront of the electric fireplace industry for years. They virtually birthed the industry into existence with the invention of Patented 3D Flame Technology back in 1995. The Dimplex Optimyst uses Ultrasonic Technology to create a virtual flame that is accompanied by a water vapor that gives off the appearance of smoke. This is the first ever of its kind.

Patented Optiglo LED Logs create an authentic fire around the hearth as hand-finished logs pulsate with a vibrancy that is visually alluring. Above you can see a visual demonstration to see just how realistic this electric fireplace looks! Just last year Dimplex unveiled 5 unique Optimyst models. Below is the 28” Dimplex Optimyst II Insert that has been upgraded and fine-tuned to create the illusion of fire and smoke. This unit is Available for Purchase online from Portable Fireplace.com!

28 inch Dimplex Optimyst II Insert

The 28″ Dimplex Optimyst II Insert uses Patented Optiglo Technology to produce pulsating logs. Ultrasonic Technology creates a virtual vapor that simulates the appearance of smoke rising off of a fire. Available from Portable Fireplace.com.


View a complete list of Dimplex Opti-Myst Electric Fireplaces here.

7.) Multi-Fire XD Firebox – $799-$1,249

The Multi-Fire XD is an all new fireplace that has the ability to produce 7 types of fires. The Multi Fire XD displays flames that look like a natural wood burning fire, gas flames, and a kaleidoscope of colored flames. You also have the ability to set your own custom theme to create the flame display of your choice.

The Multi-Fire XD has two firebox options; log set and acrylic ember bed. The Realogs Set comes with the latest 2nd generation patented inner glow technology. The logs are actually molded from hand selected firewood so they don’t just look like fake logs. They actually glow with burning embers that simulate the way that real wood burning fires look.

The acrylic ember bed givs off the fire and ice effect. It’s ideal for modern and contemporary home settings. The Multi-Fire XD also comes with gWave technology that allows you to control your fire with the wave of a hand. Best of all, it’s the most energy efficient electric fireplace, operating at 11% below the consumption rates of conventional electric fireplaces.

Dimplex 26 Inch Multi-Fire XD Firebox

The 26″ Dimplex Multi-Fire XD™ Electric Fireplace Insert shown with Acrlyic Ice Media Bed. Available from Portable Fireplace.com

*** View All available Sizes by visiting this page.***


8.) Dimplex Opti-V – $3,699-$5,699

The Opti-V is arguably the latest and greatest electric fireplace on the market. Awarded the Vesta Award for Best Electric Product at the 2013 Hearth Industry Trade Show, this electric unit continues to push the envelope of innovation. When LCD TV’s were all the rage, many were stunned to realize how much LED TV’s could improve visual performance. In a similar fashion, the Opti-V has set a new standard and raised the bar completely.

The Opti-V uses some of the latest in Electric Flame Technology.  This model is purely aesthetic and does not provide heat.  Dimplex has been able to capture the realistic sound of a crackling fire, glowing embers, and smoke in an imaginative new product that expands the horizon. Watch the short video clip below to see what Trade Show attendees had to say about the Opti-V when they witnessed it in person.

Dimplex Opti-V is the most realistic electric fireplace on the market

The Dimplex Opti-V is the most realistic electric fireplace on the market. Above is the Opti-V Solo, the single version.

***The Opti-V will be available in the Fall of 2014 is now available!***

Opti-V Double by Dimplex

This is the Opti-V Duet, a wider version of the above Opti-V Single. Click on the picture to view product page.


9.) Purifire Electric Fireplace – $999-$2,249

The Purifire Electric Fireplace comes with the same great flame technology that Dimplex is known for. What makes the Purifire special is that it actually doubles as an air purifier. The Purifire is available in 11 different models, providing up to 5,120 BTU’s which is more than enough to heat a large 20’ x 20’ room. While heating your home, it removes mold, pollen, danger and other household allergens that pollute the air inside your home.

The Purifire Electric Fireplace allows you to adjust the speed of the flame to create a slow burning, romantic fireplace or switch to a rich and robust fire that fills the room.

View all Purifire Electric Fireplaces.

10.) Chambord Electric Fireplace from Ambella Home -$3,234

Ambella Home is a well-known brand in the Home Furnishing Industry and for good reason. Their expertise, craftsmanship, and design have all been duly noted in everything from family dining tables to bathroom vanities. The Chambord Electric Fireplace is set with flickering logs that behave in the same manner that real flames would. This deep inner glow is what gives this electric fireplace such a realistic appearance.

You can also adjust your flame to create the type of fire that is fitting. Flame Action Control allows you to adjust the size and speed of dancing flames at the click of a button. This is one of the most realistic electric fireplaces on the market and it comes with a handsome Mahogany Mantel. Available on Portable Fireplace.com for $3,234.00 with Free Shipping! Learn more here!

53.5 inch Chambord Electric Fireplace

The 53.5″ Chambord Electric Fireplace is one of the most realistic fireplaces in 2014. Surrounded in beauty with a gorgeous mahogany mantel.


Which One is the Best?

So, that’s all good and great but which one is the most realistic?

  • If you are solely looking for the most realistic then the Opti-Myst is hands down the most realistic electric fireplace on the market. Not only because of the flame effect but the water vapor technology that simulates smoke. It combines all of the best features rolled into one amazing display.
  • The Opti-Virtual is the most realistic display unit. I say display unit because the Opti-V does not produce heat. All of the technology for this fireplace was invested in producing the most realistic flame display. It’s ideal for commercial venues where it’s not intended to provide heat but rather set the tone with a romantic and glowing ambiance.
  • The Multi-Fire XD provides customization and variety. You can make the flames change red, blue, purple, and green. The flame display is very realistic but it is a bit more contemporary in the sense that the flames are even more colorful than traditional fireplaces.
  • Although the Purifire isn’t the most realistic on this list, it is an option if you’re interested in indoor air quality. That’s not to say that it has a poor flame display; by no means. It still has LED logs with patented inner glow technology with pulsating embers. The logs are hand finished so they don’t have a manufactured look. Craftsmen add an artistic touch meaning that no two logs are the same.

Portable Fireplace.com is a specialty dealer of realistic electric fireplaces. We carry the top brands including Dimplex, Ambella Home, Classic Flame, and Southern Enterprises.

To view our entire selection, Visit our Homepage to find the Lowest Prices Guaranteed. We offer Free Shipping anywhere in the lower 48 states.

More of the Latest Electric Fireplaces

  1. The Complete Collection of Dimplex Opti-Myst Fireplaces
  2. Best Electric Fireplace Inserts Under $500 – Bang for Your Buck
  3. New Infrared Electric Fireplace Inserts from Classic Flame
  4. 6 Electric Fireplaces with Hidden Drawers

About the Author
Megan Meyer is an interior design consultant focusing on crisp modern interiors with a tinge of retro styling. She offers design and consulting services for residential and commercial spaces. Follow her for fool proof design tips for everyday homeowners.

Top 10 Remote Control Electric Fireplaces

One of the greatest benefits of electric fireplaces is its simplicity. No logs to replace, no ash to clean, no worry of stray embers—these are just a few of the many ways electric fireplaces make cozy living easier than ever. But the greatest convenience fits in the palm of your hand. Remote control electric fireplaces transform your environment with the ambient warmth of a fire from the comfort of your couch (preferably with a hot cocoa in hand).

Woman using an electric fireplace remote from the couch

Photography by Luke Wisley

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Oak Electric Fireplaces

Why Electric Fireplaces?

Traditional fireplaces have served as the focal point of any room for centuries now. A source of warmth and light, they’ve become comfort zones in their own right. Nowadays, they are the focal point of countless problems. The space, the maintenance and the pollutants are all contributing factors to the rising trend of electric fireplaces. Electric fireplaces provide the architectural ambience and warmth of conventional fireplaces but with less cost, less maintenance and a smaller carbon footprint.

Why Oak Electric Fireplaces?

Oak has been a popular choice for both conventional and electric fireplaces for many reasons. The rich color and grain markings bring a traditional feel to even the most modern electric fireplaces while its strength and durability ensure a lasting investment. Even the smallest apartment and condos can now enjoy the luxury of an oak fireplace with all the convenience electric offers.

3 Key Things to Consider Before Purchasing Your Oak Electric Fireplace

1. Space

It is important for you to evaluate the space you have available for your new fireplace prior to shopping. Not only should you be measuring floor space, but wall space as well. Many electric fireplaces come with aesthetic accents like carved pillars or oversized mantles. Some will even feature storage options like built-in shelves or TV stands.

Corinth Oak Electric Fireplace

This 42” Corinth Premium Oak Electric Fireplace can double as an entertainment center with built-in shelves and a multi-functional wall or corner set up. Click to learn more.

2. Heating Needs

This comes down to both the size of the room and your local climate. Most portable electric heaters have the capacity to heat a 400 square foot room from 50 to 70 degrees. While this would provide ample power to chase off Autumn drafts, it might not be up to the task of keeping a large rec room warm in more extreme temperatures.

Faircrest Oak Electric Fireplace with Stone Look

This 45.5″ Faircrest Stone Look Electric Fireplace is a good blend of both classic and modern. The geometric carved embellishments on the mantle provide a contemporary feel while the interior brick design adds a certain rustic charm. Click to learn more.

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Electric Fireplaces that Heat 1,000 sq ft Spaces

We know you want heat and lots of it. That’s why PortableFireplace.com has curated this list of electric fireplace heaters that heat up to 1,000 sq ft. Browse electric fireplace inserts and electric fireplace tv stands to find a fireplace that not only looks nice but also gets the job done.

One thing to point out is that quartz infrared heaters put out the most heat. These electric heaters use quartz technology to emit nearly double the standard heating capacity (400 sq ft) of normal electric fireplaces.

28″ Spectrafire+ Infrared Quartz Electric Fireplace Insert – 28II200GRA

28" Spectrafire+ Infrared Quartz Electric Fireplace Insert - 28II200GRA

28″ Spectrafire+ Infrared Quartz Electric Fireplace Insert – 28II200GRA

Price: $519.99
Heating Capacity: 1,000 sq ft
BTUs: 5,200
Watts: 1,500 Watts

Related: 25″ Spectrafire+ Infrared Electric Fireplace Insert – 25II310GRA

23” Classic Flame Infrared Spectrafire+ Electric Fireplace Insert – 23II210GRA
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Electric Fireplace Safety Made Simple

Electric fireplaces are touted for energy efficiency but are they safe? This page will answer all of your questions regarding the safety of electric fireplaces and electric fireplace inserts. Click on one of the questions below to jump to the answer you’re looking for. Be sure to check out the built-in safety features offered in select models at the end of this page.

Electric Fireplace Safety

Are electric fireplaces safe?

Can electric fireplaces sit on carpet?

Is it safe to put an electric fireplace directly against a wall?

Do electric fireplaces need to be vented?

Does the front glass on an electric fireplace get hot?

Do electric fireplaces cause indoor air pollution?

Do I need a permit to install an electric fireplace?

Is it safe to leave an electric fireplace on overnight?

Can I use an extension cord to connect my electric fireplace?

Do municipal burn regulations apply to electric fireplaces?

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