ALMOST BETTER THAN THE REAL THING
Driven by an electric fan, flame-effect heaters were noisy, with plastic logs. A mechanical device rotated around a light bulb to achieve the “flicker” – not very convincing.
LCD technology allows an electric fire to look and sound a lot more like the real McCoy. Take the Puraflame range from The Fireplace (see above middle): a video of a real flame is projected onto a LCD screen and the makers have even added a crackling sound to soothe the senses. At the touch of a button you can order up the flame speed and height or adjust the sound volume. Plus there are whizz-bang extras such as moodenhancing backlights in three different colours to help you set the scene. The fire has a heat output of up to 2kW.