Most things you love about a fire in the fireplace have to do with how they make you feel. You’re surrounded by family and friends. You’re warm and cozy. The romance of the fire far outweighs some of the realities of a fire.

Ashes, hauling wood, smoke in your eyes, and holes burned into your rug probably aren’t your favorite part of the fire experience. That’s why electric fireplaces are so popular. You don’t have to deal with any of the mess and bother of a fire.

Many people wonder whether an electric fireplace can match the romance of a real fire. Sure you don't have to worry about ashes, but are you going to stare into those flames and have that same cozy experience?

Is an Electric Fireplace Worth It?

Electric fireplaces of the past could be distracting because the flames simply didn’t look that real. But the electric fireplaces of today are a totally different story. Your guests may not even notice that they’re not actually looking at a fake flame. You’ll know, of course, but these flames look so good you’ll be too wrapped up in the romantic atmosphere to remember.

Today’s electric fireplaces use a combination of several effects to produce a flame that’s hard to distinguish from the real deal. Here’s the latest technology in realistic flame electric fireplaces.

Wall-mounted electric fireplace.


A combination of LED bulbs, mirrors, refractors, and movement of the light create the best-looking flames in the electric fireplace industry. Reflective surfaces take the light and create an effect that gives the flames a 3D appearance. The more reflection there is, the more depth it creates to the human eye.

LED bulbs are another more recent development in electric fireplaces. They produce superior lighting that allows for better flame effects and more representative color.

The way the light is produced can produce a more realistic experience. Rear-projection flames hide lighting elements for an unobstructed view. The inclusion of ambient lighting and flickering further enhance the flame effect and make it appear more real.


Speaking of color, it is one of the things that helps make an electric fire flame look more realistic. The range of colors can replicate different temperatures of flame (ie: lighter orange is cooler and darker orange is hotter).

The introduction of blue and green to the bottom center of the electric flame mimics how real flames are structured and look. You’ll find yellow, orange, red, blue, and green hues in electric fireplaces today. It’s just as mesmerizing as watching a real fire.

Some models come with adjustable flame colors so you can create a totally different experience. Look for blue, purple, and other colored flames.


Smoke in an electric fireplace? Once again, it’s just an illusion but it adds to the realistic experience. Some models create water vapor then natural currents in the room waft it about just like smoke would.

This technology is simple but ups the realism all the more. It’s one of those features that you’d expect from a real fire. It changes the look and feel of the fire and recreates that cozy atmosphere you want so much.


Some electric fireplaces employ video of a real flame and then use reflection to create a more 3D-looking flame effect. These tiny screens introduce things you don’t get with other electric fireplaces like popping embers and smoke.

The video plays on a seamless loop for endless fireplace enjoyment.


You may see the most realistic flame in the world, but without the sound, your brain will tell you something is missing. Some units come with a built-in fire recording so you can enjoy the crackling and popping of a fire while you sit around your realistic flame effect fireplace.

You can also buy a sound producer for the fireplace separately if yours doesn’t happen to have one built in. Having the sound will up the realism of your fireplace.

The hunt for the most realistic flame for an electric fireplace has only become more interesting as technology advances. We expect to see even more developments in the future. Stay tuned.

Want some recommendations for electric fireplaces with realistic flame effects? Read on.

Realistic Electric Fireplaces