Out of all the units on the market, I chose to install the Dimplex Revillusion in my own home. Below, I explain why, and what I think about it now.
Why I Chose an Electric Fireplace…
I used to have an ancient wood-burning insert in my fireplace that looked atrocious – plus it didn’t even work. I wanted to replace it, but didn’t know if I should stick with wood burning or go with gas, electric or even pellet.
There were so many factors to consider – installation cost, operating cost, maintenance, ease of use, look, etc.. The more I researched and compared, the more I liked electric fireplaces.
1. Low Maintenance Fireplace
First of all, these low maintenance inserts require virtually no cleaning. Although I enjoy the look, smell and sound of a wood fire, I liked the idea of skipping chimney cleanings and continual ash removal. At most, faux logs might need a light dusting every so often.
2. Easy, Fast & Cheap Installation
Second, electric units don’t need venting, gas lines or even a chimney. This makes installation much cheaper, easier and faster. Plus, you typically don’t need a permit.
3. No Fireplace Emissions
Third, LED flames don’t produce air-polluting smoke. If you live in an area that regularly has burning restrictions, this becomes even more of a decision-maker.
4. Use Fireplace With or Without Heat
Fourth, electric fireplaces can run with or without heat. Therefore, you can lower your operating cost while still enjoying the flickering ambiance. I even plan to use mine in the summer for added ambiance while not having to heat up the house.
But Could I Really Find a Realistic Electric Fireplace?
Before I made my final decision, I needed to find a unit that produced flames that actually looked real. You know what I mean. Most $200 models simply don’t look realistic.
In addition to watching videos online, asking lots of questions and speaking with sellers, I visited plenty of showrooms. I needed to see the flames (and logs and embers) for myself.
What I Chose: I ended up choosing the Dimplex Revillusion electric fireplace insert. Here is the 30″ version. The flickering flames looked pretty realistic a few feet away, and at a 10-foot distance, I can’t tell whether it’s gas or electric.
By the way, you can install these either in a wall or within an existing fireplace. Furthermore, you can purchase or build a mantel around it to create the illusion of a built-in fireplace.
This model has the traditional logs I wanted, plus a herringbone brick-looking background which adds to the realistic appearance. I also like the fact that this fireplace looks great even when it is off.
In addition, the insert includes a convenient built-in heater with fan. I can quickly heat a room if I want.
Fireplace Size Options:
Complete Dimplex Revillusion Electric Fireplace Review:
Now that I have the unit installed and operating, I can tell you exactly how my decision turned out. In short: I love it!
1. Was Installation Difficult?
Installation was super easy (Just like they said – imagine that!). In fact, the package comes with the insert with wires and a remote control. Simply connect the wiring, slide the fireplace into place and your project is done.
By the way, do you already have an electrical outlet (I’d suggest plugging in to a dedicated circuit)? You can purchase a plug-in accessory that converts the wires to a 3-prong plug. This way, you don’t have to hard-wire your unit.
2. Are the Flames Realistic?
Yes, the flames look real, especially at night from 8-10 feet away. When I stand up close (about 1 foot), I can look down between the logs and see the LED light. Then, it doesn’t look authentic.
I’m not sure exactly how Dimplex gets the flames to look so real. They flicker sporadically with no noticeable pattern, even when I starred at them =).
However, I do know that they use a mirrored/frosted acrylic panel to make the flames look like they are coming out from between the logs. They call it the “Mirage™ Flame Panel” because it shows only dazzling flames and no reflections. Most other units reflect the flame image onto the back wall of the fireplace, making it appear not-so-real.
Side Note: The most unrealistic part of the insert is the ember bed. It looks like molded plastic. To solve this problem, I purchased a bag of lava rock from Lowe’s and placed it around the edges of the plastic-looking lava. It looks great now, and this simple fix cost me less than $10.
3. Pros & Cons of the Fireplace Heater:
The heater works quickly (within 30 seconds) and starts blowing out warm air through the top front vent. However, the air blows upward. Therefore, if you sit on the floor in front of the logs, you won’t feel the warm air blowing on you.
The vent runs across the top front of the fireplace and is barely noticeable. Compared to other infrared units, it does not shine a red light when operating. So, besides the sound of the fan blowing, it is very discreet.
The fan does not sound excessively loud. However, you can hear it, and it does sound like a fan. As a result, if I want a more realistic fireplace experience (and I don’t need the heat), I just turn off the heater.
The big advantage to not using the heating aspect of the fireplace is that you are only paying to power the LED bulb. This basically costs pennies per hour. Plus, you can use it year-round!
4. What About the Cost?
The Dimplex Revillusion costs more than many similar-sized models. I attribute this to the high-tech design and the powerful heater. In my opinion, this realistic electric fireplace is well worth the additional cost.
Plus, this insert helped me save money in several ways.
- First, I did not have to extend a gas line to the fireplace (or pay for a permit).
- Second, wiring took under an hour, and I didn’t have to pay a contractor for several hours of work.
- Third, I can run the unit without heat and probably save thousands of dollars for years to come…
5. Should You Get Glass Fireplace Doors?
I did not purchase the glass front or glass door accessories. Personally, I like the open feel. Also, I wanted to save about $250.
That said, you can buy these add-ons separately and prevent dust from settling on the logs (if that’s even a problem). The glass doors may even create a more real-looking fireplace.
|Wiring||Hardwire or get optional Plug-In Kit|
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