The device of the fireplace is one of the interesting interior solutions that give the interior of the house internal warmth, comfort and home appeal. But it is far from always possible to fit a real fireplace into the design. As a rule, this is due to the inability to arrange a chimney, the lack of space for storing firewood and other reasons associated with the use of open fire in the room.
There is nothing difficult to create an imitation of a fireplace without heating in the apartment with your own hands. This will require sheets of drywall, materials for exterior decoration, imagination for the project and a good mood for work. The fake fireplace is ready and all that remains is to fill it with the tongues of an artificial flame, sit in a chair and enjoy the play of light and shadow.
The main task of the illusion of a living fire in the hearth is to form a spectacular, most realistic feeling of a burning flame. Visualization is the main element of the task, but far from the only one. To complete the perception of the picture, not only the visual component is necessary, but also the corresponding crackling and smell of burning panels, as well as the physical sensation of the heat flux. To do this, there are modern techniques for creating a "cold fire" in a false fireplace.
A bit of history
The first experiments to create a safe fire and the conversion of domestic heaters into decorative elements of residential premises have been undertaken for a long time. The sources of this trend include an electric fireplace with a heating ten and a decorative panel. It was made in the form of glowing coals with internal illumination by a conventional incandescent lamp. Similar imitators could be found in the middle of the last century.
Somewhat later, the backlighting was given dynamism. Electrical appliances were equipped with strips of foil, which rose in the streams of warm air and reflected bizarre glare on the body of the device, creating the effect of a flickering flame.
The first successful illusion of a living fire was the cutting of light fabric , swaying in artificial air jets, pumped by a built-in fan. This principle of imitation of open flame languages formed the basis for the further development of the design direction and still has the right to life.
Cold fire, obtained in such a way “in its pure form”, has a sufficient level of entertainment, light flares bizarre and unique change their position in space. But the realism of such an imitation is low, since the picture looks hand-drawn. To add volume and “visual survivability”, an integrated system of mirrors and filters is used, as well as electronic control of the backlight elements.
In addition to the electronic-mechanical methods of creating the effect of a live fire, digital and LCD technologies, cold steam generators, 3D holograms with a stereo effect and other achievements of the modern development of science and technology are widely used in our time.
There are several ways to light a safe fire in an apartment fireplace. Consider them in more detail.
The first way. The simplest
If there is no desire or opportunity to engage in the manufacture of complex electronic-mechanical structures, then you can use the simplest solution to the problem: stick a photographic image of burning firewood into the hearth of the fireplace. To give some semblance of realism, it is necessary to install spotlights with light filters of various colors.
The most low-cost, but no less spectacular, will be the use of an old Christmas tree garland. To do this, mini plafonds inside are finished with reflective foil. The controller built into the garland will allow you to simulate the dynamics of light transmission, as from living flames. To give the picture a visual stereo volume, you can choose a holographic 3D image of an open flame of suitable size.
The second way. Theatrical
As the name implies, this method is borrowed from theatrical props. When it is necessary to start a safe fire according to the plot of the play on the stage, decorators use just such it.
To light a theater fire in a fireplace, it is necessary to stock up on the following elements:
- silent fan of average power;
- halogen lamps;
- color filters of the corresponding shades;
- white silk.
The fan casing is dismantled. Its working part is rigidly fixed in the lower part of your fireplace so that the forced air flows perpendicular to the base. The wiring is laid in the cable channels and displayed outside the fireplace.
Three halogen lamps are mounted below the fan’s working plane: one on the central axis of the fan, two at an angle of 30 degrees in each direction. The direction of light on the future focus should be from the bottom up.
As brackets for fixtures, you can use the remains of a bent metal profile for GCR. At a distance of 1-2 cm in front of each lamp, light filters are attached. It is additionally recommended to put a blue filter on the central lamp, this will give the flame more exotic glare.
The next stage is the imitation of flames. Future flames of irregular shape are cut from white silk and are mounted on the fan grill in an "artistic mess."
The open fire simulator is ready to go. It remains to adjust the fan power, the angle of the filters and fill up the artificial parts of the hearth with purchased birch charcoal.
The third way. Water vapor
This method of simulating open fire is an order of magnitude more complicated than the previous one. It will require very specific equipment and minimal skills in working with electronics.
For this technical solution, the following is required:
- a fan from the system unit of a personal computer;
- ultrasonic fog generator;
- LED lights;
- DMX decoder and DMX controller for controlling light fixtures;
- materials for the installation of artificial fire elements;
- distilled water.
All of these devices can be purchased at retail or dismantled from old concert equipment that creates a vapor effect.
Fog generators are installed at the bottom of the sealed container for distilled water. Each generator in its design assumes a membrane, which, due to high-frequency vibration, creates a local reduced pressure. In conditions of low pressure, water evaporates at a temperature close to room temperature.
The fan is rigidly mounted in the zone of active evaporation and drives the generated steam up. LED backlighting, controlled by a decoder and a controller, creates a very realistic visual feeling of the play of light and shadow of living flame languages.
In the lower part of the fireplace hearth, the vapor is highlighted more strongly and there is a sensation of the presence of an open flame. At the top - the backlight is less intense and an illusion of smoke is created.
To prevent the formation of excess condensate, a diaphragm is installed in the upper part of the focus.
The fourth way. The use of salt shade
Salt electric lamp is a specific electric lamp. The plafond is made of a natural crystal - salt. Under such a ceiling, a conventional incandescent lamp is installed. Passing through the edges of the crystal at different angles, the light flux is refracted and looks very realistically reminiscent of the game of living flames.
Using shades of different colors, a realistic imitation of live fire is created. And using lamps with different configurations and sizes, a small bonfire is easily imitated.
This method has its advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages include simplicity in the manufacture of such an illusion, its realism. In addition, when heated from an incandescent lamp, a salt shade saturates the surrounding air with negative ions. This leads to the neutralization of positive ions, which has a positive effect on the health of its owners.
The disadvantages of this method include the very significant price of such devices and their infrequent appearance on the market.
The fifth way. TV instead of live fire
Using a flat-panel LCD TV in a fireplace is one of the simplest technical solutions to the problem. But, it should be noted, far from low cost.
If the choice falls on this method of “kindling” an artificial flame in a fireplace, then first it makes sense to choose an LCD TV, and only then, based on its size, mount the fireplace body. The TV screen is installed at a recess of 10-12 cm in the hearth of the fireplace. Its plastic frame is hidden by decorative elements.
Through the USB port built into the TV, the recording found on the Internet is played on the screen. Depending on your mood and environment, you can choose one of several entries: a play of flames, smoldering embers or a bright bonfire. The selected record with repeated repetition will serve as an imitation of live fire in the hearth.
If we arrange a system of mirrors and filters on the inner planes, then the picture will visually acquire volume and will look very natural.
Decorative firewood for fireplaces
To give a finished look to a fireplace under a cold fire, it is necessary to “enclose” firewood and coals. On the windows of specialized stores there is a huge selection of decorative firewood made of plastic or ceramic. Such models accurately repeat the texture of dry or partially burnt wood. Imitation, bought or made by yourself, will turn the hearth into the center of home warmth and coziness.
In order to obtain more realism, a backlight with red filters is installed under the wood display. In more expensive versions of decorative firewood, internal illumination with a non-repeating flicker cycle is provided.
To impart integrity to the picture, it is recommended to fill in small gaps between decorative firewood with natural charcoal.
The aroma of a burning fireplace
Visualization of tongues of a burning flame is the main, most time-consuming and expensive part of the device of a false fireplace. But the feeling of contact with warmth and comfort will be incomplete without the specific smell of burning firewood.
To achieve this effect is not difficult. You can choose the right option from oriental incense. There is a chance to get a more realistic smell from the burning of thin bends, but in this case, you need to take care of fire safety.
If you set a goal to get the most realistic artificial fireplace for yourself, then it is better to hide the combustion chamber under the outer panel of the fireplace in a closed niche. It must be equipped with forced ventilation based on a computer fan with a smell output into the fireplace.
Crackling dry logs
The characteristic sound of burning panels is also a necessary component of a realistic simulation of live fire. To achieve this effect, it is enough to record the crack of a real bonfire in the memory of an mp3 player, adjust the sound volume to a natural level, set the auto-play mode for recording and turn on the player in the general electrical circuit of the fireplace. In this case, when the "fire" is lit, artificial firewood will simultaneously begin to crackle.
Real heat from cold fire
In conclusion of the article, I would like to doubt the reality of the fireplace without the enveloping heat flux emanating from it. The easiest solution would be an air conditioner suspended above the fireplace, but the characteristic sound of its work is likely to spoil the whole picture. Small silent air heaters installed in the firebox of a false fireplace will allow not only to enjoy the realism of illusion, but also to warm your cold hands over the tongues of a cold flame.
See how to make a decorative fireplace with your own hands in the video below.