2023 Author: Beatrice Philips | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 03:41
The device of the fireplace is one of the interesting interior solutions that give the interior decoration of the dwelling internal warmth, coziness and homelike 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, lack of space for storing firewood and other reasons associated with the use of an open fire in the room.
There is nothing difficult to create an imitation of a fireplace without heating in an apartment with your own hands . This will require sheets of drywall, materials for outdoor decoration, imagination for the project and a good mood for work. The false fireplace is ready and all that is left is to fill it with tongues of artificial flame, sit in an armchair and enjoy the play of light and shadow.
The main task of the illusion of 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 at hand, but far from the only one. For the full perception of the picture, not only the visual component is necessary, but also the corresponding crackle and smell of burning panels, as well as a physical sensation of the heat flow. For this, there are modern techniques for creating a "cold fire" in a false fireplace.
A bit of history
The first experiments in creating a safe fire and turning household heaters into decorative elements for living quarters have been undertaken for a long time. The origins of this trend include an electric fireplace with a heating shade and a decorative panel. It was made in the form of glowing coals with internal illumination with a conventional incandescent lamp. Similar imitators could be found in the middle of the last century.
A little later, the backlight was given dynamism. Electrical appliances were equipped with strips of foil that rose in streams of warm air and reflected bizarre reflections on the body of the device, creating the effect of a flickering flame.
The first successful illusion of living fire was the cutting of lightweight fabric .swaying in artificial air jets pumped by a built-in fan. This principle of simulating open flames formed the basis for the further development of the design direction and still has the right to life.
Cold fire, obtained in this way "in its pure form", has a sufficient level of entertainment, light reflections whimsically and uniquely change their position in space. But the realism of such an imitation is low, since the picture looks like a hand-drawn one. To add volume and "visual vitality", a built-in system of mirrors and light filters is used, as well as electronic control of backlighting elements.
In addition to electronic and mechanical methods of creating a live fire effect, digital and LCD technologies, cold steam generators, 3D holograms with a stereo effect and other achievements of modern development of science and technology are widely used nowadays.
There are several ways to light a safe fire in an apartment fireplace. Let's consider them in more detail.
Method one. Simplest
If there is no desire or opportunity to engage in the manufacture of a complex electronic-mechanical structure, then the simplest solution to the problem can be used: to paste a photographic image of burning firewood into the fireplace hearth. To give some semblance of realism, it is necessary to install spotlights with filters of different colors.
The lowest cost, but no less effective, will be the use of an old Christmas tree garland . For this, mini-shades are finished with reflective foil from the inside. The controller built into the garland will simulate the dynamics of light transmission, as from living flames. To give the picture a visual stereo volume, you can select a holographic 3D image of an open fire of a suitable size.
Method two. Theatrical
As the name implies, this method is borrowed from theatrical props. When, according to the plot of the play, it is necessary to make a safe fire on the stage, the decorators use just such a fire.
To light a theater fire in a fireplace, you need to stock up on the following elements:
- a silent fan of medium power;
- halogen lamps;
- color filters of appropriate shades;
- white silk.
The fan casing is dismantled. Its working part is rigidly attached to the bottom of your fireplace so that the blown air flows perpendicular to the base. The electrical wiring is laid in cable channels and led out of the fireplace.
Three halogen lamps are mounted below the working plane of the fan: one along the central axis of the fan, two at an angle of 30 degrees to each side. The direction of light to the future hearth should be from bottom to top.
Remains of a bent metal profile for gypsum boards can be used as brackets for lamps. At a distance of 1-2 cm in front of each lamp, light filters are attached. It is additionally recommended to put a blue light filter on the central luminaire, this will give the flame more exotic glare.
The next step is to simulate flames. Future flames of irregular shape are cut from white silk and attached to the fan grill in "artistic disorder".
An open fire simulator is ready for use. It remains to adjust the fan power, the angle of inclination of the filters and fill the artificial parts of the hearth with purchased birch charcoal.
Method three. Water vapor
This method of simulating open fire is an order of magnitude more complicated than the previous one. This requires very specific equipment and minimal electronics skills.
This technical solution requires the following:
- fan from the system unit of a personal computer;
- ultrasonic fog generator;
- LED lamps;
- DMX decoder and DMX controller for controlling lighting devices;
- materials for the installation of artificial fire elements;
- distilled water.
All of these devices can be purchased at retail or removed from old concert equipment that creates a steam effect.
Mist generators are installed at the bottom of a sealed container for distilled water. Each generator in its design assumes a membrane, which, due to high-frequency vibration, creates a local reduced pressure. Under low pressure conditions, water evaporates at temperatures close to room temperature.
The fan is rigidly mounted in the zone of active evaporation and drives the generated steam upwards . LED backlighting, controlled by a decoder and controller, creates a very realistic visual feeling of the play of light and shadow of living flames.
In the lower part of the fireplace, the steam is illuminated more strongly and there is a feeling of the presence of an open flame. At the top, the illumination is less intense and creates the illusion of smoke.
To prevent the formation of excessive condensation, a diaphragm is installed in the upper part of the hearth.
Method four. Salt shade application
An electric salt lamp is a specific electric lamp. The plafond is made of natural crystal - salt. A conventional incandescent lamp is installed under such a shade. Passing through the edges of the crystal at different angles, the light flux is refracted and outwardly very realistic resembles the play of living tongues of flame.
Using shades of different colors, a realistic imitation of living fire is created. And using lamps with different configurations and sizes, a small fire is easily imitated.
This method has its advantages and disadvantages
The advantages include the simplicity in the manufacture of such an illusion, its realism. In addition, when heated from an incandescent lamp, the salt cover 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 free market.
The fifth method. TV instead of live fire
Using a flat-panel LCD TV in a fireplace is one of the most technically simple options for solving the problem. But, it should be noted, it is far from low-cost.
If the choice falls on this method of "kindling" an artificial flame in the fireplace, then at first it makes sense to pick up an LCD TV, and only then, based on its size, mount the fireplace body. The TV screen is installed on a 10-12 cm recess in the fireplace hearth. Its plastic frame is hidden by decorative elements.
A recording found on the Internet is played on the screen through the USB port built into the TV. Depending on your mood and surroundings, you can choose one of several recordings: the play of tongues of flame, embers or a bright fire. The selected recording with multiple repetitions will serve as an imitation of a live fire in the hearth.
If a system of mirrors and light filters is arranged along 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 the fireplace under a cold fire, it is necessary to "put" wood and coals. On the windows of specialty stores, there is a huge selection of decorative firewood made of plastic or ceramics. Such dummies exactly repeat the texture of a dry or partially burnt tree. Imitation, purchased or made by hand, will turn the hearth into a center of home warmth and comfort.
In order to obtain more realism, a backlight with red light filters is installed under the wood-burning layout . In the more expensive versions of decorative firewood, an internal lighting with a non-repeating flickering cycle is provided.
To give the picture integrity, it is recommended to fill small gaps between decorative firewood with natural charcoal.
The aroma of a burning fireplace
The visualization of tongues of burning flame is the main, most laborious and expensive part of the false fireplace device. But the sensations of contact with warmth and comfort will be incomplete without the specific smell of burning wood.
It is not difficult to achieve this effect. You can choose a suitable option from oriental incense. There is a chance to get a more realistic smell from burning thin splinters, but in this case, you need to take care of fire safety.
If you have set yourself the goal of getting 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 the release of odor into the hearth of the fireplace.
Crackling dry logs
The characteristic sound of burning panels is also a necessary component of a realistic imitation of live fire. To achieve this effect, it is enough to record the crackle of a real fire in the memory of an mp3 player, adjust the sound volume to a natural level, set the recording autoplay mode and include the player in the general electrical circuit of the fireplace. In this case, when a cold fire is “ignited”, the artificial firewood will begin to crackle at the same time.
Real warmth from a cold fire
In the conclusion of the article, I would like to doubt the reality of a fireplace without enveloping streams of heat emanating from it. The simplest solution would be an air conditioner suspended above the fireplace, but the characteristic sound of its operation is likely to ruin the whole picture. Small silent air heaters installed in the firebox of the false fireplace will allow you not only to enjoy the realism of the illusion, but also to warm your chilled hands over the tongues of cold flame.
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