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The electric fire was invented in 1912 and became popular in the 1950s.
Techniques for electrical "flame effects" have been around since at least 1981.
Commercial electric fireplace techniques include the Optiflame, introduced in 1988 by Dimplex
Dimplex claims to have produced the first electric fireplace with a "realistic" wood-burning flame effect in 1995.
In 2008 Dimplex launched the Opti-myst effect which simulates both flames and smoke.
In 2013 Dimplex launched the Opti-V effect which combines realistic flickering flames with three dimensional LED logs that sporadically sparks and an audio element of crackling logs.
Advantages compared to traditional fireplaces
Advantages of electric fireplaces are that they:
- do not require chimneys;
- are often portable;
- are not just more economical, they are also more convenient and safer to use.
- do not require the maintenance needed for wood burning or gas fireplaces.