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Innovative Products: MagikFlame Fireplace Insert

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Innovative Products: MagikFlame Fireplace Insert

A new kind of electric fireplace with realistic special effects

By Annie Cebulski December 7, 2020
MagikFlame Fireplace Insert
MagikFlame Fireplace Insert
This article first appeared in the Nov/Dec 2020 issue of Pro Remodeler.

Featuring holographic flames, MagikFlame may sound like something out of Star Wars. You wouldn’t be too far off since the company’s founder, Howard Birnbaum, did special effects work for movies like “The Matrix,” “Harry Potter,” and “Starship Troopers,” but this innovative product is actually a highly realistic electric fireplace that remodelers can use to bring the spirit of a campfire into pre-existing shells. Produced in Nashville, Tenn, MagikFlame electric fireplace inserts harness video and LCD lights to produce natural-looking results while traditional models use reflection techniques that blur the yellows, oranges, and reds of the fire in ways that hurt authenticity. 

“With MagikFlame, we holographically project actual video of a real fire, so you get all the beautiful details, like the wispy smoke rolling off of logs, the flames moving, the accurate coloring, even features like burning embers that rise up and cool down,” says Birnbaum. “Our fireplace is able to simulate all those types of subtle details, which you just won’t see in other electric fireplaces.”

App controlled with plenty of variety

MagikFlame offers 30 different videos of preset fires that homeowners can choose for different effects ranging from dying embers to a roaring fire fit for cold winter days. Because the team recorded actual fires, the electric fireplace can simulate wood-burning or gas-burning fires. 

Homeowners can control the settings on the insert’s touchscreen or via their smartphone “With Bluetooth, you can be in any room of your home and control your magic,” Birnbaum says. ‘If you wake up and you want your fireplace roaring and heating the room, you can press a button and by the time you get into your living room, you already have a beautiful glowing fire.”

Advantages over traditional models

Instead of traditional models that look washed out depending on the lighting, the insert’s backlit screen is similar to those found in smartphones, says Birnbaum. This makes it easy to control in dark rooms, though the fire looks best viewed from a distance in front of the fireplace. Synced-to-the-video sound effects such as hissing, crackling, and popping play from internal speakers to enhance the experience, and with an add-on, the fireplace can also emit the scent of pine with a built-in diffuser. 

Electric fireplaces that rely on water vapor are probably some of the closest models on the market in terms of realism, but Birnbaum says that these kinds need expensive halogen light bulbs and require the user to refill a water reservoir. And unlike some motorized models that spin to reflect sunlight, the MagikFlame can run for long periods of time without damaging hardware.  “There’s no reason you can’t leave the fireplace on twenty-four-seven for months at a time,” Birnbaum says. “A MagikFlame could run as long as you pay your power bill.”

Keeps the room nice and toasty

Aside from the visual components, the electric fireplace can also serve as a supplemental heat source for a room up to 1,000 sq ft. MagikFlame has a 5200 BTU infrared quartz heater that can warm the room without drying the air, according to Birnbaum. And because it is only focusing on the room that a homeowner is in, it can help reduce electricity bills. 

The black metal insert measures 28-by-30-by-12 inches and retails for $2,995. Each MagikFlame product comes with lifetime access to system updates so homeowners can receive up-to-date technology and any additional presets. Though the updates require internet access, the insert and its presents can run without it. MagikFlame also offers fireplaces with the shell included. 

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