This is our Best Choices Products electric fireplace review. This economical, large, black, electric fireplace features a modern design with very large curved glass front. It comes with a full function remote and high/low heat and flame settings.
It also features a media tray and supplied rocks for the foreground, (these are changeable). When the flame effects are on, the pebbles look as if they are on fire. It is a cool effect and a feature usually found on much more expensive electric fireplaces. On high, it is a 1500 Watt heater and suggested heat coverage is is 400 square feet.
Spoiler Alert: We discovered that there were some pleasant surprises which are not usually found in electric fireplaces at this economical price point. This fireplace is a real contender.
NOTE: If you have arrived on our site and have decided to buy the Best Choice Products electric fireplace then we recommend clicking through to Amazon.com and checking out this product and the daily discount. You will get very fast delivery (often free) and the great Amazon guarantee and service pledge.
Fireplace Flame Effects
Since most people are purchasing electric fireplaces for aesthetic reasons and to set a cozy mood, the flame effects are probably the most important function.
So, how does the Best Choice Products fireplace flame effects stack up?
One of the pleasant surprises we were not expecting was the modern, contemporary media tray in the fireplace. ‘Media tray’ is jargon for the shelf at the bottom where you can place stones, glass beads, or even colored aquarium sand or gravel behind the glass. When the flames are on they seem to be coming from your chosen media. Sometimes logs look very fake, so why not skip the attempt at realism with the logs and go right for the fantasy of burning rocks? It is a nice effect and a conversation starter.
As for the flames themselves, there are 2 flame intensity settings, high and low, which is a nice feature at this price point. It allows you to set a couple of different moods. Some fireplaces at this budget price only have the most basic on/off setting. The flames are orange in color mimicking natural fire. There are no different color flames available, such as purple of blue which are available on some much pricier units.
Almost all owners were very pleased with the flame effects. One criticism that was noted by a few owners was that the flames are not vibrant in color or intensity. They stated that the fire looks great in a dim or dark room, but the flames tend to get a little washed out in daylight conditions. The ‘washing out’ effect in daylight may have been due to poor placement on the wall, you want to watch out for direct sunlight and other light reflections.
Review Table of Contents
As with most electric fireplaces, it is important to make sure your expectations of the heating ability is realistic. In general they are best thought of as supplemental heating sources. They function well in ‘taking the chill off’ medium to larger rooms raising the temperature a few degrees. If you have a ceiling fan, this can significantly augment heat distribution. Almost all electric fireplaces heat quite well in a small or medium sized room that has the door closed, or are not open concept.
So, let’s get specific about the space heating capacity of this unit. The heater design specs say it will heat a 400 square foot room, which, according to most owners is pushing the limit. Many say it does very well in smaller spaces.
It has 2 heat settings high, which is 1500 Watts, and low which is 750 Watts. There is a one speed fan which forces the air from the top of the unit. It will be constantly on at whichever heat setting you choose, ‘high’ or ‘low. The amount of heat produced is determined by the amount of heating elements used not the fan speed. Therefore, the fan noise (which is not loud) is a constant. An advantage to this set up is that there is not the constant cycling of power off and on. The air intake is on the side of the heater box. There is no thermostat (programmable or otherwise), that will maintain a constant set temperature. There is an automatic overheat cut-off.
Being a top discharge heater brings into play placement considerations of the heater and objects in the path of the hot air being moved. The most common consideration is for those who want to place a TV over it.
It is not recommended to have a TV directly above it. There are a couple clever work-arounds for that restriction. One is to install a floating shelf between the fireplace and TV which would act as a decorative deflector. The second is to purchase a clear deflector at a hardware or heating A/C supply store and mount it to the top of the heater box.
Speaking of noise, how noisy is the fireplace with the fan on? The general consensus is that it is quiet with a slight hum. One owner said it is no noisier than a refrigerator.
The fireplace can run on flame effect only mode without the heat. This unit comes with a remote control and it is a full function remote which is a real plus. Some other budget electric fireplaces either do not come with a remote or they come with a remote that simply controls on/off function. The manual controls are located on the top right of the fireplace.
There are 2 settings for the flame effects, high and low. Likewise, there are 2 heater settings, high and low. The fan that forces the hot air out has one speed that automatically runs when the heater is on.
There is no thermostat or timer. If you wanted a timer you can add a programmable timer plug (see accessories). The electric cord comes out of the top right of the heater box, near the controls and on/off switch.
The fireplace glass, bottom and sides do not get hot to the touch so it is kid and pet friendly. The only part that gets warm is on top near the hot air discharge.
There is an automatic overheat shutoff switch built in. The manufacturer does not recommend using extension cords. I think they know some people will be using them anyway because after that being said, then tell you to use a heavy duty cord at least 16AWG (gauge wire) at a minimum and rated not less than 125V/15Amps or 2000 watts.
It is designed to run utilizing a standard 120 volt outlet but it is not recommended to run other appliances off the same plug, you may overload the circuit, trip a breaker or blow a fuse.The unit is CL certified for safety and adherence to generally accepted safety standards.
Once again, we see those dreaded words ‘Some assembly required’. In this case it is not too bad, but is a lot easier if 2 people are involved. This product is mounted to the wall with a mounting bracket which, along with dry wall screws is included.
As with any wall mounted electric fireplace, if you are mounting into brick or stone, special anchors and drill bit will be required. Your hardware store can help with recommendations for special heavy duty anchors. Make sure any supplemental anchors can support the units weight of 29 lbs.
- Drill with ¼ inch bit
- Level (or very precise measurements to get a level straight line).
- Stud finder and a pencil
- Special mounting screws/anchors for specialty mounting, for example into stone or brick
It is not safe to simply place the unit on a table or dresser, as the glass on the front of the unit makes it very unbalanced and front heavy. Without it being secured it will tip over. This is a huge safety hazard. If you really want to set it somewhere, you will have to figure out how to secure it firmly in place.
Warning: You must put the decorative stones in the unit before you mount it. If you forget, you will have to take it down again
Inserting the decorative stones is best done with 2 people. You remove the front glass to get to the platform where the rocks are to be placed. To remove the front glass, simply lift upward at a slight angle and the glass will come off with no problem. .With the glass off, have your partner tilt back the fireplace slightly then in stall rocks on the front shelf all the way across. If you want a color change you can get creative and use colored aquarium rock. Check out: How to Install a Wall Mounted Fireplace
Cost of operation
In order to estimate the approximate cost of operation I decided to use some data gathered from other reviews. I was unable to determine the wattage of the lights used in the flame effects so the cost of operation of the unit using just the flames is an estimate.
I estimate the cost of just running the fireplace in flame only mode is about 1 cent per hour. That is the cost calculated of incandescent bulbs. Therefore, using the flame effects mode and assuming 5 hours use each and every night it would add about $1.50 per month to your electric bill.
If you operate the heat mode on high drawing 1500 watts and also use the flame mode it will cost about $.12 per hour. So, running the unit every night for 5 hours would add $27.00 to your electric bill for the month. Running the heater on low, 750 watts, it would be $13.50/month The 2 variables that will greatly affect your actual cost are how long you run the unit each month, and the cost of electricity in your state.
If you would like to get more precise to estimate your costs:
1. This site will show you your states energy cost per KWH or you can get it off of your electric bill (use residential column). For examples above, I used the US average of $.12/KWH. Click Here to determine: Your states energy cost.
2. Then go to this site and use this calculator to your determine your cost: Click Here for the Cost Calculator
Values= 1500 watts high heat + flame, 75 watts for low heat and flame. Fill in your states KWH cost, hours used and generate results.
The dimensions listed by Amazon and the manufacturer have a confusing error. They list the unit as 6”L which many assume is 6 inches long. This is crazy. It is 6” inches in depth, at the deepest point it will protrude 6 inches from the wall. Because of the curve of the glass at the sides, the glass is only about 2” inches off the wall.
- 35” inches wide
- 19” inches in height
- 6” inches depth (off wall)
- 29 lbs. weight
- 39.7 lbs. shipping weight
There are 3 accessories that will enhance your enjoyment of your fireplace; one will provide provide crackling fire sounds, another provides a low tech solution to hide the cord, and lastly and easy way to add program-ability to your fireplace.
1. Add the sound of crackling fire. The vast majority of electric fireplaces do not have sound effects. We found a great solution. For about $30 you can add this sound machine, The device is about 2 1/2 ” x 3″ and can attaches out of site to the fireplace body. Click for: Fire Crackle Sound
2. Hide the cord with a paint-able wire channel. Paint to match the color of your walls. These are available at any hardware or big box store or, Click for: Wire Covers
3. Consider an outlet timer. For about $10 you can get a timer that plugs into the wall outlet. The fireplace cord plugs into the timer. You now have the ability to set the on/off function to run automatically, you can preheat your room or set the unit to turn off after you fall asleep. Check out the Outlet Timer
Pros and Cons
I believe the pros far outweigh the cons, but here is a bullet point presentation of the high and low notes:
- The low price point is a huge plus.
- Full options on supplied remote control.
- Media tray for decorative stones (which are changeable).
- Contemporary design with curved glass.
- Heater is adequate, not outstanding. It has a 1 speed fan.
- Assembly is a little awkward need 2 people.
- Brightness of flame effects was a concern for a few people.
In checking multiple reviews from buyers on major retail sites, the consensus is that almost everyone is very pleased with their purchase. The ratings were consistently excellent or very good. Only 1 buyer gave it a poor rating, and that was based solely on the heating capability. I believe her expectations were not realistic to begin with.
NOTE: If you want to see even more proof of what a good deal the Best Choice Products electric fireplace offers, then we recommend clicking through to Amazon.com and checking out the exact star ratings and reading more buyer reviews:
At well under $150 the combination of low price and good features make this a best selling electric fireplace on Amazon. It is a great value. Although there are even lower priced electric wall mounts, they also have markedly less features than this one. If you are willing to spend a bit more you may want to check out either the Onyx 50″ Wall Mount or the 36″ Classic Flame Elysium.
This wall mounted electric fireplace may be just for you, if you are clear you want an economical, large wall mounted electric fireplace and not break the bank. The Best Choices fireplace offers a nice combination of features at a very reasonable price. There are lots and lots of very contented customers. There can always be one more – you!
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