Why are we still drawn to fire?

In an age where heating can be activated with the flick of a switch, we are still fascinated by a crackling fire. Modern solutions such as panel heaters can subtly blend in with interior surroundings and keep us warm without any visual effect, but that doesn’t mean dancing flames have become redundant. Through the ages we’ve brought fire with us. When Norway's state broadcaster televised eight hours of wood burning in a stove in 2013, 20% of the population tuned in. Even Tesla cars being produced today give drivers the option to display a flickering fire on their dashboard screen.

An evolutionary fascination

An anthropology professor from the University of Alabama believes it could be an evolutionary fascination that is ingrained in every one of us. Associate Professor Christopher Lynn believes the relaxation we feel when we sit by an open fire can be traced back to our ancient ancestors who saw flames as essential to safety, survival and socialising.

Running an experiment to support his theory, Professor Lynn found that watching fire did indeed make people feel more relaxed. He also found that the longer the experiment’s participants looked at footage of flames, the more their blood pressure would decrease and the more sociable they would become.

A sustainable solution

However, despite our shared love for fire, traditional wood and coal burners which are popular options in many homes have been identified as a contributor to air pollution. The Welsh Government’s proposed Clean Air Plan aims to “reduce, and in time eradicate, all emissions from domestic sources including through burning of solid fuels”.

One group of experts reacting to the report suggested owners of wood-burning stoves take extra care to inspect their wood for damp, varnish or chemicals. The group also highlighted the importance of ensuring traditional stoves are properly maintained. While these precautions are important to protecting the environment, they can add unnecessary hassle for people who simply want to enjoy the relaxing allure of a good old fashioned fire.


flame studio


Electric flame technology could be key to fulfilling our need to be comforted by the glow of a fire.  The technology convincingly mimics the effect of a real fire and is a hugely popular option for providing heat and ambience for interior spaces. It’s ideal for climate-conscious living and provides a modern, safe and cost-effective way of enjoying the comfort of an open fire without the maintenance requirements of a real fire.

The sense of comfort and belonging we feel when we sit close to a traditional fire is easy to achieve with an electric flame installation. The technology is available in various formats to suit different tastes and styles and requirements. These include plug-in-and-go basket fires, stoves and freestanding fireplaces, to inset fires perfect for inserting into existing fireplaces and full suites that give the illusion of a real fireplace without the requirement for an existing chimney or flue.

Innovations in the flame technology

At GDHV our own innovations have introduced exciting new levels of realism to the electric fire market. Our Optimyst range uses ultrasonic technology and ultra-fine water mist to create the convincing illusion of flames and smoke which can easily be mistaken for the real thing. Our Opti-V range uses High Definition TV technology to create the most realistic flame effect yet, complete with crackling sound effects.

Electric flame technology is enabling us to continue our journey with fire long into the future and allows us to enjoy the comfort and calm we crave without any of the maintenance or safety worries that come with a traditional open fire.