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From what iv'e seen in the past you can make a wheel with random sections of red/yellow on a disc that rotates around a light bulb. This gives a more difused look. Then that maybe shines on a screen? Maybe you will have to see how the ones at lowes work. Could you remove or cut back the lowes ones to fit?
IF all you want is the visual effect then LEDs work really well if you play music to them. This gives a random flickering effect much like a flame. A mix of yellow, orange and red LEDs makes the effect very realistic.
Normally I would use a Picaxe microcontroller
because they have the ability to play music to their output pins. A standard low power LED can be driven direct from their pins with no further circuitry other than a £1.80 Picaxe 08M chip. minimal programming required.
Happy birthday works really well as a tune.
I'm guessing from your description of what you have tried that you are not interested in getting actual heat from it and are looking for just the aesthetic appearance. My first thought would be to use a small flat screen monitor the correct size to fit in the fireplace with some type of computer attached running a continuous loop of a burning fireplace. I can't help with the technical aspects of such a project, but I'm sure there are more technically savvy people on here or elsewhere that can help. Maybe something as simple as a digital picture frame capable of running a video loop would work better. Then all you would need is a suitable video to run in a continuous loop.
Wire it with two or three light sockets and use some 40 watt Edison style light bulbs.
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Posted:Jul 3, 2014
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