Title:
Glowing ember fireplace article
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A glowing ember fireplace article which comprises an artificial fireplace article body within the combustion chamber of a fireplace system. The artificial fireplace body defines a cavity. Embedded within the artificial fireplace article body is a translucent artificial ember and a light source. When in the use the light source shines light towards the translucent artificial ember thereby illuminating the translucent artificial ember creating the visual impression of an ember glowing in a natural wood fire. In another example embodiment glass beads are coupled with the translucent artificial ember wherein light travels from the light source through the glass beads onto the translucent artificial ember. The artificial fireplace article body can be configured to be an artificial log, an ember bed, or any other element typically found in a wood fireplace.



Inventors:
Bachinski, Thomas J. (Lakeville, MN, US)
Waddell, Robert S. (Brooklyn Park, MN, US)
Application Number:
10/463175
Publication Date:
12/23/2004
Filing Date:
06/17/2003
Assignee:
BACHINSKI THOMAS J.
WADDELL ROBERT S.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
126/92AC, 431/125
International Classes:
F24C7/00; (IPC1-7): F24C3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COCKS, JOSIAH C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A glowing ember fireplace article, comprising: a fireplace article body defining a cavity; a translucent artificial ember disposed over an opening in the cavity; and a light source coupled to the cavity to provide light to the translucent artificial ember.

2. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 1, wherein a portion of the translucent artificial ember is painted.

3. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 2, wherein the paint is on an inner surface of the translucent artificial ember.

4. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 1, wherein the light source is at least partially disposed within the cavity.

5. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 1, wherein the translucent artificial ember covers an entirety of the opening.

6. A glowing ember fireplace article, comprising: a fireplace article body defining a cavity; a translucent artificial ember disposed over an opening in the cavity; a glass bead disposed within the cavity and coupled to the translucent artificial ember; and a light source coupled to the cavity to provide light to the glass bead and translucent artificial ember.

7. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 6, wherein the glass bead is colored.

8. A glowing ember fireplace article, comprising: a gas burner assembly defining a cavity wherein the gas burner assembly comprises a molded burner panel and a burner pan; a translucent artificial ember disposed over an opening in the cavity; and a light source coupled to the cavity to provide light to the translucent artificial ember.

9. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 8, wherein the translucent artificial ember is painted.

10. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 9, wherein the paint is on an inner surface of the translucent artificial ember.

11. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 8, wherein the light source is at least partially disposed within the cavity.

12. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 8, further comprising a glass bead disposed within the cavity and coupled to the translucent artificial ember.

13. A glowing ember fireplace article, comprising: a molded artificial log defining a cavity; a translucent artificial ember disposed over an opening in the cavity; and a light source coupled to the cavity to provide light to the translucent artificial ember.

14. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 13, wherein the translucent artificial ember is painted.

15. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 14, wherein the paint is on an inner surface of the translucent artificial ember.

16. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 13, wherein the light source is at least partially disposed within the cavity.

17. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 13, further comprising a glass bead disposed within the cavity and coupled to the translucent artificial ember.

18. A glowing ember fireplace article, comprising: a fireplace article body defining a cavity; a plurality of translucent artificial embers individually disposed over a plurality of openings in the cavity; and a light source coupled to the cavity to provide light to the plurality of translucent artificial embers.

19. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 18, wherein a portion of the plurality of artificial embers are painted.

20. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 19, wherein the paint is on an inner surface of the plurality of translucent artificial embers.

21. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 18, wherein the light source is at least partially disposed within the cavity.

22. The glowing ember fireplace article of claim 18, wherein a plurality of glass beads are disposed within the cavity and individually coupled to at least some number of the plurality of translucent artificial embers.

23. A fireplace, comprising: a combustion chamber; a glowing ember fireplace article within the combustion chamber, wherein the glowing ember fireplace article comprises: a fireplace article body defining a cavity; a translucent artificial ember disposed over an opening in the cavity; and a light source coupled to the cavity to provide light to the translucent artificial ember.

24. The fireplace of claim 22, wherein the fireplace article body is molded as an artificial log.

25. The fireplace of claim 22, wherein the fireplace article body is a gas burner assembly comprising a molded burner panel and a burner pan.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to fireplaces. More particularly, the invention relates to a simulated glowing ember system for a fireplace article.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Gas fireplaces are an efficient method for providing warmth and creating the appeal of a fire within a room. Also, gas fireplaces have become commonplace in today's building trades for both residential and commercial applications. Most new home construction designs include at least one, and often several gas fireplaces. Further, a significant number of remodeling projects are focused on fireplaces.

[0003] Another option available to create the appeal of a fire within a room is an electric fireplace. Electric fireplaces require no venting of exhaust gases thereby increasing the installation locations available within a structure.

[0004] The representation of glowing embers in such fireplaces is desirable to provide the realistic effect of a fire. Previous systems created to provide artificial glowing embers in a burner typically call for a glass panel with artificial embers fused to or placed on top of the glass panel and a light source positioned below the panel to illuminate the embers and thereby create the illusion of glowing embers. However, such systems have several drawbacks.

[0005] First, previous systems do not utilize ceramic fiber materials with glowing ember articles to increase the natural look of the simulated fire. Second, the previous systems fail to provide the most aesthetically appealing embers because the artificial embers are fused or placed upon glass plates upon the floor of the fireplace to simulate glowing embers. Third, the previous systems do not take advantage of using paint and/or glass beads to enhance the simulated appearance of the artificial ember. Additionally, these systems limit their ember placement and do not typically include the embers incorporated into the ceramic artificial logs or burners. Therefore, what is needed is a means to provide simulated glowing embers that can be incorporated into articles located within a simulated wood fireplace.

SUMMARY

[0006] Generally, the present invention relates to fireplaces. More particularly, the invention relates to a fireplace article for creating the illusion of natural glowing embers in a fireplace. The general purpose of the present invention, which will be described subsequently in greater detail, is to provide a new glowing ember fireplace article that has many advantageous features.

[0007] To attain this, the present invention generally comprises a fireplace article body defining a cavity. Disposed over or embedded within an opening in the cavity is a translucent artificial ember. A light source is coupled with the fireplace article body and is located to provide light through the cavity of the fireplace article body to the translucent artificial ember. When power is applied to the light source, light shines within the cavity of the fireplace article body and onto the translucent artificial ember thereby creating the appearance of a glowing ember in a natural wood fireplace.

[0008] In another aspect, the invention relates to an embodiment where a translucent artificial ember is disposed over or embedded within an opening in a cavity defined by a fireplace article body. A light source is coupled with the fireplace article body and abuts the translucent artificial ember. When power is applied to the light source, light shines onto the translucent artificial ember thereby creating the appearance of a glowing ember in a natural wood fireplace.

[0009] In another aspect, the invention relates to an embodiment where a fireplace article body defines a cavity. A translucent artificial ember is disposed over or embedded within an opening in the cavity. The fireplace article body includes another opening with a light source located wholly external to the fireplace article body and directed at this opening. When power is applied to the light source light shines through the cavity and onto the translucent artificial ember thereby creating the appearance of a glowing ember in a natural wood fireplace.

[0010] In one aspect, the invention relates to a glowing ember fireplace article wherein the fireplace article body may be shaped to resemble an artificial log. The artificial log includes a molded portion comprising ceramic fiber and a binder. The light source is coupled with the fireplace article body and is located to provide light through the cavity of the fireplace article body onto the translucent artificial ember. When power is applied to the light source, light shines within the interior of the artificial log and onto the translucent artificial ember thereby creating the appearance of a glowing ember in a natural wood fireplace.

[0011] In another aspect, the invention relates to a glowing ember fireplace article wherein the fireplace article body is a gas burner assembly. The gas burner assembly is defined by a molded burner panel coupled with a burner pan. The translucent artificial ember is disposed over or embedded within an opening in the molded burner panel and the light source is embedded within the gas pan. When power is applied to the light source, light shines within the interior of fireplace article body and onto the translucent artificial ember thereby creating the appearance of a glowing ember in a natural wood fireplace.

[0012] In another aspect, the invention relates to a glowing ember fireplace article wherein the fireplace article body is an artificial ember bed of an electric fireplace.

[0013] In another aspect, the invention relates to a glowing ember fireplace article wherein the fireplace article body has a plurality of translucent artificial embers disposed over or embedded within a plurality of openings in the fireplace article body. A light source, or a plurality of light sources, are coupled to the fireplace article body to provide light to illuminate the plurality of translucent artificial embers.

[0014] In yet another aspect, the invention relates to translucent artificial embers that are painted, partially painted, or modified in some other manner to create the appearance of an ember of non-uniform temperature; thereby more closely resembling a glowing ember in a natural wood fireplace.

[0015] In the another aspect, the invention generally comprises an fireplace article body defining a cavity. Embedded within or disposed over an opening in the fireplace article body is a translucent artificial ember. Within the cavity and abutting the translucent artificial ember is a glass bead. A light source is coupled with the fireplace article body and is located to provide light through the cavity of the fireplace article body to the glass bead. When power is applied to the light source, light shines within the cavity of the fireplace article body and onto and through the glass bead to the translucent artificial ember thereby creating the appearance of a glowing ember in a natural wood fireplace.

[0016] The above summary of the present invention is not intended to describe each disclosed embodiment or every implementation of the present invention. Before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. Figures in the detailed description that follow more particularly exemplify embodiments of the invention. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of the description and should not be regarded as limiting.

[0017] To the accomplishment of the above, this invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings, attention being called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only, and that changes may be made in the specific construction illustrated and described within the scope of the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] The invention may be more completely understood in consideration of the following detailed description of various embodiments of the invention in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0019] FIG. 1 is a schematic front view of an example fireplace including multiple glowing ember fireplace articles;

[0020] FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional schematic side view of the fireplace of FIG. 1 taken along line 2-2;

[0021] FIG. 3 is a schematic side view of an example embodiment of the present invention configured as an artificial log;

[0022] FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional schematic side view of a first example embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 3 taken along line 4-4;

[0023] FIG. 5 is a schematic top view of an example embodiment of the present invention configured as a gas burner assembly;

[0024] FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional schematic side view of a first example embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 5 taken along line 6-6; and

[0025] FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional schematic side view of a second example embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 3 taken along line 7-7;

[0026] FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional schematic side view of a second example embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 5 taken along line 8-8;

[0027] FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional schematic side view of a third example embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 3 taken along line 9-9; and

[0028] FIG. 10 is a cross-section schematic side view of a fourth example embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 3 taken along line 10-10.

[0029] While the invention is amenable to various modifications and alternate forms, specifics thereof have been shown by way of example and the drawings, and will be described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the intention is not to limit the invention to the particular embodiments described. On the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0030] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 in which similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views, a simulated wood fire 120 within a combustion chamber 110 of a fireplace system 100 is shown. The simulated wood fire 120 includes a number of glowing ember fireplace articles 10. By using multiple glowing ember fireplace articles 10 a more realistic simulated fire can be achieved. The glowing ember fireplace article 10 can be configured to resemble different elements in a wood fire, but regardless of its configuration, the glowing ember fireplace articles 10 are defined by a fireplace article body 20, translucent artificial embers 50 coupled with the fireplace article body 20, and a light source 60. An electrical power source 70 provides power to the light source 60. In use the light source 60 shines upon the translucent artificial ember 50 creating the appearance of a glowing ember in a natural wood fire.

[0031] The fireplace article body 20 may be designed to resemble any article that would be found in a natural wood fire. The fireplace article body 20 may be designed to resemble a burning log in a fire, the ember bed burning under the logs in a fire, or burning embers that have fallen onto the floor of the fireplace away from the logs and ember bed. Detailed descriptions of possible different configurations of the fireplace article body 20 will be discussed in greater detail later in the specification.

[0032] The fireplace article body 20 can be manufactured from material that can withstand the temperatures associated with the type of fireplace system 100 within which the fireplace article body 20 is to be used. A fireplace article body 20 constructed for a gas fireplace will be manufactured to withstand significantly higher temperatures than a fireplace article body 20 manufactured for an electric fireplace. A fireplace article body 20 constructed from materials to withstand the temperatures associated with a gas fireplace can be used in either a gas or electric fireplace. The materials used in the construction of the fireplace article body 20 should be of sufficient strength and rigidity to support the structure and method of coupling or embedding the translucent artificial ember 50 and light source 60 to the fireplace article body 20.

[0033] The fireplace article body 20 defines a cavity 24, with an ember opening 22 to the cavity 24 for at least one translucent artificial ember 50 and a light source opening 26 for allowing light to be projected into the cavity 24 from at least one light source 60. The ember opening 22 can be of a variety of different shapes and sizes depending on the desired look of the natural ember being simulated.

[0034] In an example embodiment, the fireplace article body 20 includes a plurality of ember openings 22 to receive a plurality of translucent artificial embers 50. The plurality of ember openings 22 can be located in a variety of locations within the fireplace article body 20 depending on the desired look of the glowing ember fireplace article 10. For example, the ember openings 22 can be concentrated on a lower portion 36 of the fireplace article body 20 to more realistically simulate a burning fire.

[0035] The cavity 24, defined by the fireplace article body 20, provides a conduit for light from the light source 60 to shine upon the translucent artificial body 50. The cavity 24 can be of any shape of size depending on the desired effect to be obtained with the glowing ember fireplace article 10. In one example embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 7, the fireplace article body 20 can include a plurality of translucent artificial embers 50 with a single cavity 24 designed to allow light to reach each translucent artificial ember 50. In another embodiment, the fireplace article body can include a plurality of translucent artificial embers each with a separate cavity designed to allow light to reach each translucent artificial ember. Alternatively, the fireplace article body can include a plurality of translucent artificial embers with a single cavity designed to allow light to reach at least part of the translucent artificial embers. It can be appreciated that any combination of translucent artificial embers 50, cavities 24, and light sources 60 can be used depending on the desired glowing ember effect on the glowing ember fireplace article 10.

[0036] The fireplace article body 20 includes at least one light source opening 26 to the cavity 24 to accept a light source 60. The light source opening 26 can be of a variety of different shape and sizes depending on where the light source is to be located relative to the fireplace article body 20. In one example embodiment, the fireplace article body may include a plurality of light source openings to receive a plurality of light sources. The plurality of light source openings can be located in a variety of locations within the fireplace article body depending on the desired look of the glowing ember fireplace article.

[0037] The translucent artificial embers 50 are incorporated into the fireplace article body 20 in such a manner as to create the appearance of burning embers within a natural wood fireplace. The translucent artificial ember 50 may be embedded within the ember opening 22 of the fireplace article body 20 or coupled with the ember opening 22 in the fireplace article body 20. The translucent artificial embers 50 can be adhered to the fireplace article body 20 using glue or attached using mechanical means. Alternatively, any number or different methods can be used to embed, adhere, attach, secure, couple or incorporate the translucent artificial embers 50 within or upon the fireplace article body 20. The translucent artificial ember 50 may cover only a portion or the entirety of the ember opening 22.

[0038] Individual translucent artificial embers 50 may come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For example, translucent artificial embers can be generally cubical, spherical, jagged, or irregular in shape. Although different sizes may be used, embers can preferably be sized with diameters between {fraction (1/8)} inch and {fraction (3/4)} inch. However, it can be appreciated by one skilled in the art that other shapes and dimensions might be used without departing from the scope of the invention. Further, a combination of differently shaped translucent artificial embers 50 may be used to better simulate glowing embers within the fireplace article body 20.

[0039] The translucent artificial embers 50 may be made from a variety of materials. The materials selected to create the translucent artificial embers 50 preferably should perform in high temperatures without foaming or breaking up and also be semi-transparent to allow light to pass through them to simulate glowing. For example, fused silica particles can be used for the translucent artificial embers 50. The material utilized for the translucent artificial embers 50 in one embodiment of the invention is a fused silica material manufactured by C-E Minerals, located in King of Prussia, Pa., and sold under the Teco-Sil® mark. Teco-Sil® fused silica is a high purity fused silica with greater than 99% non-crystalline SiO2. Less than 1% of Teco-Sil® silica includes Cristobalite. Teco-Sil® silica has a melting point of greater than 3000 degrees Fahrenheit. Further, fused silica provides an aesthetically pleasing glow when illuminated because the fused silica diffuses light in a more natural way than other materials. It should be understood, however, that other translucent, high temperature material could also be used to make the translucent artificial embers 50.

[0040] Optionally, a layer of paint or other material can be applied to the outer surface 58 and/or inner surface 56, disposed within the cavity 24, of a translucent artificial ember 50. An individual translucent artificial ember 50 can be provided, for example, with a layer of paint applied to at least a portion of the inner surface 56 of the translucent artificial ember 50. A layer of paint can be applied to the plurality of translucent artificial embers 50 contained within an artificial fireplace article body 20 to give the effect of a burning object in a natural fire having “hotter” and “cooler” ember sections. A layer of paint of an appropriate color can be used depending on the desired effect, for example, red and orange for the hottest ember sections. A single color of paint, or a variety of colors of paint, can be applied to a portion of translucent artificial embers 50 or to all of them. A layer of one color of paint can be applied to the outer surface 58 and a layer of paint of another color may be applied to the inner surface 56. For example, a layer of black paint on the outer surface 58 and a layer of colored paint on the inner surface 56. When the glowing ember fireplace article 10 is to be used in a gas fireplace, paint capable of withstanding high temperatures should be used.

[0041] Other colorization methods could be used to enhance the look of the translucent artificial embers 50. For example, pigmentation could be added during the manufacturing of the translucent artificial embers 50 to create translucent artificial embers 50 in a variety of colors. These internally colored translucent artificial embers could be used with or without applying paint as heretofore described to simulate natural embers in a wood fire.

[0042] In another embodiment of the glowing ember fireplace article 10, best seen in FIGS. 7 and 8, glass beads 52 can be coupled to the translucent artificial ember 50. The glass beads 52 are disposed within the hollow cavity 24. It can be appreciated by one skilled in the art that a variety of different methods could be used to couple the glass beads 52 to the translucent artificial embers 50. The glass beads 52 can be of a variety of colors depending on the desired effect, for example red and orange glass beads 52 to simulate the hotter glowing embers in a wood fire. This combination of glass beads 52 in connection with translucent artificial embers 50 can enhance the simulated appearance of an ember found in a natural wood fire.

[0043] In the example embodiments shown in FIGS. 4, 6, 7 and 8, an individual light source 60 is used coupled with the artificial fireplace article body 20. The light source 60 is incorporated with the fireplace article body 20 in such a manner as to provide light to the translucent artificial ember 50 thereby creating the appearance of a burning ember within a natural wood fire.

[0044] The light source 60 includes a light bulb 62 and a light socket 64. Although the embodiments show a single light source 60 including one light bulb 62 and socket 64, it should be understood that two or more light bulbs 62 could be used. Halogen bulbs and ceramic sockets may be used to create the light source 60 because these items can withstand the potentially high temperature environment of a fireplace that may exceed 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Halogen bulbs and ceramic sockets are examples of components that can withstand the high temperatures of the fireplace combustion chamber 110. However, any other suitable light source 60 that can withstand high temperatures may also be used. If the light source 60 is constructed to withstand the high temperatures found in a fireplace, it is not necessary to seal-off the light source 60 from the heat generated in the combustion chamber 110 or to provide other methods to cool the light source 60. When composed of high temperature materials, the light source 60 can be placed directly within the combustion chamber 110. When the glowing ember fireplace article 10 is to be used in an electric fireplace the ability of the light source 60 to withstand high temperatures is reduced and different materials may be used.

[0045] The light source 60 is shown connected to a power source 70 and a control box 72. The power source 70 may include low voltage electricity to provide a safe and economical electrical power source. The electrical wiring 74 connecting the light source 60 with the power source 70 and/or control box 72 should be shielded or made from material that can withstand the high temperatures associated the combustion chamber 110. Although the control box 72 is provided in this embodiment of the invention, it is possible that the system could be operated without a control box 72 by wiring the simulated glowing ember fireplace article 10 to operate when the fireplace is in use. Further, other methods, such as a remote-controlled arrangement, could be used to regulate the light sources of the glowing ember fireplace article 10. When the light source 60 is turned on, it illuminates the translucent artificial embers 50.

[0046] The light source 60 can be controlled by the control box 72 to create a flickering effect and further enhance the simulation of glowing embers. The light source 60 can project a pattern of random flickering light onto the translucent artificial embers 50, which is non-repetitive and simulates real glowing embers.

[0047] As shown in FIGS. 4 and 7, the light source 60 may be embedded within the light source opening 26 in the fireplace article body 20. The light source 60 can be adhered to the fireplace article body 20 using glue or attached using mechanical means. The light source 60, in operation, illuminates the cavity 24 and shines upon the translucent artificial ember 50. In the example embodiments shown in FIGS. 6 and 8, the light source can be coupled to a support 46 external to the fireplace article body 20 and the light source 60 directed toward the light source opening 26 of the fireplace article body 20. The light source 60 may be coupled to any number of locations external to the fireplace article body 20, the only requirement that the light source 60 can illuminate the cavity 24 and corresponding translucent artificial ember 50. In another embodiment, the light source may be coupled over the light source opening in the fireplace article body. Alternatively, the light source may be placed entirely within the cavity. In other example embodiments, as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 the light source may be within the cavity and abutting the translucent artificial ember or artificial ember and glass bead combination respectively. However, it can be appreciated by one skilled in the art, that the light source 60 can be placed in a variety of different locations and that a number of different methods can be used to embed, adhere, attach, secure, couple or incorporate the light source 60 with the fireplace article body 20.

[0048] Multiple light sources can be used to illuminate a translucent artificial ember. Alternatively, multiple light sources can be used to illuminate multiple translucent artificial embers. It can be appreciated by one skilled in the art that any combination of light sources 60, cavities 24, and translucent artificial embers 50 can be used to create the desired effect.

[0049] Referring to FIGS. 1-10, the fireplace article body 20 can be produced in a number of different configurations. In one embodiment of the glowing ember fireplace article 10, the artificial fireplace article body 20 may be an artificial log 30 as shown in FIGS. 3, 4, 7, 9 and 10. The artificial log 30 typically includes a molded portion 32 that forms the shell of the artificial log 30, and creates the cavity 24 defining the interior of the artificial log 30. Typically, the molded portion 32 is shaped to look like a natural log and includes an inorganic ceramic fiber and a binder. A variety of methods can be used to give the exterior of the artificial log 30 the appearance of a natural log; one such method is described in an application for Letters Patent of the United States, application Ser. No. 10/384,498, which is incorporated herein by reference.

[0050] The artificial log 30 can be formed by any known molding technique, such as, for example, compression molding and vacuum forming techniques. Exemplary compression molding compositions and forming techniques are described in pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/781,148, which is incorporated herein by reference. Additional exemplary molding compositions and forming techniques are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,941,237; 5,996,575; and 6,170,481; which are incorporated herein by reference.

[0051] In one embodiment of the glowing ember fireplace article 10, the artificial fireplace article body 20 may be a gas burner assembly 40 as shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 8. The gas burner assembly 40 typically can include a molded burner panel 42 coupled to a burner pan 44 which defines the cavity 24 and also creates a reservoir for a gas/air mixture. The gas/air mixture is then provided to the exterior of the burner panel through at least one burner aperture (not shown) for combustion. The gas burner assembly 40 is connected to a gas source (not shown) and the gas flow is regulated by a gas control box 49 attached to a gas valve 48. The gas burner assembly 40 is designed to support gas combustion as typically found in commercially available gas burners in commercial gas fireplaces.

[0052] The burner pan 44 is coupled to the burner panel 42 with suitable mechanical or adhesive coupling techniques. For example, the burner pan 44 can be screwed, bolted, bracketed, or adhered with adhesive to the burner panel 42. Optionally, the burner pan 44 can be sized to form-fit into an indentation in the burner panel 44. The burner pan 44 can be metal, a ceramic fiber material, or other suitable material. A variety of methods can be used to construct the gas burner 40; one such method of construction is defined in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/781,148 which is incorporated herein by reference.

[0053] In one example embodiment the molded burner panel 42 is shaped to provide the appearance of the ember bed of a natural wood fire. However, the molded burner panel 42 can be of a variety of different shapes and sizes.

[0054] With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed to be within the expertise of those skilled in the art, and all equivalent structural variations and relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

[0055] Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.