If you are in the market for a 50 inch linear electric fireplace there are two leading contenders, the Napoleon NEFL50Fh and the Dimplex BLF5051. Both are excellent fireplaces and the differences are quite subtle but could, none the less be important to you. To learn what the glossy brochures don’t tell you watch this vlog for a side by side comparison, Napoleon NEFL50FH vs. Dimplex BLF5051.
After taking delivery from fireplacedirect.ca the first thing I noted was how similar they both are. Both are large and heavy and need two people to carry and install. The Napoleon get’s the nod on packaging, being more sturdily packed. The contents are almost identical with the Napoleon containing paintable cable covers for those of you that want to wall mount and are too lazy to make the trip to Home Hardware to buy the covers. The Dimplex has a small spirit level and Robertson driver bit for those of you that don’t already have them. It also has some hefty drywall anchors, though I do recommend you spend the time locating the wall studs and screwing directly into them instead.
If you plan to recess your fireplace this is the first major difference between the two fireplaces. The Dimplex is 7 inches deep vs the 5 inch depth of the Napoleon. This could be a showstopper for some. The Napoleon fits a standard Canadian stud wall, the Dimplex is deeper and you should have a plan for accommodating the extra depth before you buy this fireplace. If you plan to wall mount however this is not an issue. Recessing is beyond the scope of this article but there are some very good You Tube Video’s covering the basics.
Both fireplaces are a two person install and take a bit of effort when it comes to hanging first the fireplace on the mountings, and then the glass front onto the fireplace (see the Napoleon NEFL50FH installation video). Overall I would rate the installation, in terms of complexity, as being similar to hanging a large extremely heavy mirror. The Dimplex uses two screws which slot directly into holes in the back of the fireplace. The Napoleon has a mounting bracket that is first screwed to the wall then the fireplace is hung onto the bracket. The nod goes to the Napoleon as the mounting bracket makes it feel more sturdy. The Dimplex is slightly more “idiot proof”, supporting the installer slightly better with the inclusion of a spirit level and screwdriver bit.
Napoleon NEFL50FH vs. Dimplex BLF5051
Appearance and Operation
Once on the wall they look very similar. The Dimplex however, protrudes from the wall slightly further than the Napoleon. The main difference is the flame. Dimplex keeps the flame colour constant and uses LED’s to chnage the colour of the ember bed. There are significantly more colours available than the Napoleon. If you insist on having a Green or Red fireplace bed the Dimplex is for you. The Napoleon has only two colours of LED, Red and Blue but you can have create combinations of the two. It is the flames that change colour on the Napoleon.
The Dimplex remote seemed slightly less responsive but that is a very minor point as most people will set and forget. The Napoleon has an on screen display for the settings and touch screen controls on the front panel. The Dimplex’s controls are tucked away behind the from panel and may be advantageous if you plan to install the fireplace in a public area and want to avoid the general public from changing the settings. Both fireplaces have thermostatic control, blowers and electric heaters and can be operated with or without heat.
Most people don’t need this capability but the Dimplex has the option of running off 220V. If you need to heat a large room then having an electrician run a 220V supply directly to this fireplace would be your best bet.
Both are excellent choices. Only in certain uses does one have the edge over the other.
Homeowners planning to install and recess the fireplace might choose the Napoleon because it fits standard stud size.
If you plan to heat a large area, then choose the Dimplex and ask an electrician to install a 220V supply.
Planning to wall mount? Then either is a good choice and it comes down to personal preference about the bed and flame appearance. Either way both Napoleon NEFL50FH and the Dimplex BLF5051 are excellent choices. No knockout punch in the Napoleon NEFL50FH vs. Dimplex BLF5051 bout.