Infrared encompasses a wide range of wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum, allowing it to produce nuanced forms of heat depending on where it falls on the scale. The beauty of infrared lies in its versatility and this allows manufacturers in the industry to constantly innovate and improve on the range of products available. Carbon fibre heaters are the very latest example of infrared’s flexible heating capabilities, and if you’re unfamiliar with these products, this blog is going to take a look at why they’re taking the outdoor heating world by storm.

Outdoor patio heatersBroadening the Scope of Outdoor Electric Heaters

By now most of us are already familiar with standard quartz or halogen heaters, their bright light providing a welcome beacon of warmth outside bars and restaurants. They transform outdoor spaces, allowing us to sit outside and have a drink with friends rather than being forced back indoors by the cold. The only issue with normal patio heaters is that their heat can be a little overwhelming in spaces where the full strength of a shortwave infrared heater isn’t required, e.g. partially covered areas with little air movement. If you require a form of warmth that’s more potent than longwave but gentler than shortwave infrared, mediumwave infrared comes to the rescue. Aptly named, this form of radiant heat provides a middle ground between quartz heaters and ceramic heaters: it’s mellow enough to be used for longer periods but isn’t so gentle as to be easily offset by air movement.

Carbon Infrared Heaters

Carbon Fibre Heat BulbMost mediumwave heaters use a weaved carbon fibre heating element in order to create this particular form of infrared. Technically, they come under the banner of quartz heaters because – like most other patio heaters – they use a quartz bulb to house the element. However, if you were to compare them against a ‘normal’ quartz heater, you’d find that the type of heat and the amount of light they produce are very different. This is because tungsten filament heaters are designed to reach temperatures around 1900 °C in order to create their vigorous and instantaneous heat, whereas carbon filament heaters reach temperatures of 1200 °C in comparison. Don’t worry too much about these high temperatures – it’s the filament that reaches these high heat levels and not the heater body. However, it’s still a good idea to keep both kinds of product out of arm’s reach to ensure no accidental contact with any hot interior surfaces. The lower operating temperature of carbon heaters doesn’t just create gentle warmth, it also means that carbon fibre heaters produce less light and can be a discreet option if you find the light from a standard quartz model too bright.  

Stylish Alternatives for Outdoor Heating

We’ve heard all about the science – now let’s take a look at the products in question. Our range of patio heaters currently includes two ultra-low glare carbon element heaters: the Ecostrad Thermaglo and the Herschel Colorado.

The Thermaglo – Stylish Heat for Home & Business

Thermaglo Infrared Patio HeaterThe Thermaglo has a fluid, contemporary appearance that makes it an appealing choice for both domestic and commercial environments. It’s a garden heater that’s designed to be attractive as well as easy to use; every Thermaglo unit comes with its own remote control so you can make adjustments to your heating without having to get out of your seat.  To help reduce energy consumption, the Thermaglo can be adjusted between four different heat output levels. You can set it to minimal output for gentle background heat, or use its full power for total comfort. The Thermaglo’s timer function is especially useful for businesses and will automatically switch the heater off after a user-set period between 1 – 9 hours. If you have an outdoor bar area that operates between 7 – 11pm, you can simply set the timer for 4 hours, safe in the knowledge that the heater will take care of itself once you start to close up for the day.


The Herschel Colorado – Reliable,Comfortable Heat for Larger Spaces

Colorado Infrared HeaterThe higher wattage of the Colorado makes it suitable for large-scale commercial applications and it can comfortably heat areas up to 18m² if installed in a sheltered space. The Colorado is also available with the same timer function and heat output selection as the Thermaglo, however, we also sell this product without a remote if preferred. Without a remote, the Colorado can be installed with thermostatic controls to provide a much broader range of heat management options for interior spaces. Its powerful output and discreet appearance means that the Colorado will suit commercial and industrial environments alike – a superb solution for bringing much needed warmth to outdoor break areas, covered loading bays, restaurant terraces, or beer gardens. As carbon element heaters don’t heat with the same degree of intensity, the filaments have increased longevity and are expected to provide at least 10,000 hours of use on average.

Where to Use Carbon Fibre Infrared Heaters

These electric space heaters can be used in a wide range of applications but they particularly excel in large interiors that can be difficult to heat using conventional methods, such as draughty warehouses, public halls and open-plan retail spaces. They also make great heaters for indoor-outdoor spaces, such as cafe terraces, that see less air movement but are still exposed to the colder exterior atmosphere. If you need a heat source for an exposed outdoor area, a tungsten filament halogen heater will still be your best choice, but for alfresco spaces that have a bit more protection from the elements, a mediumwave heater can be ideal. We expect carbon heaters will see a surge in popularity as they become more mainstream so if you’re looking for a heater for a covered outdoor dining area, or even a draughty hard-to-heat interior, be sure to check out these cutting-edge new products. 


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