If you can stand the cold, the winter night sky holds a multitude of astronomical delights for you to witness on the lead-up to Christmas. A few meteor showers, a supermoon, and even a glimpse of the planet Mercury await the hardened star-gazer, dedicated to camping out in the cold. For the casual observer, these spectacles can be witnessed from the comfort of your own patio. At Infrared Heaters Direct, we have an exciting new range of patio heaters that are perfect for transforming the unbearably cold outdoors into a warm winter retreat – the ideal place for entertaining guests in the evening, having a few moments of quiet reflection, or for taking in a shooting star or two…

Patio heaters have traditionally been quite an extravagant affair, with roaring gas cylinders or millionaire firepits being the only option for those of us willing enough to invest in them. These days though, infrared heating technology has come a long way – with discreet, stylish, and relatively inexpensive outdoor heaters within reach of the majority. In fact, the patio is the place to be after the 4.30pm lights fade. For star-gazing, entertaining, or just plain relaxing – with an outdoor heater, you can enjoy your garden all year round, regardless of the weather.

The Imus by Mensa Heating

The Imus is an innovative infrared heater that reimagines traditional patio heater design. The Imus is an under-table infrared heater with a compact height of just 67.2cm, ideal for slipping under any sized table for immediate heat. Gone are the days of cumbersome, over-sized outdoor heaters – for the modern patio, all you need for soothing warmth is the discreet Mensa Heating Imus.

Imus's under garden table

Unique Outdoor Heating

The Imus’s position as an under-table patio heater is quite unique. According to Mensa Heating, the Imus’s floor-level position aims to replace the heat that is naturally lost through your extremities, the first place you start to feel the chill on bracing evenings. Warming from the bottom up, the Imus provides rapid heat that cuts through the cold, targeting knocking knees and numb legs. Using shortwave infrared radiation, the Imus emits a vigorous warmth that’s effective at warming areas up to 4m² – perfect for intimate star-gazing gatherings on the patio.

Both colours of ImusPerhaps the most unique feature of the Imus is the safe-to-touch grill that covers the quartz heating element. When Mensa say safe-to-touch, they really mean it! Children, pets, or adults alike can press against the red glow and come away unscathed. We’ve all tried it here at the Infrared Heaters Direct office, and it feels exactly the same as leaning against a conventional central heating radiator when it’s on. A handy safety feature for those of us with young children, or those of us are cursed with clumsiness, the Imus’ safe-to-touch feature really is innovative and thoughtful – and it’s something we’ve not seen before on any other heating product.

The Imus is lightweight and portable, can be carried around via the handle at the top of the heater, and even comes with a weighted base to stop it toppling over. Simply place the Imus wherever you need the heat the most and plug it in, perfect for off-the-cuff gatherings that stretch late into the evening. A simple push-button near the base of the heater turns the Imus on and off, and the quartz heat lamp provides 7000 hours’ worth of use – more than enough to see you through many winters to come.  Easy-to-use, convenient, and highly effective, the Imus is the ideal choice for rapid outdoor patio heating.

Not only is the Imus great to use, it’s also great to look at – with its suave, bullet-shaped appearance like something from a science-fiction film. Boasting a thoroughly modern design that will fit into any outdoor aesthetic, the Imus is graceful, slim, and utterly unobtrusive.

Considering the Imus’ primary function is to be tucked away under a garden table, the attractive design of the Imus really is an unexpected bonus. In the outdoor patio heater category, the Imus is leagues above the rest when it comes to aesthetics and is even available in two colours: a stylish black or contemporary grey.

When to look up at night

So, you’ve bought your Imus and you’re thinking of spending an inaugural evening on the patio gazing up at the stars. Winter really is the time to spot some cosmic wonders and, unlike the hardened star-gazers huddled on frosty hilltops, you can remain warm and toasty whilst you do it.

December 3rd – the last supermoon of 2017

Enthusiastically named, the supermoon really is a sight to behold and definitely lives up to its name. This time around, the moon will be on the opposite side of the earth to the sun which means it will be fully illuminated for all to see. The supermoon is called the supermoon because, from 4pm onwards, it will be at its closest distance to the earth in its elliptical orbit, appearing 14-20% larger than normal. From the cosy warmth of a patio heated by the Imus, this is something you don’t want to miss!

The Supermoon

The Herschel Colorado

A beast of a different calibre, the Herschel Colorado is a slightly more advanced outdoor heater that bridges the gap between domestic and commercial infrared products. If you’re serious about keeping warm on your patio, and you’re looking for a fixed outdoor heater to heat a specific area – you can’t go wrong with the Herschel Colorado.

Colorado on wall

Effective & Controllable Heating

The Colorado is a wall-mountable outdoor heater encased in a sleek black aluminium housing, providing long lasting, comfortable heat. Discreet but powerful, the Colorado has a 2500w heat output that can be incrementally increased or decreased in 25% chunks. If winter is being kind and it isn’t too chilly of an evening, choose one of the lower settings for soft background heat. If you’re feeling the full effects of the frost, use the Colorado at full power and conclusively keep the cold at bay. While the Colorado lacks the ‘pick up and go anywhere’ feature of the Imus, the Colorado’s adjustable heat output ultimately makes it more versatile in terms of heating. It’s all a matter of preference and what you want from your patio heater.

For outdoor spaces, the Colorado can heat areas up to 12m² – ample room to bathe your patio in soothing heat. Unlike the Imus, which uses shortwave infrared, the Colorado uses mediumwave infrared. Mediumwave is slightly less intense than shortwave but more comfortable, providing a better overall sensation of warmth. The Colorado’s mediumwave heat is produced via a highly durable carbon heating element that provides 10,000+ hours of use, ideal for extensive use year in, year out. This hardwearing heating element doesn’t produce as much glare as the Imus, so it’ll blend into the background that little bit easier without producing as much of an orange glow – ideal for minimising pesky light pollution that could interfere with your star-gazing.

Herschel Colorado

Available with a remote for outdoor installation, or without a remote for indoor installation, the subtle design and adjustable heat output make the Herschel Colorado a sophisticated outdoor heater. Weatherproof, elegant, and controllable, the Colorado is as comprehensive a patio heater as you can get!

When to look up at night

So, you’ve got your Colorado, it’s sitting happily on the wall keeping you and your patio nice and warm. What do you do next? Watch an upcoming meteor shower, that’s what!

December 13th – Geminids meteor shower

Largely considered the best meteor shower of them all, the Geminids can produce up to 120 multicoloured meteors per second. Now, that’s the sort of statistic we like to hear! Produced by the debris of an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon, the Geminids meteor shower runs from the 7th – 17th of December – peaking around the 13th. Radiating from the Gemini constellation, meteors will appear almost everywhere in the sky after midnight. So, set your clocks, gather your friends, and find somewhere comfy to sit. You’ve only got until the 13th of December to make sure you’re sitting in the warm when the meteors descend!

Geminids meteor shower

Images Used:

Supermoon image


Geminids meteor shower image

Credit: Kenneth Brandon