You can read more about our fireplace and related projects here, here and here.
The gel lights quickly so to keep from scorching your fingers using a long electric lighter or a long fire place match is kid of imperative. It crackles and pops and aside from an uncharacteristic sizzle every now and then, it does indeed sound like an actual wood burning fire.
[Ohhh, fire ....!]
It also generates a nice noticeable amount of heat and the dancing flames have the same hypnotic calming effect as any controlled fire I've ever seen. All in all we consider this "What if ..." project a real winner. For less than $100 and some elbow-grease we turned our wall'o brick into a cozy little wanna-be fireplace!