The Pros and Cons of Fire Pits vs Heat Lamps

Published: 11/11/2022 | Updated: 29/03/2023

The Pros and Cons of Fire Pits vs Heat Lamps - Shrubhub

Both fire pits and heat lamps are excellent options for a chilly night, but the big question is which one of these outdoor heating solutions is right for you?

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Many people would argue that one is far superior to the other. Both options, however, have several advantages and limitations that can work out for your house but might not work out as well for others.

In this article, ShrubHub will teach you all about those amazing patio heaters, so you can decide which one is better for your needs.

Types and Uses of Fire Pits

When you first hear the words "fire pit," you might think of a campground, friends gathered around a roaring blaze and s'mores roasting over an open flame.

There are many different types of fire pits in the market today, including:

The general concept of an outdoor fire pit, however, is a metal or stone bowl that's used to burn wood or charcoal.

The primary use of fire pits nowadays is to create a warm and cozy atmosphere too often cold and dark backyards—because let's face it, what could be cozier than gathering around a warm fire on a chilly night?

They’re also a great way to cook a variety of delicious meals. They can also help you roast marshmallows, cook hot dogs, or even make some s’mores!

The Pros and Cons of Fire Pits vs Heat Lamps - Shrubhub

The Pros of a Fire Pit

We all know that having a fire pit in your backyard is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with friends and family.

However, that's not everything that a fire pit is good for. They can be used as a cooking station, they're extremely energy efficient, and they can become a significant heat source in your yard.

They're also very easy to set up and take down once the weather starts warming up again. Plus, they have a beautiful aesthetic that makes them perfect for any home or patio!

In addition to all those amazing perks, fire pits come in a wide variety of designs and can be further customized to fit your house's aesthetics. That's why it's easy to look them up online and find one that fits your specific needs.

The Pros and Cons of Fire Pits vs Heat Lamps - Shrubhub

The Cons of a Fire Pit

While there are many advantages to having a fire pit, there are also a few things you should be aware of.

The most obvious is that they can be very dangerous if used improperly. They're a fire hazard due to their open flames.

While there are ways to mitigate this risk (like making sure your pit is at least three feet away from anything flammable), the fact remains that if your child is playing near any source of heat or light in their yard, they should be supervised at all times.

There is also the risk of explosions due to gas leaks if you're using a propane fire pit, a built-in natural gas fire pit, or have a fire pit installed near the natural gas line.

They're also not always the best choice for people who live in high rises or apartments because of their smoke emissions.

They're also not a great option for people with respiratory problems who are advised to stay clear of any direct smoke.

The Pros and Cons of Fire Pits vs Heat Lamps - Shrubhub

Types and Uses of Heat Lamps or Patio Heaters

A heat lamp or a patio heater is a lamp that produces heat, rather than light. Just like fire pits, the market is exploding with a wide range of patio heaters, including:

The heat of a heat lamp usually comes from an electric or gas-powered heating element placed within the lamp.

This type of patio heater can be used in many areas of your home as a way to supplement heating or as a means of providing some extra warmth to your yard during the winter months.

Heat lamps are typically mounted on walls or ceilings, but there are also portable versions that can be moved around easily.

The Pros and Cons of Fire Pits vs Heat Lamps - Shrubhub

Pros of a Patio Heater

Patio heaters are a great way to stay warm on chilly nights. Many people prefer heat lamps over fire pits because they're much more affordable and easy to set up without any special tools or expertise.

With heat lamps, you can enjoy the warmth of a fire without the mess or danger of an open flame.

Another great advantage to having a patio heater is that, unlike fire pits, they don't require regular maintenance and don't pose nearly as much of a threat if not used properly. They are also smaller in size, so they take up less space than fire pits.

You can easily use a heating lamp or patio heater inside a residential or commercial space.

They're permitted in enclosed spaces in most places around the world because they don't pose any significant risk of damage or injury.

The Pros and Cons of Fire Pits vs Heat Lamps - Shrubhub

Cons of Heat Lamps

On the downside, heat lamps don't emit light like fire pits do (which is where most people get their "wow" factor from).

They also often require electricity so if there's no outlet nearby then you won't be able to use it in your outdoor space.

Another obvious disadvantage to having a patio heater instead of a fire pit is that it cannot be used for cooking food.

They also cannot create as warm and cozy of an atmosphere as a fire pit.

Which Is Better?

When it comes to warming up your outdoor space, the debate between fire pits and patio heaters—quite literally. The biggest question we get asked is which one is better for my house?

Well, that depends on your needs and preferences. Here's a detailed breakdown of each option:

Heat Lamps Are Safer Around Children

There is a general misconception that having a fire pit is safer and more environmentally friendly than having an electric patio heater.

Fire pits are, in fact, much safer than they used to be, but they're still far from perfect.

Wood-burning fire pits, for example, can release harmful gasses like carbon monoxide and fine particulates into the air we breathe.

The amount of smoke produced by burning wood varies depending on the kind of fuel used, but it's never good for your health or your lungs to breathe in too much smoke from fires at home or out in nature.

Patio heaters, however, are safe in most cases, especially around children or the elderly. That is because they don't give off any CO2 emissions and they don't burn wood or charcoal (which can release carcinogens).

They also don't emit smoke or require any spark screen. As long as you use the right kind of patio heater and keep it clean and well-maintained, you'll have no problems at all.

The Pros and Cons of Fire Pits vs Heat Lamps - Shrubhub

Heat Lamps Are Less Expensive Than Fire Pits

Heat lamps are much less expensive than fire pits. You can pick up a basic model for less than $20, and it will last you for years.

Electric patio heaters don’t require gas and some of them come with batteries, which makes them a power-efficient option.

Unlike fire pits that require regular maintenance, the only maintenance that a heat lamp requires is cleaning off any dirt and debris that may have accumulated over time.

In comparison to the effort it takes to maintain a fire pit, cleaning takes very little time and effort, so you'll never have to worry about spending money on maintenance costs associated with your heat lamp.

Check out our article about the best fire pits in the market to find affordable high-quality options for your home and backyard.

The Pros and Cons of Fire Pits vs Heat Lamps - Shrubhub

Fire Pits Are Better in an Outdoor Setting

The main reason why fire pits or outdoor fireplaces are better than heat lamps when used in the backyard is that they don't require electricity. This means that you won’t need any electrical power cords or electric sockets.

A fire pit can also make your backyard look better as well as provide a space for gathering with family and friends.

Another reason why a fire pit is better than heat lamps for outdoor use is that heat lamps can only give off enough heat to warm someone if they get too close to them and they don't emit any light at all.

Fire pits, however, can provide warmth and light to a larger area in the right weather, creating comfort and ambiance for your outdoor living space.

The Pros and Cons of Fire Pits vs Heat Lamps - Shrubhub

Fire Pits Aren’t Suitable For Snowy Areas or Extremely Cold Climates

Another thing to keep in mind is that fire pits won't keep you warm when it's cold and windy outside during the winter months.

That's right: even though fire pits seem like they would provide comfortable heat on chilly evenings all the time, they don't—or at least not very much in the wrong climate.

This is because most pit fires have flames—which means most of the warmth produced by your pit will go up into the air or get blown out!

Additionally, if you live in an area where there are forest fires, it's important that your flame is contained within the pit itself.

Fire Pits Have Better Aesthetic Appeal

Fire pits provide a much more natural feel to your outdoor space than heat lamps do. Fire pits are not only practical but also beautiful additions to any outdoor living area.

The real beauty of a fire pit is that it can be used year-round. You don't have to worry about it being too hot or cold outside, because the flame is under control. With the right kind of fire pit, you can enjoy your patio or backyard all year long.

As you'd expect from the names, heat lamps and fire pits are both great for warmth and ambiance. Heat lamps are more portable than fire pits, but they're also less dangerous. Fire pits give off a lot of light, but they're not as portable as heat lamps.

The Pros and Cons of Fire Pits vs Heat Lamps - Shrubhub

Heat Lamps Are Better in an Indoor Setting

Heat lamps are designed to provide warmth to a small enclosed space, which makes them ideal for indoor use. They can be used in any room in the house, providing a cozy atmosphere and making any space feel more comfortable.

They also take up less ground space than fire pits, as they can be placed on walls or on the ceiling.


We hope you've learned a lot about fire pits and heat lamps. We know there are many different products to choose from, so it can be hard to narrow down your options.

But no matter which type of outdoor heating solution is right for you, we want to remind you that this is an investment worth making. It will keep you safe and warm on those cold winter nights while also giving off some nice ambiance in your backyard or patio!

And if you’re looking for a full yard makeover, don’t miss out on ShrubHub’s landscaping services because for a limited time, you can get 70% off your yard design!



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