A bathroom mirror is, without a doubt, a necessity. For both men and women, a bathroom mirror comes in handy during grooming activities such as brushing teeth, drying hair, applying makeup and shaving. All these grooming activities and more not listed here are most effectively performed in front of a mirror. For this reason, the bathroom mirror should be large enough, well-lit and conveniently placed. The preferable choice should no doubt be an LED mirror, as you will learn in this article.
- Reflection up to the chest line – 16 inches;
- Reflection up to the waist line – 24 inches;
- Reflection up to the kneecap line – 48 inches.
A small mirror allows you to see the reflection the face and neck only, so you should choose the shape of the mirror wisely.
The mirror is also an important décor element. Its shape should be in sync with the bathroom’s dimensions. A small round mirror in a large bathroom is simply lost as a decorative element. Additionally, a huge mirror in a small room looks out of place. A bathroom mirror, if selected wisely, helps visually expand a tiny bathroom, while emphasizing the layout and decor.
If the mirror is intended to be used only for decoration and general inspection, you can complement it with built-in or backlight LED lights, the latter of which are located behind the mirror plate. This way, you will create the perfect LED mirror.
It is recommended that the lights be set up above the mirror for a clear reflection. This tip comes in especially handy during the application of makeup. The mirror should be positioned in a way that not just the mirror but also the areas around the mirror including shelves, tables, sinks, fall under the lighting zone.
Illuminated Mirror: Options
There are endless options for the illumination of mirrors. Illumination can be provided by lighting fixtures placed on the exterior of the mirror, such as spotlights, small sconces or adjustable modern fixtures. These fixtures are best fixed in close proximity of the mirror. With the help of remote lighting, you can illuminate a round, square or other wall mirror plus furniture and other installations around the mirror, such as cabinets.
The other option for lighting mirrors is internal lighting. In most cases, it is provided by means of LEDs placed on strips or in blocks, i.e. LED mirrors. To soften the lighting and protect the eyes, the LEDs are placed under frosted glass. Mirrors with this kind of illumination allow one to consider their reflection in detail. Dim lighting is enough to clearly highlight even the smallest details. In addition, a mirror illuminated by LEDs serves as an essential décor element.
Another option to lighting a bathroom mirror is by using decorative lights, whose name speaks for itself. With this lighting, full coverage can’t be achieved at the same time. Such lights are often used in bathrooms to create a special cozy and romantic atmosphere. LEDs for creating such a backlight can be placed behind the mirror sheet along the line of the outer edge (perimeter). An interesting effect is achieved by using the LED lights to illuminate drawings printed on the surface of the mirror by sandblasting. Decorative lighting can be used to supplement full lighting.
Criteria and Selection Rules
Since the illuminated mirror is installed in the bathroom not only for reflection, but also to ensure a sufficient degree of light, one should follow certain rules when choosing an illuminated mirror. Following these rules helps you create the coziest and most comfortable bathroom possible.
The determining parameter when choosing a light source are the dimensions of the bathroom – both the floor area and height of ceilings. For a small bathroom, it is enough to have a main light source and a small illuminated backlight. A good option for the backlight in this case is a built-in lamp. These mirrors can be made to order or purchased as readymade from the store. The main disadvantage of such lighting is that it is expensive and difficult to create by yourself.
If the bathroom is very tiny and has a low ceiling, it is most reasonable to limit yourself to a single source of light. With simple mirror illumination, it is entirely possible to provide full lighting for an entire small bathroom.
You are at more liberty to experiment with lighting in a large bathroom. The most reasonable option is using different sources of lighting in the shower, above the bath and in other areas. Of these zones, the most lit should obviously be the mirror and the immediate surrounding area. Each light source must be equipped with a separate switch.
Mirrors in the bathroom can be lit with lamps of any type, as long as they are reliable ad of high quality. Another important point to note when choosing a lamp is the amount of lighting the lamp provides. For optimal lighting, the lamps should be installed in line with the parameters of the room. The main types of modern lamps include halogen, neon and fluorescent lamps, as well as LED lighting devices.
Halogen lamps are 10 times more efficient than ordinary ones and therefore the preferred choice. The light emitted by these lamps resembles that of incandescent bulbs. Additionally, halogen lamps consume less energy, which is guaranteed by their design features, i.e. halogen lamps are gas-filled, have a high cylinder temperature and require mandatory protection from moisture.
Halogen bathroom lamps
Fluorescent lamps emit light that most closely resembles natural light. They are renowned for their durability, relatively low power consumption and low cylinder temperature. These features make it rational for the use of fluorescent lamps in rooms with high humidity. The disadvantages of these lamps include flickers, slight buzzes and too much time to reach the full operating mode.
Neon lamps are rarely used in lighting bathrooms. Instead, they are mostly used as indicator or decorative lights.
LED lighting devices have a very high efficiency. They have the lowest power consumption even at extreme brightness levels. LED devices can simulate the shape of standard incandescent lamps, as well as take the form of light-emitting strips, panels or spot emitters. The durability of light-emitting diodes is about 200,000-500,000 hours of continuous operation. LED lamps can be both bright white and colored. However, there are designs of LED emitters that allow you to adjust the color to a very wide range according to a predetermined program. This adjustment allows the use of LEDs as decorative elements for the interior.
An outstanding functional addition to the main mirror in the bathroom is a cosmetic mirror. This small round mirror with a mobile anchor helps give a detailed reflection of the face for a neat makeup application process, especially if it has a second reflective side. A second reflective side increases the reflection by two to three times.
The main parameter for assessing the quality of a cosmetic mirror is the metal from which the reflective layer on the surface is made. There exist multiple options for such coverage. The main reflective layers are, however, made from:
Aluminum coating for cosmetic mirrors are the cheapest option. However, aluminum quickly collapses under the influence of moisture and is therefore not long-lasting.
Titanium is less susceptible to destruction in a wet environment. A mirror with such a coating can, therefore, last longer. The main disadvantage of a titanium reflecting layer is that it produces fuzzy images, blurred edges and broken forms.
Silver is considered the best coating option for cosmetic mirrors. This preference is because silver is moisture resistant and thus highly durable. The reflections are also very clear, allowing you to perform the most scrupulous actions when caring for your face and applying makeup.
Another important point to note is that a cosmetic mirror must be equipped with a separate light. LED devices like tapes or blocks are the most convenient and safest option for such a backlight. The main idea to remember is that the illuminated mirror is an electrical lighting device that requires careful handling and special care.
Indoors, particularly bathrooms, have high humidity. By choosing a heated mirror for a bathroom, you can save yourself from the extra hassle of caring for a mirror canvas, thereby significantly prolonging its service life.
A thin layer of heating coating maintains the optimum temperature of the mirror fabric at any level of moisture. This, in turn, prevents condensation of moisture on the surface of the mirror, leading to an ever clean and clear mirror.
The bathroom is classified as a place of increased danger of electric shock. Due to this risk, the installation of mirror lighting devices must be subject to electrical safety rules. For electrical wire used in wet areas, there are several requirements for installation and connection. These include:
- Moisture resistant and double insulation wiring;
- Use of special cable channels;
- Sufficient size of the wire cross-section, consistent with the connected load;
- Obligatory soldering and waterproofing of places of wire connections.
To install the mirror lighting elements you will need:
- Electric or hammer drill;
- A set of drills for both concrete and metal;
- Pliers with insulated handles;
- Probe – voltage indicator;
- Soldering iron, rosin, tin-lead solder;
- Insulating tape;
- PVC tube for laying the wire;
- Dowels and
Before installing the mirror, it is necessary to draw the installation outline and a schematic circuit diagram outlining the lighting elements, power supply and location of switches and grounding elements, while marking the areas where holes have to be drilled for fasteners.
After marking, the surface is drilled for dowels using drills of the appropriate diameter. Cable channels are prepared for laying and connecting electric wires. In the absence of ready-made cable channels, they need to be routed.
DIY installation of a bathroom mirror
After that, you need to mount and connect the power supply circuit of the backlight elements. These activities should be done when the supply voltage is disconnected, using personal protective equipment and tools with insulated handles.
After that, the lighting fixtures are mounted and the mirror canvas is suspended from the screws. Shelves, small lockers and other storage components are mounted last.