An acrylic two way mirror, also known as a one way mirror, is a semi-transparent mirror which allows discreet viewing from the darker side. 30% of light passes through, reflecting the rest. In addition to security applications, it is commonly used for behavioral research, animal observation, reality television shows, photobooths, lightning effects, mirrored televisions, and smart mirror projects.
- 70% Reflective
- 30% Transparent
- Max Size: 49″ x 97″
- Cutting Accuracy +/- 1/16″
- Thickness: 1/8″ (3mm) & 1/4″ (6mm)
- Stronger than glass
- Excellent visibility
- Resembles regular mirror
- 70% reflective, 30% transparent
- Combine with existing window
- Multiple colors available
- Works with touch overlay
- Passes “fingernail” test
- Can be mounted on ceiling
- Easy to cut & drill
- Ships immediately
- Careful packing & fully insured
- 60 day returns
- Works great in front of a TV or monitor for a Smart Mirror application.
- Acrylic is much stronger than glass, making it 10-20x more resistant to impact and ideal for security windows.
- Has a high grade mirror coating, making it look just like a standard mirror. A glass two way mirror has a more bronze appearance and does not pass the “fingernail” test.
- Recording through acrylic provides better picture quality than glass due to less tint.
- Two way mirror acrylic is equally reflective from both sides, so it’s critical the observation side is much less illuminated than the side which is being observed, ideally pitch black.
- Smart Mirror
- Home Privacy
- Store Security
- Scientific Research
- Photo Booth
- Interrogation Room
- Market Research
- Reality Television
- Stage Magic
- Pepper’s Ghost
- Security Cameras
- Stage Effects
- Infinity Mirror
- Animal Research
- Safe Room
How does a two way mirror work?
A two way mirror, a mirror that is transparent on one side and reflective on the other, is created by placing a layer of semi-transparent film of aluminum on an acrylic substrate. This allows a percentage of light to pass through and reflects the rest.
We have all seen a cop drama TV show or film in which a criminal suspect is interrogated while police watch from behind a mirror. Why can’t the suspect see those watching him behind the mirror? The answer lies in the level of lighting in both rooms. The room the suspect is in is kept very brightly lit, so that the light in the room reflects off the mirror’s surface. The observation room containing the police, on the other hand, is kept dark, so that little to no light gets through the glass. As a result, the suspect sees only his own reflection and the police see into the suspect’s room clearly. If the lights in the suspect’s room were suddenly turned out, or the lights in the observation room suddenly turned on, then the two way mirror would become a window. It’s the same sort of effect you see in a mirrored office building at night — if there is a light on in one of the offices, you can see into that office just fine.
What kind of glue or tape can I use?
It’s important to only glue the edges or the non-mirror side. Most adhesives and tapes will remove the mirror coating if you accidentally apply it to the mirror side. If you are applying it to the non-mirror side, it can be glued or taped just like regular acrylic. Rubber cement offers a strong bond to many surfaces, and can be used around the edge. Please try adhesives with a product sample before experimenting with your purchase.
What is the "fingernail" test?
The fingernail test is how you determine which side is the mirror side. Looking for a gap between an object and its reflection is one way to distinguish two-way mirrors from ordinary mirrors. Acrylic two way mirrors have the mirror coating on the backside instead of on the front, which means they pass the fingernail test.
Will they pass the fingernail test?
Yes, unlike regular glass two way mirrors the acrylic passes the fingernail test. The mirror is on the backside.
What's the largest size you can make?
The full sheet size is 49″x97″. Full sheets are quite floppy, so we recommend the following maximum sizes:
- 1/8″ thick acrylic: 24″x24″
- 1/4″ thick acrylic: 36″x48″
How reflective are the mirrors?
- 70% Reflective, 25% Transparent
Do they look like regular mirrors?
When placed in front of a display or a pitch black room, they are a close match to a regular mirror.
How do I figure out which side is the mirror side?
The easiest way to figure this out is to put your fingernail against the mirror. If there is a gap between your finger and its reflection (i.e., you can see the entire tip of your finger in the mirror), it is the uncoated side. If there is no gap between your finger and its reflection, it is the coated side.
What should I use to clean them?
For loose debris and dust, you can use compressed (canned) air like you use to clean your computer’s keyboard and ports. For smudges, fingerprints, and stains, use Novus 1 spray and Polish Mate cleaning wipes, which are specifically made to clean acrylic and simultaneously fix small scratches. If Novus 1 and Polish Mates are unavailable, 50% isopropyl alcohol (lens cleaner) and microfiber cloth can be substituted.
How strong is an acrylic mirror?
Our 1/4″ thick acrylic mirrors can easily withstand a high-speed impact from a blunt object such as a hammer. They will still scratch like regular acrylic, so you should handle them with care.
How well does it work for a smart mirror?
The acrylic has the clearest picture quality for bathroom smart mirrors. We also offer it in glass, which is our VanityVision Smart Mirror product.
What are the technical specifications of the substrate?
What chemicals should I avoid using on them?
Like all plastic materials, mirrored acrylic will react when exposed to certain chemicals. Below is a partial list of chemicals known to react with acrylic mirrors; exposure to them should be avoided. External factors such as fabrication stresses, exposure to loads or changing temperatures, and the method of application can influence the possible reaction as well. Care should be taken with dry chemicals or solvents used near the mirrored acrylic at all times.
KNOWN CHEMICALS THAT ATTACK MIRRORED ACRYLIC:
BENZENE ETHYL ALCOHOL
LACQUER THINNERS KETONES
ESTERS METHYL ALCOHOL
CARBON TETRACHLORIDE ETHERS
How much do the mirrors weigh?
1/8″ Thick – 0.712 lb per sq foot (323g)
1/4″ Thick – 1.424 lb per sq foot (646g)
How can I cut it?
The mirrors come with a protective laminate on both sides. You can leave the laminate on and cut it using a table saw with a fine toothed acrylic blade (available online).
Is it waterproof?
Only the non-mirror side is waterproof. If water contacts the mirror side, it will be undamaged provided it is quickly dried with microfiber cloth or soft paper towels.
Can they be used outdoors?
Provided the mirror side doesn’t get wet or exposed to high humidity, they can be used outside.
How can I black off the backside except for a lens?
You’ll want to use a black, non-adhesive backing with a hole it the same size or smaller than your camera lens. Alternatively, you can paint the non-mirror side black except for the lens area.
What is the difference between 1/8" and 1/4" thicknesses?
The increased thickness of the 1/4″ gives it a lot more rigidity, so you’ll get a less bendy reflection in larger sizes. It is also better to use the 1/4″ acrylic in situations in which someone might attempt to break it or fall through it, such as in an interrogation or observation room. The 1/4″ acrylic also is much better for mirrors above 24″x24″, because the 1/8″ acrylic tends to get quite floppy and unmanageable in the larger sizes. The 1/8″ is better when replacing single pane windows or fitting into a 1/8″ channel.
Can I add it to an existing window?
You can simply place it behind the existing window and use rubber cement around the edges (on the non-mirror side).
By default, the mirrors we sell are silver, which resembles a standard mirror. The minimum order is qty 3 stock sheets 49″x97″ in size, which we can cut down for you before shipping. The thicknesses are 1/8″ and 1/4″. Please contact us with the size, quantity, and color for a price quote. The lead time is typically 1 month and samples are available for $20. Acrylic two way mirrors are available in a variety of colors. $2000 minimum order due to manufacturing minimums.
Acrylic is strong, so they can easily be shipped and won’t break in transit. Our mirrors are fully insured and packaged in custom boxes and wrapped in strong, flexible packing materials to ensure that they’re well-protected during transit.