Mirror Choices For DIY Smart Mirror Projects
Hi! Krista here. People ask us this question almost daily for diy smart mirror and photo booth projects. Every time, the questions are the same so I decided to make this guide! First let me introduce you to the mirror types you might consider:
How do I read technical specifications?
Let me review with you what the technical specifications are telling us. The % reflection is on a scale of 0 to 100, 100% being a standard mirror. So, the glass two way mirror, acrylic two way mirror and glass smart mirror are all 70% reflective. This means they will all look almost identical to a standard mirror where the screen is black.
Transparency = Display Quality
The transparency percentage is the most important number! This is because it tells you how much of the display quality you see through the mirror. It puts this number on a scale of 0 to 100, 100% being clear glass or no mirror at all. The glass two way mirror is 11% transparent, so it is blocking 89% of the light coming through. It’s like viewing a television with sun glasses on!
The display has a black background with white text.
In the picture above there is an image with a black background and white text, as well as a color wheel below each title. This is to simulate what your diy smart mirror will look like with each mirror type. If you are familiar with this application at all, this is super obvious why we would compare them this way!
It is obvious who the winner is. Notice with the Dielectric Mirror, the color wheel is much brighter and the text is white and easy to read. However, the reflection tint is not the closest match to a standard mirror.
The Acrylic Two Way Mirror has a nice grey tone and is color neutral.
Check it out! The Glass Smart Mirror has a crisp reflection and a bright color wheel. This resembles a standard mirror the closest out of all of the options.
Finally, the Glass Two Way Mirror is very hard to see as the reflection overpowers the text and color wheel.
Most people only want to know:
Can they use the acrylic for their project?
That is a loaded question to say the least! There are many factors. I want you to select with confidence the correct mirror that you will be happy with.
Why the size cap?
The acrylic material is bendy by nature. When the thickness is 1/8″, the largest size we recommend is 12″ x 24″, or 24″ x 28″ if you go with the thicker material.
Insider note: If you are doing touch and go with the acrylic, the IR Touch Overlay will interefere due to bendiness. Avoid this at all cost.
Bathroom Smart Mirrors
Acrylic and damp environments do not mix! The acrylic mirror coating is very fragile. If you do decide to go this route, you will want to keep it as far away from the shower and bath tub as possible. Also consider facing the mirror coating toward the display to protect it further.
Acrylic does have a plastic edge,
so you will want to cover it with a frame.
Now that we have that out of the way-
Let's check out the glass options.
For one reason or another, you’ve decided at this point to go with glass. There are two main configurations for a smart mirror. Either the mirror and display are the same size, or the mirror is larger than the display.
When the Mirror & TV Are the Same Size
If the mirror and display are the same size, the Dielectric Mirror is the best choice. This is because the frame can cover the bezel of the tv, so even though it is very transparent, it will not be obvious. Once installed you will be happy you chose it! The display quality is the ultimate, even in bright lighting conditions.
If Your Mirror is Large and Your TV is Small
The Glass Smart Mirror is available in an ultra-thin 3mm thickness, as well as a 6mm thickness. The display quality through the mirror is 3 times brighter than a standard Glass Two Way Mirror.
Everything you need to know about
Touch Technologies: IR Touch Overlay vs. Touch Foil
IR Touch Overlay
With this technology, the display is on the bottom, followed by the mirror, then the IR Touch Overlay on top. From there you will cover the overlay with a frame to hide it from view and to hold the smart mirror together.
Things to check before you buy an IR Touch Overlay
The touch foil is for frameless smart mirror projects. This technology goes in-between the display and mirror for the most seamless look.
Things to check before you buy a Touch Foil:
If you are still unsure...
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