Isn't Choosing a New Bathroom Mirror Easy?
Not too long ago, the only decision you had to make when buying a mirror was which size and style you wanted. Then came illuminated bathroom mirrors, but these were expensive, power-hungry and likely to require a new bulb every few months, especially if you forgot to turn it off during the day/night. Modern illuminated bathroom mirrors forgo cumbersome fluorescent bulbs in favour of cheaper, more energy-efficient and longer lasting LEDs. (We’ll talk about this more later).
So, actually, it would appear that when it comes to buying a new bathroom mirror, not much has changed. Shape and size are still important, and there’s the added choice of whether you want LED illumination, but apart from that, there’s not much else to consider…. or so you might have thought. In actual fact, the choice when it comes to LED bathroom mirrors could leave you feeling as disorientated as if you were in an actual mirror maze.
In this guide, we shall walk you through the different types of LED mirrors and once you’ve read about the different types, you’ll have a chance to reflect on which one is right for you.
A (Very) Brief History of the Mirror
It is thought that humans most likely used pools of dark, still water as the first ‘mirrors,’ although quite what they would have needed to see, one can only imagine. The earliest manufactured mirrors were crafted from polished stone as early as 6000 BC and it took roughly 2000 years for the first metal mirrors to be made. In the following six millenia, not much progress was made; glass became the primary material, with a thin layer of metal providing the shine; mirrors became smoother and more reflective; and experiments were made with concave and convex mirrors, but it wasn’t until around 5 years ago that mirrors really began to change.
Before we look at all the different types of LED bathroom mirrors, however, let's just take a brief moment to discover why LEDs have usurped fluorescent lighting as the number one illumination for bathroom mirrors.
The Benefits of LEDs
There are numerous reasons why LEDs are now the go-to lighting option in all walks of life, from car manufacturers to housing. Here’s our rundown (in no particular order):
Firstly, LEDs are significantly cheaper and easier to produce than fluorescent lights. This reduced price benefits not just the manufacturers, but you, the customer as well.
LEDs are also the most energy-efficient way of lighting a mirror, saving you money off your energy bill and doing your bit for the environment at the same time. They also have a far superior lifespan. The average LED has a lifespan of roughly 50,000 hours, some 42 times longer than a traditional incandescent bulb. Without going too much into kilowatts and electrical jargon, the average LED over its 50,000 hour life will cost roughly 1/6 that of a traditional bulb, so perhaps it’s not just in your mirrors where you should be looking to replace bulbs.
The final reason LEDs are loved in bathroom mirrors is that they are so versatile. They are small enough to be placed anywhere which allows mirrors like the Phoenix Infiniti to be created - a mirror with unrivalled head-turning appeal. Different colours can also be used, such as in the Bathroom Origins Stargaze Mirror.
LED Bathroom Mirrors
We start with the ‘standard’ LED bathroom mirror. Thanks to the flexibility that LED lighting offers, you’re not just limited to a range of square and rectangular mirrors. LEDs are so much smaller than other bulbs, so manufacturers can place them almost anywhere they desire. This gives them much more freedom to be creative with the design of the actual mirror itself. One of our personal favourites is the Bathroom Origins Halo mirror - available in two sizes and guaranteed to not only brighten up your bathroom thanks to the ‘halo’ lighting, but sure to make it feel more spacious and relaxing as well.
Steam Free LED Bathroom Mirrors
You spend all that money on a shiny, new bathroom mirror, then the first time you take a hot bath or shower you render it completely useless; that is unless you wait 10 minutes for the condensation to clear, or you wipe it off, therefore smearing said mirror. It sounds like the stuff of nightmares, but what else can you do? I fear the answer might be slightly ruined by the heading of this paragraph, but here goes anyway…. a demister bathroom mirror.
As the name suggests, a steam-free (or demister) bathroom mirror prevents condensation building up on the mirror, so no matter how hot you have your bath or shower, you’ll always step out to a completely clear mirror. It’s actually slightly disconcerting the first time you see it. We won’t bore you with the science of how or why they work, apart from to say that there is a heating pad behind the mirror which heats the surface of the mirror to just above room temperature, therefore preventing any condensation from forming. These pads vary in size depending on the mirror; some may cover the whole mirror, others only a portion, but all of them leave enough space for you to be able to see what you’re doing.
Demister LED bathroom mirrors are increasing in popularity by the week. Almost every manufacturer has a wide and varied range, so choosing our favourites is tricky. However, it’s hard to look past the excellent value of the Vellamo range, and there’s also a special mention for the Phoenix Flow and Wave ranges - for when you want something that provides a bit more artistic appeal than a square or rectangle.
LED Bathroom Mirrors with Shaver Sockets
Modern LED bathroom mirrors really are a technological marvel - a sentence I bet you thought you’d never read! Not content with cramming them with LEDs and heated demister pads, manufacturers have also managed to wangle shaver sockets into many of them. So, if you need to plug your razor in in the bathroom, you no longer have to get an electrician out to put a separate - and frankly ugly - socket in your wall. You simply plug it into your mirror instead.
Once again, picking our favourite LED mirror with a shaver socket is tricky. Despite mentioning it previously, again, we can’t look past the tremendous value for money that the Vellamo range offers. We also like the Phoenix Balmoral LED mirror - a mirror that allows you to keep a traditional feel in your bathroom but keep up to date with all the latest technology.
Magnifying LED Bathroom Mirrors
When you’re having your morning shave or touching up your makeup, certain areas can be trickier than others to see, and it doesn’t matter how big your mirror is. So make your life easier with a magnifying LED bathroom mirror.
There are two types of magnifying mirrors: there are those that are like the HIB Libra Magnifying LED Mirror where the whole mirror is magnified with a LED ‘halo’ around it. These make perfect secondary mirrors as they are small and most have adjustable arms so the perfect position can be found.
The other type of magnifying LED mirror is one like the HIB Messina Steam Free LED Mirror with Integrated Magnifying mirror. These mirrors are just like any other LED mirror, however, one section of the mirror is actually a magnifying mirror. They are perfect for when you don’t have the space, or don’t want the expense of a secondary mirror, and it also allows you to have other features on your mirror such as heated demister pads and shaver sockets.
We’ve saved the most technologically-advanced mirrors until last; mirrors that make your bog-standard bit of glass look frankly archaic by comparison. How many times have you wanted to have a boogie whilst you’ve been shaving or doing your makeup or wanted a backing track to accompany your Mariah impression in the shower, but you’ve been too scared of taking your phone in there with you for obvious reasons? Now you can do all that and more with our selection of Bluetooth® LED bathroom mirrors.
With a Bluetooth® mirror, you simply connect your phone to the mirror and your music will be played out of the integrated speakers. You don’t just have to play music; why not catch up on that podcast you’ve been meaning to listen to whilst you’re doing your hair? Or listen to that audio book whilst you’re having a relaxing soak? And, with your phone being in a completely different room, you never have to worry about dropping it in the sink or bath again.
So, there we have it; everything you need to know about the different types of LED bathroom mirrors we sell here at Tap Warehouse. If we’ve missed anything that you feel would be useful, let us know in the comments as we’re always looking to improve our blogs, but for now, thank you for reading and happy mirror shopping.