How to Choose the Right Mirror for Your Space

Convex Mirrors

If an application calls for the need to view objects in some detail at distances of roughly 15 to 20 feet, then a convex mirror is suggested. A convex mirror has a curved mirrored surface that allows for the reflective surface to project toward a light source. When trying to view and pinpoint a particular area, use a convex mirror. Since the lens of a convex mirror is curved less than that of a dome style mirror, the image in the convex mirror appears larger and less distorted. Convex safety mirrors allow for up to 180 degrees of vision and can be used to view at an angle to reduce accidents around blind corners and doorways. As an example, convex mirrors are effective when viewing aisle traffic in a store or warehouse

Convex mirrors are offered in circular or round rectangular shapes. Round rectangular convex mirrors are an ideal choice where hanging in low ceiling areas is necessary. Convex mirrors come in several materials and can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Dome Mirrors

Dome safety and security mirrors offer a panoramic view of an area. Typically for indoor use. dome mirrors help eliminate blind spots and increase visibility at a broader angle than convex mirrors. Dome mirrors are available in full, half, and quarter dome models. Dome mirrors are effective when used to view wide areas where the objects that need to be clearly viewed are no more than 15 to 20 feet away. A dome mirror lens is curved more than the convex mirror lens. The curvature allows for a wider angle of vision. Dome mirrors provide an infinite reflection; however, the further away a person is from the mirror the smaller the objects will appear. If the selected dome mirror is too small or positioned too far away for observation, the objects will appear so small that they are virtually unidentifiable. This is due to the curvature of the dome lens and the relatively short height/depth ratio on a dome mirror. The larger the mirror, the larger the objects will appear. 

  • For small offices and “L” shaped hallways, a 90-degree “quarter dome” mirror can be used.
  • When viewing blind corners and “T” intersections, a 180 degree “half dome” mirror can be used.
  • For areas that require visibility at a four-way intersection or visibility from all angles, a 360-degree “full-dome” mirror is the best option.

Choosing the Correct Mirror Size

It is important to select the proper size mirror for the area where it will be used. A mirror that is too small will not provide sufficient viewing distance, detail, and visibility. The larger the mirror size, the larger the reflected image will appear.

When determining the size of a convex mirror, a good rule of thumb to remember is one foot of viewing per each inch of the mirror. As an example, if planning on placing a convex mirror into an area that is expected to view 25 feet, then select a convex mirror that is 26” in diameter.

The following are factors to take into account when choosing the right dome mirror:

  • The distance in feet you will be standing or positioned from the mirror.
  • How far away from the mirror are the objects you wish to view (distance in feet).
  • How clearly you need to see the objects reflecting in the mirror. Do you need to just make out movement, or do you need to see clearly enough to recognize objects or people in greater detail?
  • The larger the mirror, the larger the objects will appear in the mirror. Full domes offer the most robust view, followed by half domes, and then quarter domes.

Flat Panel Mirrors

For distortion-free viewing flat panel security mirrors provide the optimum solution. They are ideal for use in suspended ceilings, ceiling panel inserts, or on walls. These mirrors are capable of offering a viewing of an immediate area. A two-way version of this type of mirror can be used for an overhead observation area or with a security camera. Simply replace the existing acoustical ceiling panel with the mirrored two- way panel.