LEDs for mirrors – product & installation advice

Because they are often used to provide bathroom lighting, mirrors with LED highlights typically require splash-proof LED strips with at least IP65-rated protection.

Loft bathroom lit by pure-white LEDs

Mounted Mirrors:

For mounted mirrors, standing clear of the wall, LEDs are usually positioned around the mounting, facing outwards – so their light will shine outwards onto the surrounding wall (up, down, left and right) as feature lighting. This makes them very easy to install.

How to position LEDs around a mounted mirror

InStyle will cut your LED strips to length, and solder on link cables so you won’t need to bend the strips around the mirror’s corners.

LED strips fixed behind mirror - example 1

If your mirror is mounted clear of the wall, with a space behind, then an alternative approach is to fix your LED strips to the back, around the edge, so their light creates a halo effect on the wall.

LED strips fixed behind mirror - example 2

Mirrors fixed directly to the wall:

Aluminium LED profiles fitted around mirrors fixed directly to a bedroom wall.

If the mirror is not mounted to stand proud of the wall behind, then we recommend fitting its LED highlights into aluminium extrusions (profiles).

LED extrusions add a feature highlight below this bathroom mirror

This is a good idea because in such cases the LED strips will be in direct view, and the extrusions will produce a light-bar effect (this is preferable to the visible ‘light dots’ that are often observed around exposed LEDs).

Three aluminium LED extrusions

End-on view of a deep-surface aluminium LED extrusion (profile)

LED tapes for mirrors:

Mirror feature lighting doesn’t require high-power LEDs. To highlight your mirror, use either 5W white LED tape, 7.5W RGB LED tape, or 10W RGBW LED tape.

5-watt warm-white LED tape

5-watt LED strip lights are plenty powerful enough for your mirror highlighting. You could even add a dimmer to lower them further, and they will still be bright enough to clean teeth your teeth by! NB: Mirror lights are not intended to replace a bathroom’s main (working) light, so you’ll still have other lights fitted.

Many bathrooms use cooler pure-white LEDs, to create a more antiseptic (blue-tint) look. Alternatively, choose warm-white if you prefer a more homely, inviting bathroom.

Ensuite LED bathroom in blue

7.5-watt RGB LEDs on a reel
10-watt RGBW LEDs on a reel - warm-white option

7.5-watt RGB LED tapes give out a suitable level of light, but they’re not typical a popular choice for mirrors. If you are fitting mirror highlighting with colour-change functionality, we recommend using 10-watt RGBW strips (warm-white option) so you have a true white always available, as well as colour if you want to mix it up.

If you’re using LEDs to highlight a bathroom mirror, don’t forget to order your LED tapes with a splash-proof coating (IP65 at least).

These recommendations apply to InStyle’s commercial-grade Epistar-branded LED strip lights. For lower-grade strip lights from elsewhere, adjust accordingly.

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