a clever mirror
Looking glasses have gone hi-tech – find out more
‘The latest gadgets such as lights, demisters, music and sockets are Taking modern o smart mirrors way beyond humble bathroom accessories’ Dan Cook, CP Hart
No bathroom is complete without a mirror, but today’s smart designs offer so much more than a decent reflection. Featuring built-in luxuries designed to make our lives a little easier and more interesting, smart mirrors are genuinely useful kit, and not just for gadget geeks.
Q What are the options? Popular tech includes built-in LED lighting, digital clocks, shaver/toothbrush sockets, Bluetooth speakers and heated pads that keep the glass clear.
Q What if I really want to show off? Invest in a mirror that turns into a large TV for watching movies in the tub. In some designs the TV part covers only a small area of the mirror, so you can catch up with the news while brushing your teeth. ‘The best thing about this tech is that it needn’t intrude. You can only tell that there’s a television when it’s on,’ says Chris Payne, senior designer at Ripples.
Q Can I fit it myself? The majority of smart mirrors require power, and must be installed by a qualified electrician. If your mirror features a television or DAB radio, an external aerial connection or output lead may also be necessary. Any cabling can be neatly concealed behind tiling. Some of the simpler illuminated mirrors are battery powered – LEDS are energyefficient so the batteries will last a while.
Q Are smart mirrors safe? Whether mains- or battery-powered, smart mirrors must be IP44 rated for safe use in the bathroom, and can be fitted within 60cm of a basin or similar water source. Beware of imports that don’t always comply. As long as it’s fitted in accordance with BS 7671 – the standards followed by qualified electricians – your mirror will be perfectly safe.
Q How can I get the most from my smart mirror? The latest tech is focused on intuitive use and elegant integration. Look for sleek touch controls, SD card and USB ports, dimmable lighting and built-in shelving for devices like phones and ipods. ‘Some include adjustable brightness or colour-changing technology, allowing you to go from warm white to daylight, depending upon your mood,’ adds Chris from Ripples.
maddie’s smart mirror is stylish and practical