Building a Custom Electric Mirror - Sometimes simple is best!

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by johnfrwhipple, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Building a Custom Electric Mirror - How to make one

    I have never installed an electric mirror on any of my projects but did see one go in on another builders job about three months ago. I love these mirrors! If you have not visited the website from Electric Mirror you should go take a look. The website for Electric Mirror is here.

    After looking at all the sizes and styles it became clear that we would need a custom mirror and I started the process of getting one made. One thing I hate is having a middle man involved and that is just what I faced here in Vancouver. In order to get a custom mirror I had to first draw it up and then process my order through the local Vancouver fixture store. Well their in Vancouver close to Richmond and I'm in North Vancouver - and what about the cost of a custom mirror???

    As luck would have it I was shipping off a couple drain samples and stumbled upon a custom Glass store. I have been looking for some slumped glass for a shower bench and went in to check out this new shop. What did I find inside? Three versions of the Electric Mirrors!!! Not only that the owner (Moe) was one sight and I got to chat with him from everything from power supplies to french cleats. We designed the mirror together and Moe told me what to prepare for his arrival with the new electric mirror.

    I was blown away at how simple these builds are and can imagine that anyone with a good skill set can pull off building one of these mirrors. I'll be prepping the project these week for the mirror and need to run some low voltage wire for the warm LED's we will be using.

    I'll post a few play by play shots as I think many of you will love the look of this bathroom mirror. The mirror is the last step in a long drawn out renovation that involved firing the original contractor and bringing me and my team in to fix all the problems.

    Stand by for updates.

    In the meantime if anyone else has designed and built an electric mirror I would love to see what you did.

    JW
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  2. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

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    710
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    I presume standard stuff like Keuko or Rohbern did not fit the bill....

    Call me old skool. I'm not a fan of all the glitz and glamour.
    Gimme a aesthetically matching framed mirror or flat non framed (depending on bathroom style).

    Inside power outlets are nice and defogger....but I'll pass on the leds.

    BTW, which leds are you using. IME, the CREE leds are the warmest out there in any variant....
  3. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Electric Mirror - warm white vs cold white LED's

    Good Question. I'll try and find out which ones are going to be used. This is a very contemporary modern designed bathroom.

    The mirror will only measure 12 7/8" tall by 55" wide. The mirror will be 6mil and installed at 'Head' level for my clients. The challenge with this bathroom was having a mirror hung that blocked the windows. Nothing looked good and the client decide to have the window's frosted for privacy and then install a skinny mirror to match the gun slits that we had installed. Once you see the end result I think it will all go great together.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a look at two styles from my new glass man in North Vancouver.

    [​IMG]

    Our mirror will have three strips of lights like this measuring 2" x 10 7/8". Because the light will shine trough the window we designed the backs of the mirrors to have a cover. This will increase the output of light and keep all three lights looking the same.

    [​IMG]

    This is the warm light we are going to use.

    JW
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
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    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Designing an Electric Mirror ( 12 7/8" x 55" )

    [​IMG]

    So this is the design we will be using.

    The LED's will be tucked into a 3/4" U Channel and the power supply will be hidden in the bathrooms vanity. The tricky part will be hiding the low voltage wiring from view but I think I can sneak it in between the window jambs. Lets hope.

    JW
  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Electric Mirror - Small Scale Installation.

    A progress update.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  6. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

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    710
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    I love the whole yet vintage modern theme you're going for.
  7. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Office Task Lighting - LED lighting with heat sink

    We used the same LED lights (Warm Light) to upgrade the home office adjacent to the master bathroom. The LED's where attached to a L Bracket (3/4" Aluminum Stock) as a heat sink. The flat grey colour on the L Bracket matched this IKEA cabinet's door glide hardware perfectly!

    We used an upscale dimmer and transformer so this lighting can be dimmed. Same with the Electric Mirror.

    .
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    [​IMG]

    IKEA Stock Cabinets

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    [​IMG]

    HEAT SINK - L Bracket. Installed with double sided 3M tape.

    .
    .

    [​IMG]

    Full Power

    JW
  8. SteveBath

    SteveBath New Member

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    6
    Location:
    NC
    Cool! .. If only someone could somehow attach a blowdryer to a mirror .. would save a lot of time in the mornings getting rid of foggy mirrors .. ;-)
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    I am surprised you did not put a TV behind the mirror that was visible when it was turned on.
  10. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
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    North Vancouver, BC
    Funny you mention that. I just checked on the mirror and Moe said that he can make these heated as well. The heated mirrors don't fog up I'm told. How nice is that!

    [​IMG]

    Here is the mirror almost finished. I asked for a lot of light in a very small strip and Moe rigged up a 'LED Booster' of sorts. Since this mirror is hanging in front of window the sunlight can shine through the back side of the mirror and this would make the center light appear different durning the day since it will be covered by a window jamb. Moe came up with a brillant solution and added in extra mirror to box out his LED system. The mirror increases the light output a lot and will give a ton a light I'm sure.

    [​IMG]

    You can see here the light with no booster on the left and with it on the right. I loved it straight off and green lighted this change!

    [​IMG]

    I'm glad we went with the warm LED's. I prefer the colour better. It was very interesting the effect of the LED booster with the cool LED's. Not so much of a boost??? I wonder why?

    JW

    JW
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
  11. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    North Vancouver, BC
    Vancouver Glass Artist

    We did that in another bathroom a couple of years back. It is quite the effect. This mirror is getting hung in front of a window so we are limited in the design. I hired a glass artist from a local North Vancouver shop to build this for me. It's amazing! I chatted the guys ear off and got to see his art glass, carvings and some of his high end finished projects.

    You can check out his website here. http://www.glasstopia.ca/glasstopia.html

    Building these custom electric mirrors is only a small part of his skill set. He has some killer custom panels for showers and some great ideas on wall panels. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished job. I love working with masters like this.

    He's putting some more shots together of a few more electric mirror installs. I'll share them with guys if he lets me. If you would like to see more examples of electric mirrors I posted a new Ideabook on Houzz.com here.

    http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/3099730/thumbs/Electric-Mirrors---Mirrors-with-built-in-lighting

    JW
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  12. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Custom Electric Mirror Installation - Vancouver Condo

    So it's done. Installed and looking fabulous!

    My clients and I could not be happier with the finished product. It took Moe and his Journeyman maybe 45 minutes to installed it. Some sort of custom mounting bracket he used. I'm not sure how he installed it but it appears to be some kind of French Cleat system.

    The mirror is lined up perfectly with the other glass details in this bathroom since every window is on the same exact level you can see out the bedroom window while brushing your teeth.

    Here is a peak.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    JW
  13. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Bathroom Lighting with an Electric Mirror

    I stopped by for a couple choice pictures at night and wanted to share them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    The mirror looks great.

    Looking forward to the next one. We are designing a new feature for a Coquitlam project I'm working on.

    JW
  14. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Coloured lights in an Electric Mirror - Coquitlam Chromotherapy Project

    We are designing a new electric mirror for a job in Coquitlam and it will have RGB lights. I'm looking forward to see the light output on this electric mirror with the colour running. I'm hoping that the warm white or cool white outputs the same like the white only led lights.

    I heard the other day that there is a new breed of LED coming that has coloured RGB mixed with White so that the softer pastel colours show better. I'll need to look into this when they come out.

    JW
  15. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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  16. clapfc

    clapfc New Member

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    albany ny
    What an excellent idea.
  17. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Thanks. Hope you had a great NEw Years...

    JW
  18. aharami

    aharami New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    New Jersey
    John,

    can you give some details on the build process of the mirror? You said you were "blown away at how simple these builds are and can imagine that anyone with a good skill set can pull off building one of these mirrors". What is involved in building these types of mirrors? I live nowhere near Vancouver, otherwise I'd go directly to this guy you mentioned. There are plenty of glass fabricators near me who can sell me 5'x3' mirror, but when I ask them if they can sell me one with a translucent frosted border, they just give me back a blank stare.

    So if you can tell us how these are produced, that would be highly appreciated. Is some sandblasting involved? Thank you!

    Also, how did you attach the mirror the frame in the back? Is it held by some sort of mirror glue or some other mechanical fastening method?
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013
  19. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,224
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Aharami - thanks for your message. I have hundreds of the install process pictures uploaded on a private photo album titled LED Lighting.

    [​IMG]

    I build all sorts of LED Lighting Projects. This bathroom designed by Holger Hoos the hardest one to date.

    I try and stick to shower construction conversation here on Terry's site and if you want more of the build process of these mirrors send me an email (my email address is below with my phone number) and I will let you know how to access the pictures.

    The short explanation is I used a French Cleat to hang a few of the mirrors and the one I built for my girls I pinned with a 1/4 round moulding.

    Sandblasting glass is not hard - but, most glass suppliers do not do this.

    I have my glass guy deliver to my glass artist - Moe from Glasstopia and Moe takes care of this step.

    The LED'S are attached to the back side of the mirror on a 90 degree angle bracket which doubles as a heat sink. I used some 3M double sided tape for the install with clear silicone.

    LED Lighting in showers is all new. There are no TCNA or TTMAC recemmendations to follow. I'm trying out new ways of building these light features and this one style pictured below is by far the simpliest to build. It's a down lit LED Shower Niche. The lights are separated from the shower by a piece of white laminate glass which is sealed to the shower's waterproofing with Kerdi Fix.

    [​IMG]

    Still not grouted in this photo. I'm told that the painting is all done in this bathroom and that I need to go back and hang a few corner shelfs. Can not wait to see this job wrapped up.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
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