Do Backlit Mirrors Provide Enough Light?

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Checking out modern mirrors made us wonder if backlit mirrors give off enough light for our daily routines. Is the light bright enough for makeup and outfit styling? We set to work to find out the answer, and here’s what we learned.

Do backlit mirrors provide enough light? Yes, backlit mirrors provide just the right amount of illumination for what you need mirrors for. The lights placed behind the mirror give off ample brightness that allows you to see your reflection clearly. Mirrors with backlighting do provide enough light for any task where a well-lit reflection is needed. This includes applying makeup, styling hair, and shaving.

This article does not contain any product recommendations. If you are interested in purchasing backlit mirrors, here’s our buying guide with products

How are backlit mirrors able to provide enough light, and how much light do backlit mirrors give off? What are the things you can do with lighting from a backlit mirror? These questions and more will be answered below, so keep reading!

Do Backlit Mirrors Provide Enough Light

Image by Arek SochaOpens in a new tab. from PixabayOpens in a new tab.

How Do Backlit Mirrors Provide Light?

Backlit mirrors provide illumination through the way they are designed, the lights they have, and their use of electrical power. Backlit mirrors are equipped with lights situated behind the mirror, between the back of the mirror and the wall the mirror is mounted on. When the mirror lights are switched on, the space behind the mirror then lights up, framing the mirror in a soft glow and illuminating the immediate surroundings. Here’s a closer look at how backlit mirrors provide light.

Backlit Mirror Design

For a backlit mirror to be effective, the mirror needs to be separated from the wall. This means there must be a space between the mirror glass and the wall behind it. Without this space, there would be no room for the lights to be placed. This is why backlit mirrors are designed with a base, which holds the lights and allows for a space between the mirror and the wall.

Some backlit mirrors are also designed to have part of the mirror surface without the reflective coating. This feature is usually found at the border of the mirror. This part of the mirror glass is frosted, allowing the light from behind the mirror to pass through the front, providing more illumination to objects near the mirror.

LED Bulbs

The lights installed in a backlit mirror are called light-emitting diode bulbs, or LED bulbs. These small bulbs are arranged into a strip and mounted onto the base behind the mirror. The LED strip runs along the perimeter of the base. The base is then mounted onto a frame that is attached to a wall. For the LED bulbs to light up, the mirror’s wiring is connected to a power source.

Electrical Power

LED bulbs need electricityOpens in a new tab. to function. The power source for backlit mirrors is usually an electrical socket on the wall. Some backlit mirrors have a separate on/off switch, while other models have the power switch integrated onto the mirror’s surface, like a smartphone screen. Other backlit mirrors are equipped with a sensor that can detect objects in front of it. When an object passes in front of the sensor or covers it, the LED bulbs light automatically.

How Much Light Do Backlit Mirrors Give Off?

Backlit mirrors provide a soft yet suitable amount of light for makeup, shaving, hair styling, and other grooming tasks. The exact amount of light backlit mirrors give off depends on the number of LEDs used. Let us explain.

The number of LEDs on a backlit mirror varies according to the size of the mirror. The larger the mirror’s base, the more LED bulbs are needed to project an ample amount of light.

LED strips usually contain 40 LED bulbs per footOpens in a new tab.. An LED bulb typically emits 22 lumens of brightness.

This means that the bigger the mirror, the bigger its base, and the longer the LED strip going around it. The longer the LED strip, the more LED bulbs there are, and the higher the lumens output are. In short, the larger the mirror, the brighter the light. Some backlit mirrors may even have twice the number of light strips, making them brighter.

Backlit mirrors, because they are meant to be mounted on to a wall, are rarely small. This means that you can be sure to have enough light if you choose to install one in your bathroom. A backlit mirror over the sink would provide enough light to help you put on makeup, fix your hair, and do other grooming tasks with ease. You can also check out this article about how backlit mirrors work for an in-depth discussion.

✅ Video – LED Bathroom Mirrors Backlit Heated Mirrors for Bathroom

The video below showcases a variety of backlit mirrors. In the video, you can see the different sizes and shapes of backlit bathroom mirrors and their lighting effect. We hope the video gives you a better idea of how much light these mirrors give off. See if you can spot the LED light strips behind one of the featured mirrors!

What Can You Do With a Backlit Mirror?

Besides helping you with your makeup and grooming routines, a backlit mirror is also useful as an ambient light source and a decorative feature. You can also use it to give the illusion that space is roomier than it actually is. Let’s go over these uses below.

Light Source

A backlit mirror is a good source of light that can add brightness to a room. In a small bathroom, a backlit mirror may be all you need to help you see your way around. You can also use a backlit mirror as an alternative to a desk lamp in a bedroom. The soft glow from the mirror can help you wind down and relax as you prepare for bed.

Room Decoration

You can use a backlit mirror to enhance the look of any space in your home. The soft light gives a room an added appeal, and the mirror itself can serve as a design element. A backlit mirror becomes a stunning focal point that really commands attention.


The reflective quality tricks the eye into thinking that space is larger than it is in real life. This is why interior designers recommend using mirrors to open up small spaces and make them look roomier. And with backlit mirrors giving off light, any space with a backlit mirror will also become brighter.

Where Is the Best Place to Put a Backlit Mirror?

The best location for a backlit mirror is where you do your daily grooming routine. This is why backlit mirrors are usually placed in the bathroom over the sink and in the bedroom vanity area. These are the places where most people do their makeup, fix their hair, shave, brush their teeth, and check their clothing. You can also put a backlit mirror in a narrow entranceway or foyer and the living room. Here’s a closer look at why those locations are the best for putting backlit mirrors in.

The Bathroom

A backlit mirror delivers the best lighting for the activities for which you need a clear and well-defined reflection. These include makeup application and removal, hair styling, shaving, tooth brushing and flossing, and face washing. These tasks are usually done in the bathroom, which is why it makes a lot of sense to put a backlit mirror there, specifically over the sink.

The Bedroom

If you do your makeup and style your clothes in the bedroom, it would be your advantage to put a backlit mirror there. It’s best to hang it in your vanity area or near your closet. And as we’ve mentioned before, a backlit mirror would also be a good ambient light source and can be a stylish alternative to a room lamp.

The Entranceway

Putting a backlit mirror in the foyer or narrow entranceway can instantly make it brighter, roomier, and more welcoming. Having a backlit mirror in that location also allows you to check yourself first and make any last-minute makeup and outfit adjustments before leaving the house.

The Living Room

A backlit mirror can be the focal point in a living room, especially if you don’t have a fireplace or a large painting or wall hanging. The illumination from a backlit mirror can also add to the room’s lighting, making it brighter and more inviting.

Related Questions

What’s the difference between backlit and lighted mirrors?

Backlit and lighted mirrors both give off light, but the difference between these two illuminated mirrors has to do with where the LED lights are installed. Backlit mirrors have their bulbs placed behind them, while lighted mirrors have their LEDs mounted on top or within the mirror surface. For more information, you can check out this article about the differences between backlit and lighted mirrors.

Are lighted bathroom mirrors worth it?

Lighted bathroom mirrors are considered a good investment. The upfront cost may seem high, but if you consider the small amount of energy lighted mirrors consume, along with the durability and long service life of the LED bulbs, you’ll see you can save more money as years pass. Lighted mirrors for bathrooms also let you enhance your bathroom’s overall look, increasing the value of your home. You can check out this article that discusses if LED mirrors are worth it for more tips and information.

What is the best light-up mirror?

The truth is there is no single model that is the best or would serve all the different needs of different people. We say the best light-up mirror is the one that appeals to your sense of aesthetics, meets your specific needs, and fits your budget. With plenty of lighted mirrors to choose from, there’s sure to be one that’s best for you.


In this article, we sought to answer the question, “Do mirrors provide enough light?” Our answer is yes, they do, for those tasks that you’ll need a well-lit reflection for.

The LED lighting system used on a backlit mirror gives off a sufficient amount of brightness that allows you to see your reflection clearly, enabling you to put on makeup, fix your hair, perfect your skincare routine, and even take glam photos of your look of the day. The glow may be subtle, but it’s certainly more than enough for your everyday grooming needs.

To conclude, there’s no need to doubt whether backlit mirrors are bright enough. They absolutely are.

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