Get your DIY hat on because in this post, we’ll be sharing with you how to add light to a mirror. We love projects that are both practical and pretty, and a lighted mirror definitely ticks those boxes. We’re making this DIY project as simple and as easy as possible so you can also have fun doing it.
How do you add light to a mirror? The simplest way to add light to a mirror is to attach a LED strip light on the edges of the mirror’s surface or frame. LED strip lights have an adhesive backing so they’re easy to install just about anywhere. LED kits are also widely available, so you won’t have to worry about buying lighting components individually.
We’ll talk more about the easiest way to add light to a mirror in this article. We’ll also explain why LEDs are recommended for DIY mirror lighting projects. Ready? Let’s get to it!
How To Add Light to a Mirror
The general steps to adding light to a mirror are measuring the mirror, getting an LED lighting kit, testing the LED strip light, attaching the LED strip to the mirror, and connecting the lighting system to a power source. Let’s look at those steps in more detail below.
Measuring the Mirror
Get the mirror you want to add lights to. Take a tape measure to measure along the length of the top, sides, and bottom of the part of the mirror’s frame where you want to put the lights. If the mirror is not framed, begin your measurements an inch from the mirror’s edges, so that when the lights are added they will create a lighted border or frame on the surface of the mirror.
If you want to put the lights at the very edges of the mirror, you can do that as well. Combine the total length of the perimeter and add an allowance of 4-8 inches. This allowance lets you bend or fold the LED strip at the corners of the mirror.
Getting an LED Strip Light Kit
Purchase a reel of LED strip lights with a length that is slightly longer than the measurement you’ve made. You can buy an LED strip light from a hardware store or through online sellers.
To make it easy for you to have all the things you’ll need, purchase a complete LED lighting kit, which would contain the LED strip light, a compatible power supply unit or adapter, connectors, and a remote for controlling the LED lights’ brightness. Getting an LED lighting kit saves you from having to buy the necessary components individually, which can result in voltage and connector mismatch.
Testing the LED Strip Light
Once you get your LED lighting kit, go ahead and test it so you can also be familiar with how it works. It’s ideal to test the strip light using the electrical outlet you designate for the mirror. This way, you can test both the outlet and the lights. You can also test the power outlet beforehand using a different electronic device.
Follow the installation instructions written on the LED kit’s user manual. LED strip lights vary according to the manufacturer, so it’s important to follow the wiring guidelines that come with the kit.
Attaching the LED Strip Light
After checking the lights, you can now prepare the mirror and the LED strip light. First, wipe the mirror’s frame or surface clean. Make sure the surface where you’ll be attaching the LED strip is dry and free from dust particles, hair, oil, etc. If the surface is dirty or grimy, the LED strip won’t be able to stick to it properly.
When the mirror is ready, you can then start putting the lights on the mirror. Start from one of the bottom corners, preferably the one that is closest to the electric socket. Gently remove the adhesive backing from the LED strip light and carefully stick the strip onto the mirror. Press down on the strip, avoiding the parts that contain an LED bulb. Make sure you lay the strip down in a straight line parallel to the edges of the mirror.
When you get to the corners, you can bend or fold the strip to create a corner. Continue until you reach the corner where you started from. Trim the LED strip at the designated cutting point. You can also check out this article that talks about how to put LED lights on a mirror. We have shared helpful instructions that you can follow.
Connecting to a Power Source
Plug the LED light strip to the power supply unit using the provided connector or DC receptacle. Again, the method for doing this differs according to the lighting components included in your kit. Just do what you did when you tested the lights. Take care not to pull the cord so that you don’t accidentally detach the lights from the mirror.
Plug the power cord into the electrical socket and see your mirror glow. If your lighting kit comes with a remote, you can test the different light settings to see if everything’s in order.
✅ Video – EASY DIY: LED Light Up Vanity Mirror with Remote
This is a DIY video that shows how LED light strips are added to a mirror to turn it into a lighted mirror. It demonstrates one of the easiest ways to turn an ordinary framed mirror into a lighted one using LED light strips. It’s a great watch for those who also want to transform their regular mirrors into illuminated makeup mirrors.
Why Use LED Strip Lights?
LED strip lights are easy to install, affordable, and provide energy-efficient lighting. The lighting output is also similar to natural light. This is why LED strip lights are popular among those who want to add lights to mirrors.
Easy to Install
Installing LED lighting can seem daunting at first, but once you understand how the light strip, power supply unit and power cable are all connected, you’ll see you needn’t have worried. Instruction manuals that come with LED lighting kits contain detailed diagrams about where to cut an LED strip and how to connect it to the power unit. All you’ll really need to do is follow the instructions carefully.
LED light strips make it easy for you to have your own lighted mirror without having to spend a lot of money. The pocket-friendly price of LED lighting kits is another reason why they come highly recommended by DIYers.
LED lights are highly efficient in the way they consume energy. LEDs don’t need a lot of electric power to give off a bright light, unlike other types of light bulbs. And because LEDs are energy efficient, they are durable and tend to last a long time.
It will be many years until the LEDs on your mirror begin losing some of their light output. And even when the LEDs start getting dim, they still give off sufficient light. You’ll have more than enough time to think about replacing the lights or getting an LED mirror with the newest technology.
Mimics Natural Light
Natural light, which comes from the sun, is considered the best lighting for grooming tasks, especially makeup. LED light is the next best thing because it is similar to natural light. It is clear and can accurately render colors as they appear in natural light. This is why LEDs with a warm white color temperature are recommended for DIY lighted mirrors.
What kind of lighting is best for applying makeup?
Beauty professionals recommend natural light or daylight as the best kind of lighting for makeup application. In the absence of natural light, warm white LED lighting is the best alternative. LED light closely mimics the effect of natural light. It illuminates faces clearly and evenly and renders the colors of makeup pigments accurately. For more information, you can check out this article that discusses what kind of lighting is best for applying makeup.
How do you make a cheap vanity mirror?
The easiest way to make a low-cost vanity mirror is to start with an existing mirror. You can buy a reel of inexpensive LED lights and attach the light strip around the front surface or the frame of the mirror. Follow the instructions for connecting it to an electrical outlet, and you’re done! You can also add a dimmer switch for the LEDs so you can adjust the brightness as desired.
Do lighted mirrors provide enough light?
Lighted mirrors are designed to deliver the right amount of light needed for tasks that require you to see your reflection clearly. These include shaving, hair styling, and putting on makeup. The lighting is not overly bright but it’s certainly enough to let you do your day-to-day routine with ease. We have also written this article titled, are LED mirrors worth it? Check out the article for more tips and information.
In this article, we took you through the process of adding light to a mirror using an LED strip light. We also explained why an LED strip is the lighting system of choice for many DIYers. We hope we were able to make the steps as easy to follow as possible.
Before we wish you good luck on your DIY mirror project, we would like to repeat an important note: Do follow the LED strip light guidelines provided by the manufacturer. If you’re having trouble understanding the diagrams and instructions, don’t be shy to ask for help.
Let us know how your DIY lighted mirror project goes. Good luck and have fun!