Do Backlit Mirrors Provide Enough Light?

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? 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. 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.

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 1
Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

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, which are 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 on 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 electricity 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 surface of the mirror, 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 up 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 base of the mirror, the more LED bulbs are needed to project an ample amount of light. 

LED strips usually contain 40 LED bulbs per foot. 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 onto 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.

✅ 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?

Aside from helping you with your makeup and grooming routines, a backlit mirror is also useful as a source of ambient light and a decorative feature. You can also use it to give the illusion that a space is roomier than it 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 commands attention.


The reflective quality of a mirror tricks the eye into thinking that a 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, then it would be to 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 source of ambient light 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.

Do Backlit Mirrors Provide Enough Light
Photo by Sanibell BV on Unsplash

Why Choose a Backlit Mirror?

A backlit mirror offers both aesthetic and functionality, especially for smaller spaces. It provides high-quality light coverage while maintaining efficiency. Hanging lights over the mirror takes up valuable reflection space and the light that is reflected in the mirror can also cause shadows. Using a backlit mirror, an even amount of light is emitted and no shadows will be cast on your face. This makes it an ideal type of mirror for putting on make-up and shaving.

Furthermore, backlit mirrors are also energy-efficient because they used LED bulbs. LED bulbs last longer as compared to incandescent ones. With a backlit mirror, the light emitted creates a soft glow which adds to the relaxing effect of the room.

How Does a Backlit Mirror Work?

Also referred to as backlighted mirrors, LED mirrors, or electric mirrors, backlit mirrors are mirrors with LED embedded lights inside. This type of mirror can be able to produce pure white light that provides a true sense of color. It also offers a reflection that is free from any kind of shadow. The lights in the mirror are usually embedded in the sides or around the frame so that they will not block the reflection. You can find a wide array of styles, sizes, and designs that you can choose from. You can also check out this buying guide that we have shared that discusses thebest LED-backlit vanity mirrors. We have shared a review of the best products that you can choose from.

Do Backlit Mirrors Provide Enough Light for Your Bathroom?

LED-backlit mirrors can be able to provide optimal light conditions for the person that is standing in front of the mirror. They are ideal for make-up or grooming activities. The mirrors are equipped with LED lights which are diffuse lights that do not intend to be the main lighting in the room. As the light projects forward through the glass, it does not project into the corners of the room.

Moreover, some backlit mirrors are designed to have two times LED brightness, doubling the brightness of the LED. This is done by installing a second LED strip into the frame of the mirror. As a result, it significantly brightens the light output of the mirror.

Are Backlit Mirrors Good for Makeup?

Backlit mirrors are ideal for applying makeup, grooming, shaving, and more. It has the perfect brightness that keeps the colors closer to natural lighting. LED lights that are used in backlit mirrors can either have warm or cool temperatures which complement your complexion. Because the light source is at the back or on the sides of the mirror, it eliminates all shadows. It can provide full illumination that will highlight your face with even and clear light.

Advantages of Backlit Mirrors

Among the many advantages of backlit mirrors include no shadows, quality lighting, ambient lighting, lighting styles that you can choose from, best reflection, and extra features. These mirrors use LED which provides long-lasting and quality illumination.

No Shadows

Regular lighting fixtures often create shadows on the face and make it hard to see yourself fully in the mirror. Most of the time, you will find it difficult to see your face fully and to put on make-up. With a backlit mirror, you can enjoy full illumination that will highlight your face. They provide light that comes close to natural lighting.

Quality Lighting

Another advantage that you can get from the backlit mirror is quality lighting. The LED lighting uses in backlit mirrors comes with warm or cool color temperatures that will complement different complexions. It can provide high-quality lighting to give a flawless, widespread, and pure glow. You will find it easier to shave or put on make-up with the use of a backlit mirror.

Extra Features

You can choose from a wide array of extra features. These features include motion sensors, an anti-fog feature so that you do not have to worry about wiping the mirror after you take the shower, and Bluetooth speakers. You can check out different products for the many extra features that you can choose from.

Ambient Lighting

Enjoy ambient lighting by using a backlit mirror. You can see yourself in a better light and you will also benefit from the ambient lighting in your room. It can make you feel more relaxed and pampered as you take a shower or soak in a bathtub.

Lighting Styles

Backlit mirrors are also equipped with lighting styles that you can choose from. The styles include different patterns and changing colors. This is a good option if you want to have different lighting styles for your bathroom.

Best Reflection

Backlit mirrors can provide the best reflection of yourself. It has high-quality lights that offer the perfect and well-illuminated reflection. You do not have to worry about shadows and other distractions when putting on make-up or shaving.

✅Video – DIY Floating Glowing Mirror

Kelly Harrison shared the video below on YouTube. She demonstrates how to make a DIY floating glowing mirror. This project is so easy and affordable as well. You can easily do this at home if you want to upgrade the look of your mirror. Check out the video below for the instructions.

Is LED Lighting Good for Applying Makeup?

LED lights are one of the best lighting options when it comes to applying makeup because LED provides the closest alternative to natural lighting. Moreover, they have good CRIs and are also available in different color temperatures. Using LED for your lighting will make your skin appear radiant and glowing.

What Type of Lighting is Best for Bathrooms?

For your bathroom, choose lighting fixtures that provide white light. The bulbs should be a high CRI of about 90 to 100 if you want to have the most accurate color. Moreover, bulbs that are in the soft white range of 2700K to 3000K are ideal for makeup application and general bathroom use.

What’s the Difference Between Backlit and Lighted Mirrors?

Backlit and lighted mirrors are equipped with lights. The difference between the two is the placement of the lights in the mirror. Backlit mirrors are designed to have light bulbs behind the mirror. On the other hand, lighted mirrors are designed to have bulbs on top of or underneath the surface of the glass. 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 worth it. The mirrors use LED lights that are not only durable but can last for a long time. They illuminate the bathroom making your everyday task easier.  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.

Recent Posts