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Plane, Convex, Concave: A Guide to the Different Types of Mirrors

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 A Guide to the Different Types of Mirrors
(Photo : A Guide to the Different Types of Mirrors)

There's a type of mirror for just about every purpose. Learn more about the different types of mirrors with this short guide.

A study discovered that most women examine their reflections around 8 times a day. 

And while the study focuses on women, it is safe to say that humans, in general, have a certain fascination or curiosity for their own reflections. Odds are, most of us, take at least one glance into the mirror before we head out. Over time, they've become these mandatory accessories that most of us want around us.

And while even though you've come across so many types of mirrors, how much do you know about them?

The Plane Mirror

This is the most common kind of mirror you'd come across. It has a flat surface and reflects images displaying accurate proportions and visuals. However, remember that the image you see will be reversed from left to right.

Concave Mirror

A concave mirror is one of the two kinds of spherical mirrors. It is also called a converging mirror. This mirror has an inward curve that allows it to reflect images smaller than they are at the center.

However, the reflection is subject to change depending on the position of the object.

It does not provide a proportional image like a plane, but you can observe a distorted reflection of the object. 

Convex Mirror

The second spherical mirror has a surface with an outward curve. The edge of the mirror creates a wider angle, allowing for a slightly broader view. This makes it a popular choice for rearview mirrors in cars, bikes and other vehicles. 

That's why the objects in these mirrors appear closer to you than they are.

A spoon is an excellent representation of these spherical mirrors. The inner surface of the spoon represents the concave mirror, while the outer surface represents a convex mirror. 

Acoustic Mirrors

When you picture a mirror, you probably think of it in terms of reflecting an image. However, the acoustic mirror reflects sound. These are an especially great tool for the military because they serve as excellent indicators of aerial warfare.

Two-Way Mirrors

You've probably spotted these in crime dramas and interrogation rooms. These mirrors are built to reflect a single side while being able to observe the actual image or object from the opposite side. 

To make these mirrors, one side of a glass is coated with a light, reflective material. In a well-lit room, the coated side can reflect some light (and an image), while simultaneously letting some light pass on through to the other side of the glass. This light makes it possible for someone to observe from behind the glass. 

Now that you're familiar with these concepts, let's have a closer look at the styles of mirrors you're likely to use in your home. 

Non-Reversible Mirrors

A non-reversible mirror allows you to observe something without the inverse image. You could make it yourself by connecting two plane mirrors at their sides. However, you must make sure that the mirrors you use are "glass first". 

The image created at the point of connection is what you should observe. 

Types of Mirrors You Can Use in Your Home

Most homes usually have plane mirrors that are sometimes attached to doors or find their way into other places in your home. People like these to be more decorative or even make a statement. However, there are some specialized styles that work better for things like grooming.

Vanity Mirror

The vanity mirror or the stationary mirror is one of these. If your someone who likes to have a closer look at yourself while you do your makeup, this is something you should invest in. Certain variants also feature special lights and magnifying features that give you a closer look at your face.

The Handheld Mirror

These are usually small, compact mirrors that fit into your handbag or sometimes, even your pocket. They're very convenient, but their use is limited. While they're great for a quick fix or a glance, you wouldn't want to rely on them to get the whole picture!

Magnified Mirrors

As far as detail goes, magnifying mirrors are your best bet. Depending on the kind you buy, a magnifying surface could go up to 20 times in their strength. 

Lighted Mirrors

These are mirrors that come with attached lights. If you design your bedroom mirror, you could align the lights any way you like or have them in-built. These are great options for people who have trouble seeing, or for those who prefer the extra lighting. 

Integrated Mirrors

These kinds of mirrors are common in the cosmetics industry. They sometimes come as a part of a makeup palette, a powdering kit or other applicants. They perform the same minimal functions as a handheld mirror and have an added element of convenience. 

What Mirror Is Right for You?

Now that you've familiarized yourself with the types of mirrors there are, perhaps you're inspired to buy one yourself. Be sure to match your mirror with your purpose.

Do you want to make a statement? Do you want to fill in some space? Or do you want a convenient accessory you can carry around with you?

It's time to reflect (pun intended).

Once you've got that figured out, you'll know exactly what to look for!

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