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Backlit mirrors look cool in a garage or home gym but do they add anything? There are some cases where backlit mirrors can be better than regular mirrors.
Backlit mirrors offer improved lighting and visual appeal for a home gym, making it easier to observe form and technique. However, they aren’t any better than regular mirrors if lighting conditions are already sufficient. Backlit mirrors do look better than regular ones.
Let’s dive into the uses of backlit gym mirrors, the pros and cons as well as when to use them and how to add backlights to a mirror.
Are Backlit Mirrors Better For a Home Gym?
Backlit mirrors can add two main benefits to your workout room over normal mirrors:
- Improved lighting: Backlit mirrors provide additional lighting, improving visibility and reducing eye strain in the gym area. Mirrors are essential for observing form and technique during exercises, and backlit mirrors serve this purpose while offering improved lighting conditions.
- Visual appeal: The soft, diffused glow of backlit mirrors adds a stylish and modern touch to your home gym, creating an inviting atmosphere.
While both those benefits are nice, they aren’t necessarily better than normal gym mirrors. In most cases, the normal lighting is enough to see your form and technique. But there are a few cases where backlighting might be necessary.
When To Use Backlit Gym Mirrors
Besides looking nice, the main benefit of backlit mirrors in a gym is better lighting. You’ll be able to see yourself better and keep an eye on your form and technique. If that’s useful really depends on how good the lighting in your gym is currently.
If your home gym is bright enough in all situations already, there isn’t really any need to add backlighting to the mirrors. If you’re struggling to see yourself in the mirror currently, using mirror backlights is a cool way of solving that problem.
Of course, if the visuals of backlit mirrors appeal to you, there isn’t really a drawback as long as you do it right. Adding backlights to mirrors can cause glare in some cases which is obviously the opposite of what you want in a workout room mirror.
It’s not recommended to buy pre-built backlit mirrors for a gym though. For starters, these mirrors are usually not big enough but they are also much more vulnerable to impacts than a proper gym mirror should be. Adding backlights to a good gym mirror is a better way to go. You can read how to do this at the bottom of this post.
Pros and Cons of a Backlit Gym Mirror
Backlit mirrors don’t only have benefits, there are some drawbacks to them as well. Here are both the pros and cons of backlit mirrors as gym mirrors. To be clear, this is about mirrors you buy with the backlights already installed.
Backlit mirrors are just one type to be aware of. Click here to find the most important types of gym mirrors.
Pros of a Backlit Gym Mirror
- Improved lighting: Backlit mirrors provide additional lighting in the gym area, which can be especially beneficial if the space lacks natural light or has insufficient overhead lighting. The enhanced illumination can help create a well-lit and energizing environment for your workouts, reducing eye strain and making it easier to see yourself and your surroundings.
- Visual appeal: Backlit mirrors can add a stylish and modern touch to your home gym. The soft, diffused glow of the backlighting can create a visually pleasing ambiance and contribute to an overall inviting atmosphere. This can make your workout space more enjoyable and motivate you to exercise regularly.
- Functional purpose: Mirrors are commonly used in gyms to allow users to observe their form and technique during exercises. Backlit mirrors serve this purpose while also offering the added benefit of improved lighting conditions. You’ll be able to see yourself more clearly, making it easier to maintain proper posture, alignment, and technique throughout your workouts.
- Space illusion: Mirrors can create an illusion of a larger space by reflecting light and the surrounding environment. This can be particularly advantageous in smaller home gym setups, where the reflective properties of backlit mirrors can make the area feel more open and spacious.
Cons of a Backlit Gym Mirror
- Cost: Backlit mirrors tend to be more expensive compared to regular mirrors or other lighting options. The additional components and technology required for backlighting can increase the cost of the mirror itself, as well as installation expenses if professional assistance is needed.
- Maintenance and repairs: Backlit mirrors may require more maintenance compared to traditional mirrors. The lighting elements behind the mirror can occasionally malfunction or require replacement, adding to the overall upkeep. It’s important to factor in the ongoing maintenance and potential repair costs when considering a backlit mirror for your home gym.
- Limited customization: Backlit mirrors typically come with a fixed lighting design or color temperature. If you have specific preferences for lighting or want to adjust the ambiance of your gym, such as changing the color or intensity of the light, a backlit mirror may not offer the level of customization you desire.
- Energy consumption: Backlit mirrors require electricity to power the lighting elements. While modern LED lighting is generally energy-efficient, the continuous use of the backlighting can still add to your overall energy consumption. This may result in slightly higher energy bills over time.
- Glare and reflections: The backlighting of mirrors can sometimes create glare or unwanted reflections, especially if the lighting is too bright or positioned at an unfavorable angle. This can be distracting and potentially affect your ability to view yourself clearly during workouts.
How To Add a Backlight To A Gym Mirror
Mirrors with backlights built-in from the factory are usually not a good choice if you want backlit gym mirrors. Gym mirrors have some specific features that make them better than standard mirrors (for gym purposes).
A better way to go is to add backlights to a high-quality gym mirror. Here’s how you can do it.
LED light strips are a popular choice for adding backlighting to frameless mirrors. These flexible strips come with adhesive backing, making them easy to attach to the backside of the mirror’s perimeter. LED light strips are available in various colors, brightness levels, and even controllable options that allow you to adjust the lighting according to your preferences.
Large gym mirrors are likely installed with J-channels. If that’s the case, it’s hard to install the LED strips to the top and bottom of the mirror but you can add it quite easily to the sides. The mirror will have to be removed from the wall though.
To install LED light strips, clean the backside of the mirror to ensure good adhesion. Then, carefully attach the light strips along the edges or perimeter of the mirror. Pay attention to concealing the wires and ensuring they are connected to a power source securely.
It depends on the specific J-channels if there is enough room for LED strips behind the mirror. If there isn’t, you can add a thin piece of wood between the wall and J-channel to add a little room. Just make sure the screws or other fasteners are still long enough to hold the weight.
This is a two-person job for most people.
Not sure how to find the right gym mirror for you? Click here to find a gym mirror buying guide that helps you know what to look for.