The Easiest Infinity Mirror Build

Infinity mirrors are awesome. They’re great conversation pieces, and even more fun to stare into forever and ever and ever and ever… They can be tricky to build, but there’s actually a really easy way to do it, and [William] shows us how.

The way a infinity mirror works is it uses a one-way mirror with lights around the perimeter in front of a regular mirror. The majority of the light gets bounced back and forth between the two mirrored surfaces, and because you can see into the one-way mirror, you get that really cool infinity effect.

Now if you went out and bought a one way mirror, built the frame, and put it all together — it’d be a lot of work. But there’s an easier way to do it on the cheap. Mirrored car tint foil. Although it’s illegal on your car in most states, it’s still pretty easy to find. 

glueing_LEDsTake a nice shadowbox frame from an art store, with enough depth to allow for a strip of RGB LEDs.

Apply the car tint to the inside of the glass pane. Find a mirror of the same size to place behind the frame.

Glue it all together, and you’re ready to rock.

If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, why not make an infinity mirror clock?

Or how about an LED matrix infinity mirror?

Or maybe a portal for your hackerspace?

27 thoughts on “The Easiest Infinity Mirror Build

    1. Actually, it is called a one-way mirror, the logic being that it only works as a mirror one way, and the other way, it’s transparent. However, Wikipedia says it’s also called a two-way mirror, so maybe it’s a regional/national thing.

      1. Because it’s regional. Nobody uses both interchangeably. But both are intelligible everywhere because nobody specifies the number of ways on a regular mirror, they just say “a mirror.”

    2. Hate to break it to you, but there’s no such thing as a one/two way mirror. There are 100% mirrors, and there are partial mirrors (some light is reflected, some is not). There is no diode-like behaviour to a mirror that allows you to see through in one direction but not in the other.

      They work by having very different lighting levels on the two sides. The light level is very high on the ‘mirror’ side, and very low on the ‘observation’ side. Say with 90% reflectivity, the people on the bright side will not be able to see anything on the dark side because there’s a >100x difference in brightness. But the people on the dark side can happily see the bright side even though it’s been 10x dimmed.

    3. Strictly speaking, one-way mirrors don’t exist. It’s just some material (often glass) with less transmission. The reason why you get the “one-way effect” is because there is much more light on one side than the other. If you look at the moivies with interrogation rooms: the interrogation room is very well lit, but the room outside (where the cops stand discussing the target) is very dimly lit.
      However, in daily speech it’s still (however incorrectly) called one-way mirrors.

  1. I first saw one of these in a furniture shop my wife forced me into going to. It was a coffee table. I couldn’t figure out how it worked so I took it apart right there in the store. Now I don’t have to go with her anywhere anymore.

  2. I bought a roll of brand name “Mirror” tint film at Lowes in 3ft x 15ft size for around $27USD for a project nearly the exact same as this. I purchased a 16in x 20in shadow box at Hobby Lobby, used a mirror from a cast-off bathroom medicine cabinet, tinted the glass of the shadow box, put in my LED strips (I made two circuits around the frame), and away we went. Interestingly, bathroom medicine cabinet mirrors fit the 16 x 20in shadow box exactly. I don’t know how to attach pics here, or I’d up a photo of the finished product.

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