After you get the glass, lay it in the front lip of the mirror. From here, place the LED strip around the edge. You’ll want your rear mirror to be as close to flush with the LED strip as humanly possible. This will allow the reflection to be more uniform toward the end of the build. I found that buying some corner trim from Home Depot allowed me to build a sturdy support rail with the correct offset. Also, make sure you use construction adhesive (PL375 is what I used) and also screw the rails into the frame from the rear. It’s important to note that you will need to countersink the screws into the rail, so your rear mirror is not resting on the screw heads at the end of construction.
More planning ahead here. Using lengths of oak, I again glued and screwed them on the side of the frame. The reason for this step is to have an offset from the back of the frame and the wall after hanging. It also makes sense to attach your hangers for the mirror to the oak rails instead of the original frame. You can also see more planning here with regard to cutting a channel in the back of the frame for the end of the LED strip. Additionally (not pictured), you can drill a hole through the original frame to run your IR sensor to the front of the mirror. Otherwise, you’ll have to have an ugly little wire hanging off the side of your mirror to have the remote work.
Here’s something I learned the hard way: the adhesive on the back of these strips is good, but not great, and the strip kept separating from the frame. Since we’re going to be enclosing them, it made sense to reinforce this adhesive. I used a 2-part epoxy that mixes in the nozzle and ran a thin bead along the edge of the LED strip to make sure it didn’t detach again.
Test your lights before installing the mirror.
Install the rear mirror.
Having a friend who works for a glass company was INCREDIBLY helpful here. He had the big suction cups, mirror adhesive, and a fancy staple gun that fires brackets to support the rear mirror. Do NOT put any adhesive or silicone on the inside lip of the support rail before you put this rear mirror in! It will detract from the reflective illusion we’re going after here. Instead, place the mirror in the rail and use adhesive on the back lip for support.
With the remote, you’ll be able to set flashing effects, fade colors, and increase or decrease the brightness of the LEDs.
I hope you enjoyed learning about how to build one of these mirrors; I definitely enjoyed making it!