Heated Mirrors In Bathrooms
What are heated mirrors?
Heated mirrors are mirrors that don’t fog up when exposed to steam. They’re incredibly useful in bathrooms where taking a bath or using the shower can otherwise make your mirror unusable. As well as being easier to use, heated mirrors are also easier to keep clean – they won’t become streaky from having to constantly wipe them down and you won’t get anyone drawing in the condensation!
There are two types of heated mirrors; Demister and Infrared Heating Panels
Demister Heated Mirrors
Demister heated mirrors are ‘regular’ mirrors that have an ultra-thin self-adhesive electric heating pad fitted behind them. The heat applied to the mirror prevents the mirror from becoming steamed up so that it’s always useable. Only a small amount of heat is produced by the demister pad (similar to the heating elements in the rear window of a car) so a demister mirror won’t help to heat the room.
Usually the mirror demister is connected to the existing lighting circuit in the bathroom so that it operates when the light is switched on and the bathroom is in use.
Mirrors can be purchased with built-in demister pads or the pads can be purchased separately and fitted behind virtually any mirror by a qualified electrician.
A 50 x 50cm demister pad uses only 50 watts of power per hour. If the bathroom gets used an average of 1 hour per day, then the running costs work out about 5 pence per week.
Lumin Tall Light Bathroom Mirror – £139.99
Bluetooth Adara LED Illuminated Bathroom Mirror - £349.99
Demista Heated Mirror Demister Pad – Prices start from £30.53
Klima Heated Bathroom Mirror Panel 410 x 580mm - £34.99
Mirror-Finish Infrared Heating Panels
Infrared heating panels work by emitting infrared heat, which is a form of radiation. Don’t worry – infrared heat is 100% safe; it’s the same type of heat as the warmth from the sun, the heat from an open fire and even the heat emitted by your own body. If you’ve warmed yourself by a heater outside a pub/bar/restaurant then you’ve already experienced using infrared heaters!
By giving an infrared heating panel a mirror-finish, it creates a multi-functional product that will make all the difference to your bathroom. The infrared heat doesn’t only work to keep the mirror clear and fog free; it will also heat the room.
Infrared heating works in a different way to traditional heating methods such as radiators. Radiators are convection heaters – this means that they work by heating the air around them (so it can take a long time for a room to warm up). Infrared heaters work by heating people and objects directly, meaning you can feel the warmth of the heater very quickly regardless of the air temperature.
Additionally, due to the way infrared radiation heats objects (including floors, walls, ceilings etc) it will help to prevent damp and mould by keeping surfaces warm and dry.
Mirror-finish infrared heating panels need to be connected to the mains and are best installed with some form of thermostatic control to ensure the room doesn’t get too warm.
Infrared heating panels are cheaper to run than traditional heating solutions (such as radiators). The Green Age recommends using between 50 watts and 100 watts per m² depending on how well insulated a space is. An average bathroom is 5m² so you’d need around a 350w heating panel. If the bathroom gets used an average of 1 hour per day, then the running costs work out about 30 pence per week.
Herschel Select XLS Infrared Heating Panel – Mirror – Prices start from £359
450W Milano Mirrored Infrared Heating Panel – £265.85
Are heated mirrors safe to use in the bathroom?
Yes – electrical appliances can be safely installed in bathrooms as long as the products are suitable for bathroom use. To check, look at the products IP rating – this is a score which tells you how protected from the elements the product is. Higher protection is needed for different zones in the bathroom – check with your electrician what minimum IP rating your heated mirror requires.
Any electrical bathroom products must be installed by a Part P qualified electrician, who in turn will complete a BS7671 installation certificate. You can find out whether your electrician is Part P qualified by looking up their details on the Competent Person Register.
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(Information is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change)
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