Uses of Spherical Mirrors

Spherical mirrors are everywhere.
Spherical mirrors are everywhere. (Image: the street mirror on the cross-road image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com)

Spherical mirrors, sometimes called convex or fish-eye mirrors, bend outward over a rounded surface. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they are shaped either as partial sections of the sphere or as a whole ball. The spherical mirror at Bristol’s Millennium Square is a famous example of a giant reflective sphere. Beyond artistic pieces, the spherical mirror is a helpful device found in many environments.

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Hidden Driveway

A spherical mirror placed in the right position can help you enlarge your visibility. Homeowners often place a mirror on a post or tree at the end of a driveway so they can see motorists coming down the road. On a busy road, on a curve or when your driveway is hidden by foliage, having this mirror extend your vision around the corner helps you avoid dangerous accidents. The mirrors themselves are subtle enough to blend in to the landscape. Be sure to keep trees and shrubs clear of the mirror during the growing seasons.

Safety

In dark stairwells or down long hallways, spherical mirrors allow people to look around corners. Having the opportunity to see what lies around a hidden corner prevents surprises and often has the effect of discouraging lurkers.

Because the mirror bends outward with a hollow space between the surface of the mirror and the wall behind it, cameras may be placed inside to monitor the area and provide additional security.

Spherical mirrors are now routinely installed above ATMs to give customers the opportunity to see broadly behind them.

At Home

Beyond safety and security, a spherical mirror’s unique design may be used in home décor in fun and exciting ways. Because the mirror bends outward, it reflects more of the room’s area. Coupled with light treatments, flowers or bright colors on the opposite walls, the mirror can have stunning effects. As the spherical mirror bends the room in its reflection, it presents itself as a unique focal point. Stage furniture to further build on this impression. Additionally, as noted on MarthaStewart.com, convex mirrors were used by butlers and staff to survey the room without being seen. If you are hoping to host a party with a discrete staff, this may be the tool you need.

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