It’s cool. It’s shiny. I’m going to write about it.
1. What it do
First, a little intro to the infinity mirror. There is a scene in Citizen Kane where Orsen Welles walks down a hallway between two opposing mirrors. They reflect light back at one another, making reflections within reflections within reflections, etc. These mirrors create the illusion that there is endless space in the confined corridor (an “infinity” mirror). It’s a cool effect that can be created easily and more importantly, cheap…ily…
2. How to do it.
All you need are some LEDs (or any light source, such as EL wire), two mirrors, and the will to make an infinite portal into your wall! Of course, one of those mirrors needs to be see through so you and your guests can see said awesome LED portal effect. Luckily, such mirrors exist, known as two way mirrors. Throw some LEDs between the two way mirror and the regular mirror and bam! Viewable infinity mirror complete. For a cheap alternative to a two way mirror, you can get some mirrored window tint from home depot and slap it onto some glass or clear acrylic.
3. How I did it.
I decided to make my own infinity mirror clock after stumbling upon these lovely clocks
This clock is just a clock on a big round mirror. I lucked out when I found this on ebay for $15 and only weeks after I got the idea for the project!
The second clock took a bit more time/effort to find. I needed a clock that had a similarly sized face as my new mirror clock, a deep enough inside for the reflections to be distinct, and a glass front to adhere mirrored window tint to. A trip to the mall and several hours of searching later, I found this puppy in Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Glowing with excitement from finding the perfect clock, I rushed home to tear it apart.
After removing the metal outer layer, I looked for good places to put the LEDs. I figured each LED should represent an hour, so I drilled two holes for each LED leg above each number on the clock face.
Then, I used my trusty dremel to cut out the clock face…
Here is a photo of the two clocks merged into one.
Unfortunately, I did not take any photos while applying the mirror tint to the glass. Trust me when I tell you that it is a really simple process that took less than 30 minutes, including time to dry. I’d recommend applying the tint to the inside of the glass to prevent scratches.
I had a 12V wall wart on hand, so I decided to power the 12 LEDs off of that. IIRC, each LED drew 25mA and had a voltage drop of around 3.5V. So, the LEDs were set in 3S4P with a 60 Ohm resistor in series with each 3 LED set (R = [12V – 3*3.5V] / .025A). The end result was a blue clock going deep into my wall.
The camera didn’t capture the effect as well as I’d hoped. The clock doesn’t look nearly as blue as in the photograph. It gives off a faint blue glow and each LED has 10 or so reflections that make the clock look like it’s a foot deep.