Introduction: Hexagon Infinity Mirror With LED Lights and Laser Wire
If you are looking to create a unique lighting piece, this is a really fun project. Because of the complexity, some of the steps really require some precision, but there's a few different directions you can go with it, depending on the overall look you're going for. The materials I used on this project are as follows:
2x6 Wood (From Home Depot)
Wood Stain (Pick a color)
Paint (Pick a color and finish - keep reading for my notes)
LED Lights - I used 3 different kinds, Laser Wire, Smart Pixel LEDs and Pixel-Free LED (links at end)
Power Supply - There are a lot of different types of supplies that will work. Just make sure to match up the voltage and wattage (message me if you want some help).
Mirrored Acrylic - You can find at local plastic store like TAP Plastics or many sign shops.
Clear Acrylic - Same as above - Both widths were 1/16"
Two-Way Mirrored Film - Found mine at home depot. Most hardware stores will carry, and call it two-way "privacy film"
Step 1: Step 1: Cut Wood
This part is the easy step. Set your table saw to 30° and start cutting. I made each length 10", which made a roughly 20" wide hexagon. What's cool when you cut a bunch of 10" pieces, you end up with a ton of different shapes, which you can get really creative with the shape of the mirror. So if you want a standard hexagon with all sides even, you can just line up each piece and join together all facing inward. However, if you want to go crazy with the shapes, you can create some pretty cool designs which we realized later.
Step 2: Screw and Stain
I countersunk the holes at an angle which was a bit of a trick. I tried making a small jig to hold the wood together, but in the end, it was easier just to hold on to dear life and use brute force to pilot the holes. Once the holes are where you want, screwing together was easy. I applied some wood filler over the screw holes and applied a quick stain over the outside. For the inside, I wasn't sure what to do, but there was a lot of cool choices, and tried quite a few. A glossy silver or white makes the piece look neat and very modern, but ultimately I was going more for a semi-rustic vibe, so I went with a matte black finish. Note: going with a gloss finish will bounce a lot more light inside the infinity mirror, which is also a cool effect.
Step 3: Mount
This part is one of the more critical steps prior to proceeding. If you are hanging the piece on the wall, I recommend having power in place, and the LEDs connected already. If you are planning to have this freestanding, then maybe this step is not that important. The reason being is you want the back mirror to be mounted in place before installing any of the lighting, so getting the piece situated prior to doing the rest is important. In this case, I had some leftover wood, so I cut some blocks to have the back mirror sit even inside the hexagon.
Step 4: Install Back Mirror and LEDs
I kind of cheated with the back mirror and got mirrored acrylic instead, which in hindsight was probably more expensive, but easier to get the effect without breaking glass all over myself. I simply drew a line in sharpie on the inside of the mirrored acrylic and cut with a jigsaw. Acrylic is pretty easy to cut but glass can be temperamental.
Once the mirror is cut, all you need to do is pop it in place. I put some double stick tape to the back side of the mirror, where it would line up with the blocks I mounted, so it would stay in place.
Next, time to install the LEDs. It's important to have the wire hidden as much as possible, so I had the connector just behind the mirror, and cut a small notch on the mirror so the cable could go through. If you don't do this, the excess cord is visible in the mirror and just looks bad.
Pro-tip: When you run the LED strip around the surface, make sure to press down in the corners as you move around the hexagon. Most strips will have a relatively rigid structure so they don't want to bend really easily. When you have a soft contour around the edges, it doesn't look as good as if its pressed all the way into the edge.
Also, keep the distance between the LED strip and the mirror even as you go around all the edges. As a rule of thumb, the distance between the back mirror and LEDs, and the two-way front mirror and LEDs should be the same distance. If you are off, the effect is not as clean. If using regular LED strips, a good rule to keep in mind is the distance between mirrors should be about the same distance as the pixels are spaced together. In my case, I ran a couple different lights in mine just to see what effect it would give. All of them were cool in my opinion and not sure any one in particular was better than the next.
Step 5: Finished Product
OK, so I forgot to document this step with pictures, but it's not terribly glamorous. Some clear acrylic, spray bottle and two way mirror film and just hack away at the film until smooths out on the acrylic. Cut your acrylic to size FIRST! Make sure the surfaces are as clean as possible and start from the middle, smoothing out each edge as you go around. If you notice big bubbles in your 2-way mirror film once on the acrylic, you can push it out with a squeegee generally speaking. If bubbles still remain, you can take a small push-pin and pop the remaining bubbles. When you do this, you will notice a little imperfection where this happened, so do this as little as possible.
In my case, I did the same thing I did to cut the mirrored acrylic, which was take some clear acrylic and cut to size, based on the hexagon I created.
As you can see by the finished images, some of the designs I opted not to do infinity mirrors because they were just such cool shapes that I thought I could use them for other things. The infinity mirror made with Laser Wire, I glued the Laser Wire on the back in a circular fashion, which was a challenge in itself. But each of them turned out pretty cool. The last product I used was a Smart Pixel RGBW LED Strip, which is the picture with the bike in it. Unfortunately, that is not my bike...
Remember to have fun with this project. It will probably take twice as long as you think, because there are some precision details that if you follow along, it will be easy, but if you deviate from the steps, you might find it a challenge. Good luck!
Question 2 years ago on Introduction
Can you please give me your contact information? I have an exhibit I need to make for a botanical gardens and I need Hexagon infinity mirrors as part of the Bee Exhibit. Where I live, in Tucson, the fabricating shop acted like this was rocket science and would be SO hard to make.
My name is Alex
Reply 2 years ago
Alex, No problem. We can either sell the raw materials, or we can custom fabricate them for you. Feel free to send your project requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can fill out the project form at the following link: https://www.ellumiglow.com/project-submission
Question 5 years ago
Bro, that's awesome! O study How art and technology HAVE to walk together! That "Doodle" os your own artwork, or does It have a definition?
Answer 5 years ago
Thank you! The artwork doesn't really have any meaning, but it was inspired by waves and flowers. Just was trying to get something to be relatively organic, but without many defined shapes.
Question 5 years ago
Loved the effect! Going to make some forme too! I did love the background too, the "doodleish" one. How did you make that one?
Answer 5 years ago
Thank you very much! The "doodle" on the wall was a sketch from a piece of paper, which was then projected on the wall with a projector and laptop. Sharpie was done first to draw in the lines, then black paint with a 1" paint brush filled in all the strokes. That was a long project in itself, but the projector was the key to making that work!
5 years ago
alwase love an infinity mirior!
5 years ago
Fun! The hexagon shape gives it a really cool look.
Reply 5 years ago