08 July 2011

Convex Safety Mirrors

Safety, Surveillance & Traffic Convex MirrorsConvex safety mirrors can be used in many different applications whether its to assist in parking in small confined spaces or garages or to eliminate blind spots when existing a driveway or exit.  They can also be used for security and surveillance situations and generally for safety, for example in high traffic areas whether indoors or outdoors.  Convex mirrors are therefore very useful and once installed are an important tool to give users a view of what is normally not visible from their location.  It is therefore important that the right one is chosen and installed.  Generally available in 2 way and 3 way options and in varying sizes to accommodate the required optimal viewing, if you are looking to make a purchase, you may very well become confused and give up.  However our summary advice below should make it a little clearer.

When a convex mirror is described as 2 way, it means that you will be able to view the mirror and see in one direction.  For example if on exiting your driveway you have a blind bend to the left but can see clearly to the right, then a  2 way mirror will be sufficient for your purpose.  Once the mirror is positioned correctly, it will allow you to see into the mirror and to see left, thereby eliminating the blind spot when exiting.   If on the other hand you had a blind bend to the left and to the right when exiting a driveway or exit, you would either need to install a 3 way convex mirror (allowing you to see into the mirror and to view left and right) or you could install two 2 way mirrors as an alternative.  A 3 way mirror will have a larger convex thereby allowing the viewer to see a larger field of view (ie to see both left and right).

*When it comes to choosing the size of the convex mirror, then the larger it is, the further away the user can be and still to be able to see images in the mirror.  Generally a 30cm 2 way convex mirror will have an optimal viewing distance of up to approximately 2 metres.  Larger sizes available will give a longer optimal viewing distance.  For example a 50cm 2 way mirror will give an optimal viewing distance (ovd) between the viewer and the mirror of up to 7 metres, a 60cm will give an ovd of up to 11 metres and so on.  Your optimal viewing measurement therefore needs to be accurate.  If you end up installing a 30cm 2 way mirror and you need to view it from 6 metres away, then the images reflected in the mirror will not be clear enough to define.  Convex mirrors used in safety situations need to be the correct size so its not worth saving a few pounds and choosing a smaller mirror if your viewing distance is longer than the mirror is designed for.

For those worried about looks and thinking that a large convex mirror will stick out like a sore thumb in the lovely natural surroundings of the countryside, then don't worry as they are also available with green frames to blend in.  For those keen on getting the mirror seen, then the mirrors also come with red and white reflective frames too.   There really are convex mirrors for all applications and surroundings.

*Optimal viewing distances and mirror sizes referred to above relate specifically to the Vialux brand of convex mirrors which are available for sale at Rockshore.  The precise optimal viewing distances and mirror sizes may therefore differ for other brands of convex mirrors.

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