Now that I have space, I get to enjoy the luxury of a vanity. The majority of my setup is simple, and we’ll get into that another time. I’d acquired all of the critical pieces (and, in fact, already owned part of it), but I lacked a mirror. Since I own this Jerdon mirror, it wasn’t a big deal.
But Let’s Talk about Vanity Mirrors
Sure, you can get those retro-looking lit mirrors rimmed with globe-shaped bulbs if you’re into that whole vintage glamour thing. You can also roast in the heat they offput, hoping desperately that your makeup doesn’t start to melt as soon as you apply it.
But why? Those setups can be expensive, then you have the ongoing cost of bulbs to manage, and so forth. (But if that’s the vibe you want, live your best damn life.)
As for me, I don’t put much stock into that; I need functional, not luxurious. And although I didn’t explicitly set a budget for this project, I was inclined to keep the price low since I have a low overall beauty budget for 2018.
Costco to the Rescue
So when I happened across the Feit 24″x32″ LED vanity mirror on a recent trip to Costco (on sale for $50 through 8/31; $80 regular price), you better believe I snatched it up. The Feit mirror can be mounted horizontally or vertically; I chose a horizontal installation for my vanity to give me some flexibility in how I sit when I use it to get ready.
This vanity mirror is advertised for use at a bathroom vanity, above a sink, and is purportedly fog-resistant; I don’t use it in a bathroom, however, so I can’t speak to those properties. At only 27 watts, it isn’t going to be a big contributor to your electric bill, either. Feit also says it ought to last up to 25 years based on three hours of daily usage. Whoa! I will almost certainly not be able to assess that, but if I only use it for an hour a day I shouldn’t need to replace it in my lifetime.
Pro-Install — What?!
The box and manual suggest that you pursue professional installation for this. The reasons are twofold:
- It is intended to be recessed into a wall but does not have to be.
- It is also intended to be wired into a conventional light switch box and does not come with an AC plug.
…that said, we got it up and running without either of those! Keep reading to see how.
DIY Installation of the Feit Vanity Mirror
This mirror goes up easily with a simple, two-screw mounting bracket. If you do not recess it, it will sit a little more than 1.5 inches from the wall. You don’t need any fancy tools or skills for this – get thee a level, a pencil, and a drill. Position the mirror where you’d like it, mark the wall lightly where the mounting bracket ought to live. Mark where the screws need to go, then drill them in. Next, check your positioning by hanging the mirror from the bracket. It’s that easy!
Next, you need to get into power. There were a few barriers for us. First, there’s no outlet in a good place near my vanity. Obviously, that’s an issue. Next, we did not wish to alter the electrical in the room my vanity occupies, so we had to improvise. We trekked to Lowes (but you should be able to find things like this at your preferred local hardware store) and bought:
- This extension cable with a raw end (it isn’t as scary as it seems)
- and this extension cable with a switch.
The raw ends of the first cable get twisted with the corresponding ends coming from the mirror. Then, you stuff those into the brown caps included with the mirror’s hardware. Voila – you can now plug your mirror into an outlet and let there be light.
But surely you don’t want to plug it in and unplug it each damn time you want to use it, right? Of course not, that’s madness. So that’s where the second cable comes in, which takes a standard plug. Plug the first cable into this one, and give the switch at the end a home. We mounted mine to the underside of my vanity with some 3M Dual Lock Tape. If you aren’t familiar with this stuff, it is a) badass and b) what is commonly used these days to affix EZ-Passes and other toll plaza transponders to your windshield.
Now you have light on demand!
The Bottom Line
Overall, I spent about $75 on this project, but I have a mirror that I can easily relocate. It provides generous light, more than enough to see clearly and apply makeup with. I’ve only used it this week so far, but I love it. If you’re looking for a vanity mirror for over a sink or for a makeup vanity, check this out.