Custom Cut Two-way or See-through Mirrors

2-Piece Smoked Drop-in Camera Dome for use with Drop Ceiling

  • 1/8 " or 1/4" Mirror-Grade Acrylic coated with a 2-way Mirror Finish.
  • Looks like a Mirror from the lighted side and a Window from the side with little or no light.
  • Surveillance for a Show Room or Store from an Office.
  • Hide a Camera to Monitor Store Activity.
  • Used in Many Non-Security Related Crafts (see more uses below).
  • Available in several Standard Sizes: Please use the drop-down boxes below to see the available sizes and pricing.
  • Less expensive 1/8: thick for up to 24" x 48" areas and 1/4" for larger sizes windows. Note: Because acrylic is flexible, we recommend the 1/4" for larger mirror sizes.   

Transparent Light Passing Diagram
Two-Way mirrors allow only 30% of light to pass through them. If one side of the mirror is bright and one is dark, the 70% light being reflected from the bright side will cause the light passing through from the dark side to be nearly indistinguishable giving the appearance of a normal mirror on the bright side, but a window on the dark side.
image taken without two way image taken through two way to show light loss

Notes: These pictures were taken with a digital camera in natural sunlight The camera was set for auto focus and automatic light settings. Without automatic light settings, the picture on the right, was less bright. It is important to block the light from around the camera and from the viewing side (same side your taking the picture) of the mirror. If you do not block the light on the camera side, you will end up with a faint image of the reflection of the camera.

Infinity clock example 1
Pictures sent in by customers using two-way mirrors.
Infinity clock example 2

Another interesting link to information about a similar Infinity Light can be seen at Michael Holigan's web site. Here you will see another description of a 2-way mirror used to create an Infinity Light effect. There is a good 3D drawing so most wood workers can visualize how the box is constructed. Michael Holigan's Infinity Light mirror.


Our See Through (Two Way) Flat Mirrors are (Non-returnable Special Order only)

  • You can only see through the mirror when the area you are looking from, is darker then the area you are looking into. Works best when there is no light on the "Viewing" side. When the light is equal on both sides it appears as a mirror but you can also see through to the other side.
  • 1/8th inch Thick Acrylic. Not recommended for sizes where more than one side is over 36 inches.
  • Perfect for Camera Windows and Surveillance Windows.
  • Can be Used to Hide a Flat Screen TV Mounted over a Fireplace. (Remote will work through the mirror).
  • Not Recommended for Areas more than 12 square feet other than as a TV Screen Protector .

Acrylic Mirrors can easily be cut to any size using a "Band Saw" , "Table Saw" or any saw with small teeth and a relatively high speed. (Routers also work well.) A veneer saw blade works well when using a table saw.

1. The mirror will be protected with a removable, clear plastic coating on both sides. The plastic coating on the coated side will pull off quite easily while the non coated side is noticeably less easily removed. We suggest that you protect the coated side with a heavy paper, like construction paper, before doing any cutting. Cut the construction paper (anything can be used which will protect the lens from being scratched) to a size smaller than the area you are going to cut but large enough to cover any exposed surface area. Use masking tape to tape over the area where you plan to cut the mirror. Tape the protective paper over the remaining area. By doing this you could save the mirror from accidental damage from scratches.

2. Measure and draw the "cut-line" on the masking tape. You will be cutting through the tape. This will help protect the acrylic surface from getting scratched.

3. It helps to use a table stop or guard when cutting straight lines.

4. Feed the acrylic through the cutting blade slowly. If you feed too quickly, there is a risk of the teeth catching the acrylic and breaking out small areas. The general rule is to NOT FORCE THE CUTTING SPEED

NOTE: This is especially true when using a table saw or jigsaw. (Rip saw blades do not work well. If possible use a fine tooth blade on a table saw or jig saw.)

5. When you have finished cutting, check the size before removing the tape. If it is correct you can use a sanding block or belt sander to smooth the edge. (OPTIONAL)

6. Do not remove the tape and protective clear plastic coating until you are ready to mount or use the mirror. This will minimize the chance of it being scratched.


1. There is no difference in what side faces in or out when using the mirror, however, the side with the easily removed clear plastic coating is the COATED side of the mirror. If you want to protect the mirror coating form being scratched off, then you will want to protect the COATED side. For example: If this is to be used with a camera, then place the COATED side on the same side as the camera. This way, if the mirror is scratched on the non-coated side (not the camera side), it will only result in a scratch in the mirror and the two-way affect will still be working.

2. After the mirror coating is applied on the clear acrylic at the factory, the clear finish is sprayed over the aluminized coating forming a "LATTICE" structure, which is how the mirror works. Even though this lattice structure is small, a good camera with an auto focus may try to focus on that structure. When this happens, the picture is similar to looking through a screen-door. To avoid this, position the camera as close as you can to the mirror but not against the mirror (within 1 or two inches) so the auto focus will tune-in on the images coming through the mirror rather then on the mirror itself.

3. There is around a 60% to 70% light loss which means that only 30% to 40% of the light is getting through. The area your viewing should be bright enough and the camera sensitive enough, to function on 35% light. You also want the camera side to be as dark as possible. Even a small amount of light getting through from the camera side could show up on the mirror side as a faint shadow and therefore expose the camera.

4. It is important to note that some of the light from the mirror side will be getting through to the camera side. The nice thing is that our eyes tend to focus on the reflection or bright image AND as long as there is enough light reflecting from the mirror, it appears exactly like a regular mirror. There is a problem when too much light is getting through the mirror. The excess light (40%) getting through will reflect off the camera and or area around the camera. 40% of that reflection will return back through the mirror and may be seen from the mirror side . To avoid this situation, do not place anything directly against the back of the mirror (Camera Side) and do not have any white dry-wall or shiny objects that will reflect a lot of light back through the mirror. We have seen this problem when there was a bright light directly beside the mirror, which made so much light go through the mirror that the 40% returning was enough to expose the camera.



The fact that light can get through the mirror is not always bad. If you place a mirror behind the two-way mirror (around 2 inches away) and box it in, then there will be an infinite reflection of your image when looking at the two-way mirror. This can be used for many things like placing the mirror behind flowers to make them appear infinitely deep or... well you can use your imagination on this one.. Note: A ROUND CONVEX Two-Way (see-through) mirror works even better than the flat two-way mirror. With the convex two-way lens, it looks like your looking into another dimension because the concave side of the mirror (facing inside the box) is reflecting the image at many different angles. It is difficult to explain but it really looks neat. (Convex two-way mirrors must be ordered special. We do not stock these mirrors and will only make them on a special request. The lead time depends on when we are running the flat two-way mirrors so I would expect a two or three week lead time. Also: We can not accept any returns on special ordered items. If you would like to order one of our standard mirrors with the two-way coating, call us at 770-642-2104 or send a fax to 770-642-8246. The price will be calculated on the quantity and size of the mirror you desire. Just as a point of reference, the special order two-way lens would cost around the same, or less, as the standard mirror with no back. see CONVEX MIRRORS. There would NOT be a mount on the mirror.


Make a box with a two-way mirror on one side. In the box place a few Christmas-tree lights and a skeleton or picture etc.. When the lights are NOT turned on, it looks just like a mirror but when the lights are ON, you will see the object in the box through the mirror. This is a fun idea for a Halloween project. If you want to get fancy, you can cut a hold in the bottom of the box, large enough for someone to put their head into the box (please allow enough ventilation so the person can easily breath). You will have to find a way to hide the rest of your body under a table etc... When someone looks into the mirror, the person with their head in the box can turn up the light around his face and appear to be a ghost (or what ever you want to be) looking back at the person. This can be fun but please use good judgment when doing this! Young children should not be exposed to a scary monster in a box.

Other Names And Advice On Glass Verses Acrylic
We use the term see-through mirror however we have seen many of the following names used: 2-way, one-way and 1-way mirrors, transparent mirrors, camera, surveillance and store mirrors. If the above Halloween idea becomes popular, we will most likely have a new term; "Halloween Mirror". All of these names are commonly used to describe see-through or two-way mirrors. While the mirrors we supply are 1/4" Acrylic coated on one side with aluminum oxide and a clear finish, there are also two-way mirrors which are coated on two sides and made of glass. The laminated glass two-way mirrors, which have the mirror finish sandwiched between two layers of hardened glass are much more expensive but should be used over the acrylic when the mirror is to be used as a normal size or larger, window. (We do not sell these mirrors) The benefit of these types of mirrors is that the reflective finish is protected and can not be scratched off. The hardened glass is also much more difficult to scratch. If you are planning to use the 2-way mirror in a place where there will be a high probability of being scratched, hit or cleaned often, then you should consider investing in the higher cost of the glass two-way mirrors. We only say this because our mirrors work great as mirrors and windows for small sizes (up to around 8 to 10 sq. feet.) but not for large areas or abusive conditions.