What is a Dome Mirror?

The term ‘dome mirror’ is commonly used in reference to convex mirrors. The word ‘dome’ is derived from the ancient Greek and latin word ‘domus’, which means “house”. In the middle ages the German term “dom” and Italian word “duomo” were used for “cathedral”. The English adopted the word to refer to “round, vaulted, hemispherical covering of a buildiing” – a characteristic architectural feature of Italian cathedrals.

Dome Mirror Types

The term “dome mirror” is another term for convex mirrors or hemispheric mirrors. As discussed in this blog, dome mirrors are often referred to as diverging mirrors or fisheye mirrors as the reflected image provides a wide angle, expanded field of view. This is massively advantageous over flat mirrors in a wide variety of applications.

You can find a wide variety of dome mirror designs and types. Many are designed for specific use on walls, ceilings and in corners.

quarter dome mirror
Quarter Dome – Convex Mirror

Quarter dome mirrors are designed to fit neatly into the corner between two walls and a ceiling. As can be seen in the image, a dome mirror in this location provides a useful, wide angle view of a space.

half dome mirror
Half Dome – Convex Mirror

Half dome mirrors are designed to fit into the right angle between a wall and ceiling. A convex mirror in this position provides a wide angle view of a space to anyone on either side of the mirror or in front of it.

full dome mirror
Full Dome – Wall or Ceiling Mounted Convex Mirror

Full dome mirrors can be mounted on, or underneath, ceilings. Or they can be vertically wall mounted. A ceiling mounted, overhead full dome mirror can be hung to an optimum height or it may be flush-mounted to the ceiling. A ceiling mounted convex full dome mirror provides a wide angle view of a space from any position. Wall mounted, vertical dome mirrors present a wide angle, fisheye view of a space from any angle.

hemispheric dome mirror types
Hemispheric, Dome Mirror Types

What are Dome Mirrors Used For?

Broadly speaking, dome mirrors are widely used in a variety of safety and security applications. Shops and retail environments, for example, are often challenged by shoplifters. And its very difficult for retail staff to safely monitor exactly what all visitors to their shops are doing. Carefully located dome mirrors enable staff to keep an eye on people as they browse their store without the need for them to leave their till position. If they see someone attempting to steal items they can raise and alert or call for assistance without having taken the risk of challenging the shoplifter.

A common safety related application for dome mirrors is in enabling people to see around corners. In warehouses, for example, busy workers on foot and others driving forklifts or manoeuvring trolleys face the daily risk of collisions. Considerately located dome mirrors enable them to see around blind corners and avoid nasty accidents.

In some environments, such as mental health hospitals and young offenders’ centres, staff often need to keep an eye on vulnerable people. Dome mirrors allow them to watch over those they are looking after safely and considerately, from a distance.

Dome mirrors for use in institutions are available as anti-ligature mirrors, specifically designed not to offer any potential ligature points.

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