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What Are Convex Mirrors Used For?

Convex Mirrors are used to help store owners check for shoplifters, see what’s coming around the corner on a road or warehouse, and shield our eyes from the sun’s rays (via sunglasses).

Convex mirrors are so helpful and ubiquitous that we sometimes barely register them. They’re even hard at work in the Hubble telescope, working in tandem with concave mirrors to bring us magnificent images from the deepest regions of the universe. Convex mirrors are versatile, for sure, but what is it that makes them so?

How do Convex Mirrors work?

First, a quick reminder of what convex mirrors are and how they work. They have a curved mirrored surface that bulges outwards, affecting how the light hits them. Objects look smaller and farther away than they are in real life. Crucially,  things are still the right way up, and the convex mirror allows us to see a broader viewpoint than usual – so we can ‘see’ round corners or ‘see’ round a bend in the road.

Diagram showing how Convex Mirrors Work

What are Convex Mirrors used for?

One of the primary uses for Convex Mirrors is for security. If you’re tied to a shop checkout, you’ll need a convex mirror to see what’s going on at the back of the shop or the end of an aisle – spaces that otherwise you couldn’t monitor. A convex mirror placed near an ATM will allow customers to check there’s no one directly behind them before they punch in their PIN number. And if you need to check the underside of vehicles for bombs or other terrorist devices, a small convex mirror on a rod will allow you to check that it's clear (car repairers also use this type of mirror in their work).

Convex Mirror Under Car

Not far behind is safety. If there’s a tree, a bend in the road, concealed entrance or any other immovable object blocking the view, it would be crazily expensive and impractical to move the road or the object. Instead, a convex mirror designed for outdoor use is a cost-effective and safe way of showing drivers that the road is clear so they can pull out safely. A slew of research from around the world, including the UK’s Department for Transport1, has vouched for their effectiveness.

Using Convex Mirrors Indoors

Indoors, convex mirrors also have an important safety function, alerting us to that trolley that’s coming around the corner or the forklift truck that we need to wait for and avoiding potentially dangerous or expensive collisions. A convex mirror allows employees to ‘see’ around the blind spot and move around safely.

Convex Mirror in Factory


Do you need a convex mirror for your business?

For many business owners, it's highly likely as Convex Mirrors have many applications, from inspections to road safety, security and collision avoidance.

If you’re a retail business, you’ll need at least one ditto if your drivers need to negotiate any blind spots coming onto or off your premises or if you need to carry out security inspections or repairs on vehicles. Likewise, convex mirrors are cost-effective safety tools for premises with corridors or corners with blind spots.

If you’ve any questions about convex mirrors and which ones would be right for your company, please get in touch with us at First Mats. We have a wide range of convex mirrors for indoor and outdoor use, and we’d be happy to help you find the convex mirror that best suits your budget and requirements.

See our full range of Security Equipment for more crime-fighting products.


1 Road Safety Research Report No. 111, Department of Transport, 2011



Richard O'Connor's Headshot

Richard O'Connor is a Director at First Mats. He has deep knowledge in areas like Manufacturing, Warehousing, Marine, and Health & Safety. Richard's insights have been featured in well-known publications such as Bloomberg Business, The Sun, and Reader's Digest. His blend of industry expertise and passion for sharing makes him a sought-after voice in his fields.

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