Controlling dimmer for mirror with gestures


I have a mirror where i have replaced the internal fluorescent lights with led strips. I would now like to make a dimmer for this, but have no place where i can place physical controls like buttons or a dimmer switch since the mirror is mounted flush with the tiled wall.

Does anyone have any ideas for a sensor that i can use to sense a hand in front of the mirror from behind the mirror? I only need to sense the presence of the hand in a zone, having one zone for dimming up and one for dimming down.

The sensor should preferably not require the user to touch the mirror, but any ideas are greatly welcomed.


As a mirror is basically a metal sheet not a lot will get through, so I think you can't do it.
Any chance of mounting it behind the tiles at the side?

Perhaps you can use a capacitive or proximity sensor on the front of the glass..?

Thanks for the response and sorry for the late reply. A capacitance sensor would be visible i assume? And I cannot get behind the tiles without damaging the wall (and I don't want the sensor THAT much :slight_smile: )

After more search, I have not been able to find any other ideas. But i realized that i can move the mirror 8-10mm out from the wall without it looking too bad. I therefore tried to use some IR leds and an IR resistor to detect the presence of IR light reflected by my hand. This works fine in my office which is relatively cool, but in the bathroom the difference in resistance was not reliable.

Resistance reading in the bathroom:

But, placing the sensor just behind the edge of the mirror should give lot's of other options. I have been considering an ultrasonic sensors, but the ones I've seen are 20mm wide which is too much. I don't want to move the mirror more than 8 mm (max 10) from the wall.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.