We’ve all had to deal with the glare of headlights in our rearview mirrors from time to time. Thankfully, adjusting the mirror is usually as simple as flicking a switch to change it to nighttime driving mode. However, that also dims everything else and can make it hard to see out of the mirror. An electrochromatic mirror might just be the answer.

What are they?

Really, electrochromatic mirrors are pretty simple. They’re electronic and they work similarly to eyeglass lenses that automatically darken when exposed to sunlight. They also offer a number of advantages to standard manual rearview mirror options.

The advantages

You’ll find these mirrors also called auto dimming rear view mirrors, and that truly sums up what this technology does. When headlights shine onto the mirror’s surface, it automatically dims, which reduces the discomfort and glare. However, they also dim in proportion to the intensity of the light shining onto them. So, the mirror will dim more for brighter headlights, or when those headlights are closer to your car. The advantages here include:

  • No need to manually adjust the mirror for nighttime driving
  • Auto dimming technology ensures the right amount of dimming at all times
  • A clearer view than what’s possible with conventional rearview mirror technology

As you can see, an electrochromatic option might be worth considering if you’re in the market for a rear view mirror replacement, and might be better than rear view mirror repair if your old mirror has been damaged. You’ll also find this technology available on side view mirrors, although retrofitting a car can be costly. Electrochromatic side view mirrors are available from most OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) on higher end packages when buying a new car.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as What Are Electrochromatic Mirrors? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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