All About Anti-Reflective Lenses

Considering most people wear glasses to improve their vision, it makes sense you’d want to ensure you can see clearly through the lenses without a glare. When customers come into our Kerrisdale eyewear store they sometimes ask, “Are anti-reflective lenses worth the cost?” or “Are lens coatings worth it?” At the Spectacle Shoppe, the answer we give is a resounding, yes! There’s not much point in spending money on glasses that you can’t see well out of. To help you understand the benefits, here’s our guide to anti-reflective lenses. 

anti reflective glasses

What is Anti-Reflective Coating?

Anti-reflective or anti-glare coating eliminates reflections and lets more light pass through your eyeglass lenses. This makes the lenses appear almost transparent meaning people can actually see your eyes instead of their own reflection in your spectacles. By decreasing the glare on the surface of your lenses, visual acuity and contrast are enhanced for clear vision. The coating can also reduce bothersome reflections from things like the screens of devices and the lights from other cars when you’re driving at night. Anti-glare coating is a must, particularly for high-index lenses since they reflect a lot of light. 

At the Spectacle Shoppe, we offer a variety of lens coatings including Essilor Crizal in Sapphire, Forte and EC, which are all multicoated antireflective coatings that prevent glare and also repel water, dust, scratches and smudges with additional options such as shielding against UV rays or blue light from devices. The Crizal no-glare lenses are super high-tech and we highly recommend them.  

The Pros and Cons of Anti-Reflective Lenses

Pros of anti-glare lenses:

  • Banishes reflections from the front and back surfaces of eyeglass lenses
  • Lets in more light so you can see clearly
  • Glasses look attractive because it eliminates reflections other people can see on the lenses and makes eyes more visible
  • Excellent for getting rid of glare in low-light conditions like night driving
  • Reduces eyestrain
  • Lessens glare on computer screens and devices for visual comfort
  • Premium coatings also resist water, scratches, oil, smudges and dust and make cleaning lenses easier

Cons of anti-reflective lenses:

  • Coating gives lenses a static charge so they’ll need to be washed regularly
  • Scratches and imperfections may be more visible on the lens

anti reflective glasses

Behind the AR Coating Scenes

So now that you know what antireflective coating is, let’s talk about how the coating is applied. First, the lenses are cleaned and checked for even the tiniest defects or imperfections since something as small as a speck of lint can ruin the anti-reflective coating. This is typically done with repeated washing and rinsing and ultrasonic cleaning. The lens are air dried and  heated so there is no moisture on the surface. 

Once the lenses are dry, they’re put in special metal racks and placed in the coating chamber. The door is sealed and a vacuum is created by pumping all of the air out of the chamber. Inside the coating chamber, there is a container that houses a series of metal oxides (the coating materials) in different compartments. The machine shoots the container with a beam of electrons causing the metal oxides to vaporize. As the metal racks rotate within the coating chamber, the vaporized coating materials stick evenly to the surfaces of the lenses. 

There you have it, everything you wanted to know about antireflective lenses. Are you ready to say goodbye to glare in the perfect pair of eyeglasses? Stop by the Spectacle Shoppe in Kerrisdale and we’ll fit you with stunning frames and help you pick out the anti-reflective lens coating that will work best for your vision needs and lifestyle. 

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Morgan Nahanee
Morgan Nahanee

Author

Morgan is The Spectacle Shoppe’s Lead Technician and Customer Relations Specialist as well as a Principle of Spectacle Shoppe. She is a licensed contact lens fitter and dispensing optician and has been working for The Spectacle Shoppe since 2006. She graduated from Douglas College’s two year Dispensing Optician and Contact Lens Fitting Program in 2008. From contact lens fitting to eyeglass repairs and adjustments Morgan is eager to help you with any optical needs. Connect with Morgan Nahanee on Google+