Adding Anti-Reflective Coating After Purchase

As an eyeglass customer, have you ever asked yourself this question, “Can I add an anti-reflective coating to my glasses after purchase?” It’s quite possible that you have. It is not uncommon for consumers to go down the checklist of options for a new pair of lenses and opt-out of the anti-reflective coating in order to economize. However, it also does not take long wearing the new eyeglasses for many to regret that decision. In some cases a do-over is possible.

It Depends

Under certain conditions, it is possible to apply an anti-reflective coating on the lenses of a pair of eyeglasses that have already been purchased. However, it is not recommended and there are certain factors that should be seriously considered before making this decision:

  • It may cost more after the fact than if the anti-reflective coating had been applied at the time of lens manufacture.
  • If within a time window guarantee, it may be possible to upgrade the lens at the original price of the anti-reflective coating option or have new lenses made.
  • Because the lens has been exposed to skin oils and is not factory “fresh”, the coating may not adhere well which could shorten the effective lifespan of the coating.
  • If any scratch is present, the application of an anti-reflective coating will magnify it. In such cases, it would not be recommended to apply an anti-reflective coating.
  • The highest quality coatings may not be available due to the fact that the application technology requires it to be applied at the time that the lens is cut. Consumers may have to opt for a more inferior anti-reflective coating after the fact.

Considerations and Warnings
The Best Advice

The top recommendations from experts in the eyewear industry all agree that for the highest quality lens and anti-reflective coating, it should be applied at the time the lenses are cut. If the coating is to be applied after eyewear purchase, it is best to return within a guarantee time period and have lenses re-made, paying the difference for upgrading to include the anti-reflective coating option. However, if a consumer’s guarantee period has expired, it is possible to apply a lower quality anti-reflective coating to a lens that is scratch-free in some cases. Please keep in mind that because of the questionability of quality, in many cases an eyewear provider may refuse to provide service to apply an anti-reflective coating to lenses that have already been cut. They may only offer the option of completely remaking lenses and having the anti-reflective coating applied at the time of lens manufacture.

The Process

To better understand the limitations of applying an anti-reflective coating after eyewear purchase, consumers need to understand the process of how the coating is applied when lenses are cut. First, the lenses are meticulously cleaned and inspected microscopically for the tiniest smudge, scratch, or residue. Lenses are subjected to high tech cleaning processes multiple times in order to remove any possible contaminants.

After washing, lenses are then dried in heat controlled ovens to remove all moisture and accumulated gases from their surfaces. After being thoroughly cleaned and dried, lenses are placed in racks in a vacuum-sealed chamber for the application process of the anti-reflective coating. Lenses are bombarded with electrons that vaporize and then adhere to their surface to form a microscopic layer.

Why Opt For AR

Anti-reflective coatings are advised for people who spend several hours in front of a computer screen. They also make night driving safer by eliminating the glare of artificial light. If eyewear has a mirrored lens, an anti-reflective coating on the backside of the lens is practically a necessity. There are different types of coatings to choose from and can be recognized by brand names. Crizal is considered industry-wide as the premium brand of anti-reflective coatings.

For more information on anti-reflective coatings, please contact us. Our eyewear specialists are informed on the latest styles available as well as innovative technologies to customize your lenses for your own individual tastes and needs.


  1. Pat Forbess says:

    I had to have my rx eyeglasses anti-glare proofed after I purchased them because I wasn’t told that was an option beforehand. It isn’t helping the glare; if anything, it seems to be worse. My glasses have some type of “residue” on them. When I hold them up, there is something around the edges similar to caulking around a window. The special cloth my optometrist gave me to clean eyeglasses only helps for a short time. My glasses just will not stay clean and clear. I’m really disappointed and don’t know what to do next. Or, if there is anything I can do.

    • Mirna Romero says:

      Hello Pat, from what I read, it looks like you would have to remake your lenses. The link to our Lens Replacement Service is the following:
      If you need any further assistance, you can contact us by email at, or you can give us a call at 888-245-6638. There is also a chat option on our website to talk directly to our customer service reps. It would be a pleasure to help you!

  2. Tibor Finesz says:

    Can you have anti reflective coating done on round lens of 20mm diameter and 2mm thickness

    • rxsafety says:

      The size is not a problem. Although we would need to know more about the material we are ar coating. Please call Bill Brown at 732-722-1640 he is our technical AR sales guy.

  3. Kathy Reason says:

    Who does this

  4. kate says:

    How mush does it cost to put anti-reflective coating on the lenses?

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