Why are more consumers requesting anti-reflective coating?

A growing number of eyeglass wearers are requesting anti-reflective coating for their lenses. Commonly referred to as AR coating or anti-glare coating, anti-reflective coatings are known for their ability to maximize visual acuity through the elimination of reflections. With the global anti-reflective coatings industry estimated to reach $4.9 billion by 2020, eyewear manufacturers and providers are responding by expanding their array of coating options. Below is a look at the growing demand for anti-reflective coatings and the steps recommended to add an anti-reflective coating to your current glasses.

“The global anti-reflective coatings market will almost double in value in the next few years. Factors such as the growing demand for high light transmitting eyeglasses and lenses and growing consumption of these coatings in the electronics sector are driving the global anti-reflective coatings market.” – Transparency Market Research

Why are more consumers requesting anti-reflective coating?

As outlined above, a growing number of consumers are discovering the benefits of anti-reflective eyeglass coatings. In addition to helping you increase your visual performance, anti-reflective coatings optimize eye comfort for wearers and even bolster your aesthetic appeal. Below are the top four advantages of anti-reflective coatings:

1) They optimize visual acuity

“Today’s modern anti-reflective coatings can virtually eliminate the reflection of light from eyeglass lenses, allowing 99.5 percent of available light to pass through the lenses and enter the eye for good vision. By eliminating reflections, AR coating also makes your eyeglass lenses look nearly invisible so people can see your eyes and facial expressions more clearly.” – Gary Heiting, OD

Perhaps the most well-known benefit of anti-reflective coatings is improved visual clarity. By eliminating reflections, anti-reflective coatings permit more light to pass through your lenses, thereby bolstering your visual acuity.

2) They enhance the appearance of your face and glasses

Once you add AR coatings to your lenses, people will be able to focus on your facial features without the distraction of glare emanating from your glasses. Adding anti-reflective coatings to your glasses will make your lenses look virtually invisible. People will be able to see your face and expressions more clearly, improving your ability to engage with others around you.

3) They reduce eye strain

Anti-reflective coatings allow more light to pass through your lenses while eliminating distracting reflections of light. The end result is reduced strain on your eyes. They are an excellent option for people who work long hours analyzing data on a computer screen or who have difficulty viewing paperwork or data without squinting.

4) They help you make better eye contact

A lesser-known benefit of anti-reflective coatings is their ability to help you establish better eye contact with other people. AR coatings achieve this with their nearly invisible appearance and their ability to draw more attention to your eyes. As a result, anti-reflective coatings are often sought by public officials outside sales professionals, and other individuals whose livelihood is dependent upon their ability to communicate well with others.

Who can benefit from an anti-reflective coating?

Virtually anyone can benefit from applying anti-reflective coatings to their glasses. However, AR coatings are especially beneficial for people working in a few specific professions. Here is a look at some consumer groups who are especially likely to benefit from anti-reflective coatings:

1) Pilots

“The application of an anti-reflective (AR) coat can improve optical quality, particularly when a high refractive correction is required. These lenses have built-in UV protection and are manufactured with a scratch-resistant coating that is much stronger than that applied to  CR-39® lenses.” – Federal Aviation Administration

2) Truck Drivers

Zeiss and other eyecare experts point to the many advantages AR coatings offer truck drivers and other frequent distance drivers. They highlight the negative impact that fog, blinding sunlight, and reflective roads can have on a person’s ability to navigate roadways, and recommend AR lenses as a viable solution to challenging driving conditions.

3) Computer Operators

Anti-reflective coatings have become so popular among office workers and data analysts that Amazon and other e-commerce giants are referring to glasses that contain AR coatings as “Computer Glasses”. AR coatings can help prevent blurred vision and headaches by counteracting the brightness emitted by computer or laptop screens.

Can you get anti-reflective coatings on your current classes?

Yes. However, before exploring the process of adding coatings to your existing glasses, you should understand that a better alternative is to have the AR coating applied when lenses are cut. Eyewear experts agree that this is the best way to achieve optimal quality by reducing the likelihood of scratches and flaws. In addition to yielding a flawless product, you can save a significant amount of money by having the coating applied when a new set of lenses is cut.

How can you add an anti-reflective coating to your current glasses? 

If you are attached to your existing glasses and are interested in having an AR coating applied to them, you can increase the likelihood of flawless application by following some key steps and enlisting the help of an industry expert. Below are three steps that are critical to follow if you are going to attempt to add an anti-reflective coating to your current glasses.

Step 1: Make sure your glasses do not already have an anti-reflective coating

“Just hold the glasses where they will reflect light. If the lights reflecting are the color of the lights, you do not have Anti-Reflective coating. If they reflect in a color like green, gold, purple or blue, you have the coating.” – Ganesh Agarwal, Owner, Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital

As outlined above by Dr. Agarwal, you can quickly tell if your glasses have an anti-reflective coating by noting the color of the reflection when you tilt your glasses. If your glasses already have an anti-reflective coating, then there is no need to go through the process to have a coating applied. You already have the technology built into your glasses.

Step 2: Thoroughly clean and dry your eyeglass lenses

This is a critical step in the process because the application of the coating can trap any dirt, dust or other particles under the coating, disrupting the chances for a smooth finish. You can clean your lenses at home prior to this process with a mixture of warm soapy water. Remember to carefully dry your lenses with a clean, lint-free cloth. If you are planning to enlist the help of a trusted optical laboratory to handle the application of your coating, they will ensure that your lenses are professionally cleaned prior to the application of the coating.

Step 3: Carefully apply the anti-reflective coating to the lenses

“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.” –  Rx-Safety

As illustrated above, the professional application of an AR coating is a detailed process that requires industry expertise. Notably, there are other options available for eyeglass wearers who prefer to try to apply AR coatings themselves. For instance, some “do it yourself” enthusiasts attempt to apply coatings using spray or dipping methodology. Unless you have years of experience working in a professional laboratory, these methods of application are usually not warranted and can produce undesirable results.

The key to success with Step 3 is to seek the expertise of a dependable laboratory that will work directly with you instead of distributors or outside labs. Ideally, the lab you choose for guidance should possess decades of experience in the eyewear industry and can provide valuable insight into the coating application process. They can evaluate your existing glasses and offer feedback regarding whether your glasses are suitable for the AR application process. Finally, a top-notch lab will ensure that your lenses contain the highest quality coatings to promote longevity of your glasses.

The Bottom Line

As outlined above, anti-reflective coatings offer a host of benefits to people who wear glasses. In addition to improving visual clarity, they minimize eye strain and enhance your physical appearance. Anti-reflective coatings also offer flexibility, as they can be applied to your current pair of favorite sunglasses or applied to lenses immediately after they are professionally cut. As more eyeglass wearers discover the many benefits of AR coatings, the range of coating options will continue to grow and evolve.

We invite you to contact us to learn how we can help you enjoy the many benefits of an anti-reflective coating. At Rx-Safety, you can choose from an extensive array of AR coatings for your glasses. All of our lens coatings are designed to bolster the performance of your lenses as well as your visual acuity.  We are also pleased to offer many layered styles, enabling you to achieve the exact lens specifications you are seeking. Our seasoned eyewear professionals are dedicated to providing you with the eyewear of your dreams. We look forward to helping you optimize your vision!

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