Anti Glare Glasses : Is the technology dead ?

Points Discussed:

  1. Anti glare technology enhances the optical clarity.
  2. Coating is delicate and prone to show finger print.
  3. This shiny coating doesn’t block the high intensity screen rays.
  4. Coating is important on high power thin lenses and driving glasses.
  5. Anti glare coated amber lenses are great combination for laptop & mobile users.

A villager invented anti glare glasses back in 1886

  • A British guy named John William Strut from a non-science background invented anti glare coating. 
  • He was born in a village of England. In his young age he suffered from physical weakness. The health condition was so miserable that he had to withdraw himself from a boarding school named Eton college. The fire of brilliance inside him did not extinguish and he continued studying under a private tutor. 
  • Time moved forward and he graduated in B.A and later completed his Master of Arts. The scientist inside him wanted to come out. So one fine day he went to the market and bought some scientific tools & outfit. This gave his desire a physical shape. In his research journey of physics he wrote about the concepts of electromagnetic theory in easiest terms so that an average person could also understand. 
  • He invented a special glass coating and applied on old pair of glasses. He was shocked to see that the old glasses were passing more light than new glasses. He named it anti glare coating. 
  • Later the technology was further developed by Harold Dennis Taylor and Alexander Smakula. However we can say that Nobel Prize awardee John William Strut was the father of anti glare coating technology.

Less light is lost with anti glare specs

What is the connection of your eyes and light ?

  1. Light falls on an object.
  2. Light gets reflected from object towards the eyes.
  3. Reflected light goes straight into your eyes and object becomes visible.

RESULT: You experience good quality view through your naked eyes (provided your eyesight is good).

What happens when you obstruct the light with eyeglasses ?

  1. Light falls on an object
  2. Light reflects from object towards your eyes
  3. Reflected light hits your eyeglasses and bounces off the lens

RESULT: You experience poor quality view through the lenses.

Some people wonder about the benefits of anti glare glasses. 

However it is important to know the problem if we do not wear anti glare glasses. For an instance, water is important for life but what will happen in the absence of water ? There will be no life. In the same manner, the lens clarity is not extreme when there is no anti reflective feature in the lens. Why does this happen ? The logic is plain and simple. 

We see the objects around us because the light falls on the objects and gets reflected back into our eyes. When the light is not sufficient, the view becomes unclear. Either the source is not sending adequate light or it is getting lost somewhere between the object and the eyes. When we wear eyeglasses without anti glare coating, entire light does not reach the eyes. Some light bounces off the lenses and gets lost. This causes visibility issues. This is where the benefits of anti glare glasses come into play. This ultra thin coating allows the reflected light from the object to pass through the lenses into the eyes.

How do anti glare spectacles solve this problem?

Step 1) Light falls on an object
Step 2) Light reflects from object towards your eyes
Step 3) Reflected light hits the anti glare lens surface
Step 4) Minimum light bounces off the lens and more light goes into your eyes.

RESULT: You experience good quality view through the lenses.

Expect reasonably with anti glare glasses.

It should be noted that although the view is good with anti glare spectacles but it does not mean that it will be even better than normal eye sight or you will be able to see the details of the view which a person with normal eyesight can not view clearly. Anti glare coating will just try to bring the clarity closer to the normal view. 

So expect reasonably with anti glare spectacles.

Anti glare glasses are not always required

Why are they required at the first place ?

Clarity Clarity Clarity.

That is the only foremost reason of having that coating on the lens surface.

You learned above that how light hits the lens, bounces off in the air and gives poor clarity.

If you stick to the normal index lenses (1.49) then you will automatically get high optical clarity.

Are you thinking what does that 1.49 mean?

Index value simply tells how well the light would travel through the lenses as compared to in the vaccum.

Higher than index number, lesser the light will travel through the lens and poorer the optical clarity will be.

So why go for high index thin lenses ? It is best to stick to the normal ones.

Few years back a YouTuber published a video in which she said eating tomatoes makes her skin radiate and guess what, many people started eating the tomatoes. If you ask a doctor he will first check your health conditions and depending on certain factors he can even advice not to eat tomatoes. May be your skin is already healthy so why to eat tomatoes ?

  • Similarly anti glare glasses are important or in fact necessary for those who wear high-index lenses or photo chromatic lenses because they reflect the light as much as 50%.
  • If possible then stick to the Columbia-39 lenses as they have high abbe value and best clarity.
  • Few people wear thin lenses which are also known as high index lenses. The purpose of such thin lenses is just to reduce the weight of high strength lenses. However the most neglected fact is that they have very low abbe value. Sometimes it is just about 30. Try to keep the abbe value as high as 56 or 58. Higher the better. If the abbe value of the lens is high then there is almost negligible need to wear anti reflective lenses.
  • Anti reflecting coating might not be needed if a person is looking for zero power eyeglasses. Although there is no harm even if you have the same.

Price of anti glare glasses might hint about the quality if you have wisdom

We typed anti glare glasses on Google and found hundreds of websites that were offering the same. It is no longer astonishing that such glasses are available for even Rs 500. 

  • However the only problem with cheap anti glare glasses is that the coating usually gets peeled off. 
  • Although price tells very little about the quality but still if the price is extremely low then caution should be exercised. Sometimes the lens material itself is so fragile that it breaks even while wearing. 
  • Another important factor is whether the required safety standards have been maintained or not. News reports do hint that India is a market of fake products. 
  • So as a rule of thumb, go for a branded pair of anti glare glasses. In India, Zebriana is a trusted brand that provides high quality anti glare glasses which can be used for computer use.

Anti glare screen is no match for Anti glare glasses

Some people think that installing anti glare film on the screen would be a substitute of anti glare spectacles. This may be true to a little extent but the problems associated with anti glare screen guard are worth taking a look. 

  • The first problem you will face is going to be installation itself. Users admit it in one voice that sticking an anti glare film on the screen is a hectic work. Once you place the order first you have to pray that you receive an intact product without any bend or dent. A slight bend may ruin your excitement. 
  • The next challenge arises when you peel-off the plastic cover from the film and apply on the laptop or mobile screen. After installation , you may see tiny bubbles all over the screen due to the air trapped between the anti glare film and screen. 
  • Just in case if you want to apply it on a touchscreen then it is going to reduce the sensitivity of the screen which you may find it annoying. Imagine, you have to place an important phone call but screen is not responding due to that anti glare screen guard. 
  • What about those ugly looking stickers & magnets you have to stick on the sides of the screen in order to fix the plastic film? 
  • The father of all problems associated with anti glare screen guard is the reduced picture quality. That’s right. People complain that the screen view becomes blurry & hazy. You spend so much money to buy digital screens & monitors. You don’t buy those expensive screens to reduce the joy of sharp & crystal clear view.
One best thing it fails to do is block the high intensity blue light of the screen but we have better option for that which has been discussed at the bottom of this article.

Are anti glare glasses about to die in 2021?

  • Earlier opticians used to offer simple anti glare glasses for computer use but these days techies ask for something better that can block the harsh screen rays or blue light. Eyeglasses with blue cut lenses with anti glare coating are the solution. 
  • The anti glare coating technology is not going to die any soon but it alone can not do much. Modern computer glasses use this coating in combination with amber lenses to improve the aesthetics & vision clarity. 
  • Anti glare coated clear lenses are very useful for night driving when headlight of an oncoming vehicle distracts your vision on the road. 
  • Although it has its limitations and we can not expect 100% glare reduction but still the importance of the technology can not be neglected. 

Anti glare coated spectacles also have disadvantages

  • In some rare cases people complain of headache with anti glare coated lenses. It goes away after peeling off the coating. Does not happen with everyone but very few people.
  • Finger prints get visible so easily. It will be correct to say that this coating is like a finger print magnet. You touch it and see those micro lines of your finger.
  •  They require maintenance and maintenance may also become a reason for its short life. Frequent cleaning often damages the anti glare coating.
  • One more fact to be noted here is if a pair of eyeglasses has just anti glare coating that will not be sufficient to block the high intensity blue light of digital screens. If you spend long hours in front of laptop & mobile phone then you need something more advanced which has been mentioned below.

What is best for computer & mobile users ?

Method mentioned below is used to avoid eye strain & headache caused by screen.

  • Techies of India who spend long hours in front of digital screens are more exposed to the harsh blue light. They have much better option than simple anti glare glasses. 
  • The best way to combat the problem of digital eye strain caused by screen light is wearing eyeglasses with amber lens type.  Real amber lenses are yellowish in color and computer users love them. 
  • Although some opticians do offer non-colored lenses by calling them blue cut lenses but they reduce very less amount of blue light. 
  • Always ask for eyeglasses with amber lenses to reduce the blue light exposure.
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