Types of Anti-Reflective Coatings: What Are My Options?

Until the 1970s, people could wear their giant vintage frames without worrying about glare. Without computers, light pollution and fluorescents, there was absolutely no need for anti-reflective coating of any kind on prescription eyewear. But as the times changed, so did the technology. First tints and then coatings were introduced to the masses for everyday wear, fashion and function. In today’s day and age, a high-quality anti-reflective coating is essential to help reduce the anomalies that affect our eyes long term. Here are your options.

Basic Anti-Reflective

Basic anti-reflective lenses all come with a scratch-resistant coating (note: this is not by any means scratch-proof) and an anti-reflective coating. This anti-reflective coating helps reduce glare from nighttime driving, computer monitors and cell phones, but the downside is that they attract dust. Combined with the oil from your face, basic anti-reflective are almost impossible to keep clean. They also have a green or purple hue to the lens. Read more about lenses in Part 2 of our Blog Series.

The Next Level

The next level up in the anti-reflective coating world was introduced about 15 years ago. It’s an oil-resistant, hydrophobic coating which, like the basic coating, is scratch-resistant. But unlike the basic anti-reflective, the oil resistance helps to keep the oils from your skin off of your lenses, which keeps your glasses much cleaner. And the hydrophobic part means that you’ll get a water-resistant coating. So if, for example, you get caught in the rain, the water will roll right off of your glasses like water rolls off a duck’s back, which will keep your lenses clean from dried watermarks in addition to oil. This kind of anti-reflective coating will have a more purplish hue.

The Top

Brand new to the scene, the top dog in anti-reflective coatings was only developed about three years ago. This is not only an oil-resistant, hydrophobic coating but also includes two layers of scratch-resistance, making it as close to scratchproof as possible. They also have UV protection and are static-resistant, which means you won’t see any dust on your lenses. Last but not least, these lenses are smudge-resistant, which means no more sticky kids’ fingers gunking up your vision! This level will also reduce the coloured hue that the other lenses give off, making it seem like there are no lenses in the frame at all. This type of coating usually comes with a two-year warranty, because there is always a rare chance that they may be defective.

 The Tippy Top

That’s right, there’s more! The best anti-reflective coating out there offers your lenses everything that the top of the line has to offer, but it has one added bonus: A blue coating. What’s special about it? This coating works as a filter to help reduce LED light from electronic devices. That’s right all those fancy phones, tablets, computers and televisions do strain our eyes, mostly because we use them constantly.

When push comes to shove, we aren’t telling you to go out and get the best lenses but we do want you to be up to date on the technological improvements the optical world has to offer. Here at 312 Optical Studio we are here to help you find the right type of lenses to best suite your needs.