Eyeglass Lens Coatings
Scratch Resistant Coating (SRC)
Through all the advancements in eyeglass lens coatings, eyeglass lenses are still not scratch proof not even glass lenses. However, eyeglass lenses that are treated front and back with a clear, hard coating do become much more scratch resistant. Today, most types of plastic eyeglass lenses, which include high-index, polycarbonate Trivex and some traditional CR-39 plastic materials have a built in scratch-resistant coating. Scratch resistant coating on CR-39 regular plastic lenses is optional so make sure we know that you want scratch-resistant lenses in your prescription eyeglasses.
Ultraviolet (UV) protection is another beneficial lens treatment that is invisible to the naked eye. Just like sunscreen is used to keep the sun's harmful UV rays from damaging our skin, UV treatment in eyeglass lenses prevents those same rays from damaging our eyes. The eyes being overexposed to ultraviolet light is thought to be a cause of cataracts, retinal damage, and other serious eye problems.
The application of an ultraviolet treatment is simple and quick to apply to most plastic eyeglass lenses without affecting the appearance of the lenses. Some lenses which include polycarbonate, high index and Trivex don't need a UV treatment because it is an inherent property of the lens material.
Anti-Reflective / Anti-Glare Coating
Anti-Reflective (AR) coatings improve your vision through the eyeglass lenses and enhance the physical appearance of the eyeglasses. Similar to the coatings found on the front of microscopes and camera lenses AR coatings consist of several layers of metal oxides applied to the front and back of the lens surface. From the layers of metal oxide particles applied to the lens, AR coatings sometimes have a slight blue, green or purple color which depends entirely on the individual manufacturer's formula.
Each particle layer is calculated specifically to block reflected light and as a result the reduction in glare, annoying reflections and halos around lights become a great safety benefit when driving at night.
Anti-reflective coatings also reduce internal and external reflections on the physical lens itself, creating an improved cosmetic appearance. Reflections internally appear as rings that could make lenses look thick while reflections externally cover your eyes from being seen when someone is looking at you. So the result of an anti-reflective coating is that eyeglass lenses appear thin or invisible for a more natural look.
Anyone being photographed or seen on camera would benefit greatly from an AR coating, but cosmetically all eyeglass wearers will benefit from an anti-reflective coating. If your prescription is strong, you can have the AR coating applied to compliment high index lenses and make your glasses look and feel as thin as possible.
Sunglass lenses are best having AR coatings applied only to the back surface of the lens (which is the surface nearest the eye). Lenses in sunglasses are dark and light doesn't penetrate the lens surface. This effect causes the lenses to be highly reflective and prevents the AR coating from being as affective. A backside AR coating helps reduce reflections of light that enter from behind you and bounce off the surface into your eyes. A glare reducing backside coated lens is much more comfortable than a sunglass lens left uncoated.
Just the opposite of a crystal clear anti-reflective coated lens, mirror coatings in addition to flash mirror coatings are highly reflective bold statements of color. Mirror technology has advanced over the years and the choices today include an almost unlimited color selection, Silver, Gold, Blue and Rainbow mirror colors. Other colors include Blue, Violet, Orange, Green, Lilac, and Arctic Blue, Black, Virtual Red, Inferno and more.
Mirror coatings are strictly cosmetic and the wearer sees no difference in vision no matter what the coating colors are therefore looking at the lens from the outside in is the only way to tell the actual color of the mirror coating. Highly reflective reflex mirror coatings prevent the eyes of the wearer from being seen by others. Mirror coatings are usually applied to dark sunglass lenses although light flash mirrors are becoming more popular as a fashion mirror coating.