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What is Anti-Reflective Coating?Updated a year ago

Our Fuse PRO, Polarized + Anti-Reflective, lenses each feature our Ion anti-reflective coating on the back. In addition, our Clear and gaming lenses feature this coating. But, why?

Benefits of AR Coating

One of the greatest benefits of AR coating is the elimination of the reflections from the back and front surfaces of your glasses. The elimination of these reflections makes it possible for more light to pass through your lenses.

  1. AR coating helps with eliminating backside glare which makes objects appear clearer, especially when you are driving at night. The halo effect of headlights will be a thing of the past, unfortunately, it will not be able to help with people who do not know when to not use their high beams.
  2. It also reduces the amount of light that is reflected off the front surface of your lenses. It helps other people view your eyes through your glasses instead of seeing the glare. This will improve how you look in glasses, both in person and in pictures.
  3. Since the anti-reflective coating helps more light to pass through your glasses, your vision will be clearer and sharper resulting in less eye strain. This includes less strain when using your computer or any other technology that produces blue light.
  4. The anti-reflective coating has greatly evolved in the past decade making it easier to clean. Premium AR lenses, like the ones at Fuse Lenses, include a surface treatment that seals the anti-reflective layers and makes the lenses easier to clean. This is the Hydrophobic surface treatment that prevents the formation of water spots by repelling water.

How Does AR Coating Work?

AR coating is a very thin film that is layered on the lens. If you have polarized lenses, the AR coating is layered on the back of the lenses because the polarized film is layered on top. Otherwise, the AR coating is usually placed on the top and bottom.

The AR film is made out of multiple layers of metal oxides. These metal oxides have an index refraction that is greater than air but less than glass. An index of refraction is the measure of the bending of a ray of light when passing from one medium into another. This is important because the degree of the bend of the light entering and then exiting the surface of each film layer cancels each other out. By canceling each other out, they eliminate the glare.

The process of applying the anti-reflective coating is highly technical and involves using vacuum deposition technology. It is very important that the lenses be free from lint, dirt, smudges, moisture, and any unwanted gases before applying the coating. It’s like installing a screen protector on your phone, you have to make sure you are working on a clean surface so unwanted things don’t get trapped under the protector.

Unlike the past methods, AR coatings are baked on and contain chemicals that make them hydrophobic, which means that the lens surface will reduce the adhesion of water and grease. The hydrophobic property makes the lenses easier to clean. Also, since the AR film is applied by heat, the coating does not peel off like it did in the past. This reduces the amount of scratching on the lens and it makes it more durable overall.

How To Tell If Your Lenses Have AR Coating

There is a simple experiment you can do to check if your glasses have an anti-reflective film on them. You just hold the glasses where they will reflect light, this can be sunny windows, overhead, computer screens, or anything else that produces light. Look at the backside surface of your glasses, if they reflect the light in a color like green, gold, purple or blue, then you have the coating. If the colors reflected are the same color as the original light, then your lenses do not have AR coating.

Caring For Glasses With AR Coating

Mirrored lenses and anti-reflective coating both contain metal properties. Therefore, both mirrored glasses and lenses with AR coating are cared for in the same way.

Before cleaning, you want to make sure you always blow away as many particles as possible. Even the smallest particle stuck to the lenses can act like sandpaper and create scratches. If the particles will not come off, then you can rinse your glasses under running fresh water. Like mirrored lenses, AR film can also be damaged by saltwater. If left to dry the salt water can scratch the lens. That is why it is important to rinse your lenses in fresh water afterward.

To get rid of smudges, you want to make sure you use a lens-cleaning spray. It is important to use lens cleaners that do not have any harsh chemicals that may damage the AR coating. The Fuse lens cleaner is alcohol-free which is safe for all types of coatings, including anti-reflective.

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