Anti-Reflective Coatings – not all made the same

An anti-reflective coating is a treatment that is applied to the surface of a lens in order to reduce or eliminate the glare that would traditionally reflect off the lens. This allows more light to pass though the lenses to your eye, giving you sharper vision. Without the extra reflections in the way, your glasses also appear clearer to other people, allowing them to see your eyes instead of the lenses.

The coating improves your vision while driving at night and using digital devices, decreases glare, and eye strain and improves the overall appearance of glasses.

Thanks to cutting edge technology, anti-reflective coatings have improved and evolved greatly in the past decade. Every anti-reflective coating is made from its own formula, but most consist of a layer of metallic oxides. Typically, anti-reflective coating can be broken into two categories: standard and premium. The more layers in the anti-reflective coating, the more reflections are neutralized.

Premium anti-reflective coatings last longer, are available with extra features and some premium coatings can have seven layers or more. Most consist of a surface treatment that seals the layers, repels water, and allows for easier cleaning. Premium anti-reflective coatings can take several days in the lab as the different layers of treatments are applied. The quality is improved because you are unable to separate the lens from the different layers of applied treatment. This also prevents the spotting, peeling, and scratching mentioned earlier.

In contrast, some standard lenses have factory-applied anti-reflective coatings on both surfaces. These tend to come with shorter warranties and tend to break down more easily.