Blue Block Guide

Learn about our innovative blue block lens treatments.

Steve Mower - August 2018

Today, all eyeglass lens manufacturers offer lenses with some type of HEV blue light protection. The biggest lens manufacturer, Essilor, is starting to provide a blue light filter (Smart Blue Filter, Essentials ~20% HEV filtered.) in most of their products and will end up offering this clear feature in all of their products for no additional charge. This is an extension of the idea that HEV blue light protection is as important as UV protection. (HEV blue light is right after UV light on the visible spectrum.) The general consensus in the optical industry is that some HEV blue light protection is better than none.

Since 2012 we have been the #1 site and source for blue block reading glasses. We offer 11 different blue block lens tints and 4 blue block AR coatings as lens options on our reading glasses. Our lenses and lens options protect your eyes from potentially damaging blue light and UV but also allow beneficial blue light through to your eyes. What are the best lens options for you?

First, do you need blue block glasses?

Understand, the concern with HEV blue light is the cumulative effects over time.. It is a band of blue light from 415nm to 455nm. There are 2 factors to consider, exposure and glare sensitivity.

1. HEV Blue Light Exposure. Ask yourself how many hours per day you are in front of HEV blue light emitting devices. Computer monitors, TV screens, fluorescent lights, smart phones, etc. Is it all day or just a few minutes here and there? (Fun fact: You are way more exposed to blue light outdoors from the sun than any other source.)

2. Glare Sensitivity. Are you mildly sensitive to glare? Severely sensitive? Glare is the brightness of light you are sensitive to. If you are squinting a lot at your computer screen it could well be that you need reading lenses that correct your vision properly. Otherwise, glare can be reduced with a lens tint.

POST CATARACT SURGERY PATIENTS - There is strong evidence that using blue block lenses can help to prevent AMD in post cataract patients. (See The Effect of Blue Light Exposure on AMD After cataract Surgery)

ABOUT BLUE LIGHT

The blue light spectrum ranges from about 380nm to 500nm. A part of this spectrum, from 415nm to 455nm, the blue-violet spectrum, has been found to be potentialy damaging and contibute to AMD, Advanced Macular degeneration. (See this Blue Light Round Table .pdf from Essilor) Not all of the blue light spectrum is bad. Above 455nm, blue light helps to regulate circadian rhythm.

BENEFICIAL BLUE LIGHT - From 455 to 500nm, more specifically, at 480nm, blue light is beneficial during the day. Exposure to this band of light helps to regulate our natural circadian rhythm. Unfortunately, many consumers are still under the impression that they need heavily tinted blue block lenses that filter all blue light. While some, rare individuals need some kind of therapy tint to address severe photophobia and other medical issues, most people can be protected and reduce glare with clear blue block lenses (blue filter and/or AR coated) or lighter tints, or photochromic lenses.

"BAD" BLUE LIGHT - The issue here is exposure over time. The sun is our biggest source of blue light. Sunglasses with UV400 protection do a great job filtering blue light. Polarized sunglasses go further by reducing reflected glare.

Overexposure to bad blue light promotes oxidation in the retina. Recent studies are showing that it may contribute to Myopia Progression. (See this from NHI- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5554846/)

Very young people and older people are also at risk for AMD. Post cataract patients can benefit from having blue light protection. - (See The Effect of Blue Light Exposure on AMD After cataract Surgery)

WHAT SHOULD BLUE BLOCK LENSES DO FOR YOU

Blue block glasses are designed to protect your eyes from potentially damaging UV and HEV Blue Light (high energy visible light 380nm to ~445nm) There are 2 different types. The first are lenses that have blue light reflecting AR coatings which are clear. The second type are lenses with blue block tints. Clear lenses do not distort the colors you see. Tinted lenses filter light and can distort visible colors but can also reduce glare more effectively for light sensitive people.

For most people, (the vast majority, really) BluBlock AR coatings are preferable. They provide clear vision with no color distortion and can be used indoors for watching TV or reading at night without reducing beneficial light to your eyes.

For light sensitive people, blue block tints are the way to go. Everyone is different and has issues specific to them. Our Mojo BluBlock Tints are designed to address different levels of glare. They are balanced lenses in that they filter HEV blue light but allow a percentage of beneficial blue light through. Beneficial blue light is critical for clear vision and regulating circadian rhythm. There are some individuals that for various reasons, need all blue light filtered out. Severe glare and traumatic brain injury can be addressed with tints like the BPI 500/550.

[Disclaimer: Our lens treatments are designed to address UV and HEV blue light protection. They are vision aids. We do not claim that they will solve all of your vision and/or health problems. Please get a regular eye/vision exam and see your Physician for health problems.]

HOW BLUE BLOCK LENSES ARE RATED

Blue Block AR Coatings and Tints are rated in 2 different ways:

Blue Block AR Coatings are rated as the percentage of HEV Blue Light filtered/reflected from 415nm through the 455nm range. If a blue block AR lens provides a 20% reduction in blue light, it is this range that is being reduced.

Blue Block Lens Tints are rated as the percentage of Total Blue Light filtered, not just HEV Blue light. Blue block tints are designed to not only protect your eyes from HEV Blue Light but also to address more severe types of glare issues. Blue block tinted lenses go beyond protection into what are considered "Therapy Lenses".

MOJO BLUBLOCK AR COATINGS

The best solution for most people. For clear, natural vision, blue block AR coatings are the way to go. Blue Block AR coatings are Anti-Reflective coatings on the surface of the lenses that reflect away damaging blue light. (They also reduce reflected glare on the lens surface making them nicer to see through and cosmetically more appealing.) The addition of light tints or special monomers in the lens material itself helps to absorb more blue light. If you are very glare sensitive, you might find that a blue block tint will be more comfortable than AR.

More Information: Read more about Blue Block AR Coatings

MOJO BLUBLOCK AR 50% HEV

A go-to option for people that want clear vision and that don't suffer from glare and insomnia issues. Great if you view computer screens/tablets for under 2 hours/day.

  • Reflects off over 50% of HEV Blue Light.
  • Polycarbonate lens material filters 100% UV.
  • Scratch resistant and hydrophobic coating included.
  • Availability: Single vision only, in all frame styles.
  • $15.00 lens option.

APEX BLUBLOCK AR-T 64% HEV

Similar to Mojo BluBlock AR, but with the addition of a very light 1% amber tint. The light tint adds a bit of contrast and helps with fluorescent light issues. Great if you view computer screens/tablets for 2 to 4 hours/day.

  • Reflects/Absorbs over 64% of HEV Blue Light.
  • Polycarbonate lens material filters 100% UV.
  • Scratch resistant and hydrophobic coating included.
  • Availability: Single vision only, in all full frame styles. (not rimless)
  • $15.00 lens option.

MOJO BLUBLOCK 1.6 AR 80% HEV and KODAK TOTAL BLUE 1.6 AR 86% HEV 

A combination of a special monomer built into the 1.6 high index lens material and a great blue block AR coating. These lenses offer very clear vision with no color distortion. These are (currently) the best blue block AR lenses made. Great if you view computer screens/tablets for over 4 hours/day.

  • Mojo BluBlock AR Reflects/Absorbs over 80% of HEV Blue Light.
  • Kodak Total Blue 1.6 AR Reflects/Absorbs 86% of HEV Blue Light.
  • 1.6 high index lens material filters 100% UV.
  • 1.6 high index lens material is very thin. ~20% thinner than polycarbonate.
  • Scratch resistant and hydrophobic coating included.
  • Availability: Single vision only, in all full frame styles (not rimless). Not available in Budget Blue Block Readers.
  • Mojo BluBlock 1.6 AR lenses are a $50.00 lens option.
  • Kodak Total Blue 1.6 AR lenses are a $80.00 lens option.

Read more about KODAK TOTAL BLUE 1.6 AR Lenses

SUGGESTIONS

If you do not suffer from glare, whether from computer screens or fluorescent lights, or TV screens, the MOJO BluBlock AR and the Apex BluBlock AR-T are a great choice especially with low to moderate computer use.

For sensitivity to glare, whether from computer screens or fluorescent lights, or TV screens, it's really your choice between the Mojo BluBlock 1.6 AR and Kodak Total Blue. Both of these coatings:

  • Protect better for heavy computer use. (Over 4 hours/day.)
  • Work better under fluorescent lighting.
  • Work better at night with tablets and monitors.
  • In plano or distance vision prescription, work better for watching TV and driving at night.

MOJO BLUBLOCK TINTS

If you suffer from eye strain, glare, insomnia, CVS, CSR, or other blue light related issues, then a Mojo BluBlock tint can help. All of our Mojo BluBlock Lens Tints not only filter 100% HEV/Blue Light, but many go beyond that with higher blue light filtration and the addition of synthetic melanin.

Our Mojo BluBlock lens tints are optimized to provide the best Blue Light protection and Beneficial Blue Light balance. This means that you get lenses that filter blue light effectively and allow beneficial blue light through to your eyes. Mojo BluBlock Tints are very comfortable to see through. Every lens is custom tinted and tested to meet or beat our published standards using a special algorithm called the Wertheim Factor.

Blue block tinted lenses can filter/block more total blue light than Blue Block AR coated lenses. Blue block tints come in various colors and tint depths and some have other features like synthetic melanin to address insomnia issues. This can be confusing for people as there are many choices. Let's break it down to vision and glare issues, Eye strain, Glare, Insomnia. You may suffer from one of these issues or a combination. Review this info carefully. In the end it may be to your benefit to get several pairs of blue block glasses to address your particular issues.

All Blue Block Tints are a $10.00 lens option.

More Information:

Read more about Blue Block Tints

See the spectrograms.

EYE STRAIN

Suffering from eye strain while using a computer or tablet may or may not be related to blue light. Addressing eye strain starts with making sure certain factors have been accounted for.

For eye strain, ask yourself:

  • Do you need reading glasses? If you do use readers, are they the right power for the distance at which you are reading?
  • Do you need prescription glasses? (Have you had an eye exam lately?)
  • Do you shift your focus away from the screen to distance frequently? (This does help with eye strain over time.)
  • Do you take medications that affect your vision?

If you are suffering from eye strain while reading a computer screen or tablet, you might need some kind of vision correction solved by getting the correct type of eyeglasses. Even a minimal prescription requiring low powers (and maybe correction for astigmatism) can go a long way to reducing eye strain.

MILD GLARE ISSUES

Mild issues with glare are addressed with mild tints. A light blue block tint will help with glare from computer screens as well as florescent lights.

For mild glare, ask yourself:

  • Do you suffer from mild glare issues all of the time?
  • What times of the day or night do you have these issues?

For Day Time Use We Recommend -

  • MOJO BLUBLOCK DAY AMBER MELANIN (+44% Total Blue Light Filtration) - Cuts glare and helps to regulate circadian rhythm.
  • MOJO BLUBLOCK DAY BROWN 20 (+48% Total Blue Light Filtration) - Cuts glare while providing contrast.
  • MOJO BLUBLOCK DAY GREY 20 (+38% Total Blue Light Filtration) - Cuts glare.

For Night Time Use We Recommend -

  • MOJO BLUBLOCK NIGHT YELLOW (+42% Total Blue Light Filtration) - High contrast for night reading on tablets or monitors.
  • MOJO BLUBLOCK DAY BROWN 20 (+48% Total Blue Light Filtration) - Cuts glare while providing contrast.

SEVERE GLARE ISSUES

Severe issues with glare are addressed with more intense lens tints. These types of tints cut more glare and more blue light/HEV. They also alter the colors you see on computer screens more than lighter tints.

You are the best judge of how severe your glare issues are. We suggest that if you are unsure as to how severe your glare issues are and don't know what tint to choose, opt for the less intense tints or buy 2 or more pairs with a variety of tints.

For Severe Glare Issues We Recommend -

  • MOJO BLUBLOCK DAY TAN MELANIN (+59% Total Blue Light Filtration) - Cuts glare and helps to regulate circadian rhythm. Day time use only.
  • MOJO BLUBLOCK SUN BROWN 40 (+66% Total Blue Light Filtration) - Cuts glare while providing contrast. Day time or night time computer reading.
  • MOJO BLUBLOCK SUN GREY 40 (+58% Total Blue Light Filtration) - Cuts glare. Day time use.
  • MOJO BLUBLOCK SUN BROWN 60 (+81% Total Blue Light Filtration) - This is a sunglass tint. Great for reading outdoors in sunny conditions or for driving (Plano 0.00 or distance vision prescription only.)
  • MOJO BLUBLOCK SUN GREY 60 (+63% Total Blue Light Filtration) - This is a sunglass tint. Great for reading outdoors in sunny conditions or for driving (Plano 0.00 or distance vision prescription only.)

For Very Severe Glare Issues We Recommend -

  • MOJO BLUBLOCK THERAPY ORANGE (+74% Total Blue Light Filtration) - High contrast for night reading on tablets or monitors or during the day or at night. Will change the colors you see. Not for driving. This is the best choice for most people with very severe glare issues.
  • BPI 500/550 CR39 ORANGE-RED TINT (>125-150% Total Blue Light Filtration) - Cuts glare while providing contrast. Very intense color. Not for driving. These lenses filter all blue light and are very intense to see through. These lenses are tinted to the maximum the lenses can absorb, and will cut off anywhere from >500nm to 550nm.
  • Availability: Mojo BluBlock Tints are available in single vision and bifocals in our regular frame selection. The BPI 500/550 is only available in single vision and in full frames, (not rimless). Our Budget BluBlock Readers have a more limited selection of tints.

INSOMNIA ISSUES

One of the ways to help with insomnia (as far as blue light is concerned) is to not view any blue light emitting screens 2 or so hours before going to bed. If you do watch TV and /or view computer screens late in the evening before retiring, here are some suggestions:

For Mild to Moderate Insomnia Issues We Recommend -

  • Get one pair with MOJO BLUBLOCK NIGHT YELLOW tint. Use for reading tablets or monitors at night. Use with Plano 0.0 or prescription distance glasses for TV viewing.
  • Get a second pair with MOJO BLUBLOCK DAY AMBER MELANIN tint. Use during the day.
  • A good third pair would be with the APEX BluBlock AR-T coating for clear vision when you want it during the day or night. Availability: Single vision only, in all full frame styles. (not rimless)

For More Severe Insomnia Issues We Recommend -

  • Get one pair with MOJO BLUBLOCK THERAPY ORANGE tint. Use for reading tablets or monitors at night. Use with Plano 0.0 or prescription distance glasses for TV viewing.
  • Get a second pair with MOJO BLUBLOCK DAY TAN MELANIN tint. Use during the day.
  • A good third pair would be with the MOJO BLUBLOCK 1.6AR or KODAK TOTAL BLUE 1.6AR coating for clear vision when you want it during the day or night.

OTHER ISSUES

There are a myriad of other issues related to glare. Extreme photophobia, Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR), color blindness, and more that can be treated with certain lens tints. The first thing to do is to talk to your eye doctor and get some guidance. We do not provide advice on these health conditions. A great source online for severe glare issues is Glarminy.com. The comment sections are filled with people's experiences with certain issues as well as with products they have tried.

  • Mojo BluBlock Tints are designed to filter the maximum amount of blue light/HEV for that tint color while allowing beneficial blue light through to your eyes. We use the Wertheim Factor to rate and optimize our blue block tints. ( Learn about the Wertheim Factor and how the effectiveness of blue block lenses is determined.)
  • For severe glare issues, try Mojo BluBlock Day Tan, Mojo BluBlock Therapy Orange, or BPI 500/550 which filters to 500-550nm.
  • Our Mojo BluBlock Sun lenses are designed to use outdoors. They are not designed for indoor computer reading.
  • Therapy Orange and BPI 500/550 are not to be worn for driving as they can null out traffic lights. (Plano and distance prescription)

MOJO BLUBLOCK TINTS - PERCENTAGES

xx% of Total Blue Light Filtered. See Spectrograms

42%   Mojo BluBlock Night Yellow

44%   Mojo BluBlock Day Amber (Melanin)

59%   Mojo BluBlock Day Tan (Melanin)

48%   Mojo BluBlock Day Brown 20

38%   Mojo BluBlock Day Grey 20

66%   Mojo BluBlock Sun Brown 40

81%   Mojo BluBlock Sun Brown 60

58%   Mojo BluBlock Sun Grey 40

63%   Mojo BluBlock Sun Grey 60

74%   Mojo BluBlock Therapy Orange

100% BPI CR39 500 ORANGE-RED

150% BPI CR39 550 RED-ORANGE

The WERTHEIM FACTOR

Balance. We are now using various tint colors in specific tint depths to provide a optimal blue light/beneficial light balance. This balance is calculated as a value called the Wertheim Factor. (Patent Pending - see the Patent Application here.)

Learn more: Mojo BluBlock Tints

Consider a combination of solutions.

To address your personal glare, blue light/HEV, and CVS issues, consider getting several pairs with different options.  

If you are unsure of which tint to choose based on severity, opt for the lesser intense options. Allowing more blue light through to your eyes is better than going with something that filters more blue light than necessary.

Get an eye exam. If you need prescription glasses for reading, distance, or computer distance, buy them.

Understand that some vision issues can be related to things like medication, pregnancy, and a myriad of other conditions. Please consult with your doctor about what vision issue you are experiencing.

Blue Block with Plano Zero Power

All of our blue block options are available in zero power in most frames.

Zero Power Lenses - If you do not need reading power or prescription lenses but would still like to protect your eyes from blue light and the effects of CVS, then your best choice is one of our AR coatings. These allow you to see your TV or monitor naturally without adding a color in front of your eyes. If you are light sensitive then opt for a Mojo BluBlock Tint.

  1. Choose Plano Lenses
  2. Select your lens option.

Smart Blue Filter and Transitions Lenses  

There are new lenses that have built in blue filtering. The new Transitions series of lenses now have Smart Blue Filter which filters about 20% of HEV blue light indoors and up to 90% outdoors. These are prescription lenses and you can learn more about them here.

Mojo BluBlock Reviews- Read reviews from our blublock customers.

More Information: Outside links...

Blue Light Has A Dark Side - Harvard Health Letter

Blue Light Exposed - Informational Website

Is Blue Light Bad For Your Health?  - Web MD

Glarminy.com - A site run by my friend, Uros Bole. All about glare issues and various solutions.

Steve Mower is a licensed Optician and creator of Mojo BluBlock Tints. Steve has over 30 years experience in the optical field. He has been a optical retail manager and has consulted on progressive lens development. Steve has been offering unique reading glasses solutions on-line since 2010.