BluBlock AR Coatings

Steve Mower - Updated May 31, 2019

Anti-Reflective Coatings (AR)

Anti-Reflective (AR) Coatings are designed to increase the optical quality of the lenses by "pulling" more light through the lenses to your eyes. A lens without AR will typically reflect off about 20% of the light hitting it. This can look unsightly as people can see a lot of reflections off the front surface of the lenses. AR coated lenses look almost totally clear with no reflections.

How do you know if a lens has an AR coating? If you look at the lens straight on it will look very clear. Held to a slight angle you will see a shimmer of color. The color can be a mix of blue, green, yellow, purple depending on the combinations of minerals used in the AR stack. An AR stack is is the multiple layers of coatings that "pull" the light through the lens. Different manufacturers have their own AR stacks.

Non-AR Coated Lens vs. AR Coated Lens

High quality AR coatings also have other layers of coatings that make the lenses more scratch resistant, block more UV, and make the lenses less easy to smudge and easier to clean (hydrophobic coatings).

We offer Standard (STD) AR coatings as lenses options on all of our lens types. Single vision, Multifocals, and Prescription Lenses.

Blue Block Anti-Reflective Coatings

Unlike regular anti-reflective coatings, blue block AR coatings are specially designed anti-reflective lens coatings that reflect off the a percentage of blue light (HEV or, High Energy Visible Blue Light). These coatings allow beneficial blue light through to your eyes and reduce reflections and unwanted glare. They do this to varying degrees but the latest coatings work especially well at reflecting off blue light from the critical range of 415nm to 450nm.

Like Standard AR coatings BluBlock AR coatings look nicer by being less reflective. The difference in appearance is slight but at an angle and in a blue light rich environment like outdoors, you can see a blue flash off the front surface of the lenses. This is blue light being reflected off.

blue light reflected off at angle

High quality BluBlock AR coatings like the ones we carry have backside AR coatings that do not reflect blue light. You don't want blue light reflecting off the back of a lens into your eyes.

Hybrid AR Lenses - These lenses have a special monomer in the lens itself that filters a percentage of blue light as well as a blue light reflecting AR coating. This increases the overall ability of the lens to block blue light. Examples are ZenSpex BluBlock 1.6 AR, Kodak Total Blue 1.6 AR, and special prescription lenses that have Smart Blue Filter and Blue Zero filters.

How BluBlock AR Coatings Are Rated

Over that last year or so I have seen some improvements in how the lens manufacturers are expressing what their lenses do. BluBlock Tinted lenses are easy to measure with the right equipment. It's simply a matter of using a spectrometer to measure the transmission of UV and blue light through the lens. BluBlock AR coatings are more difficult to measure. Spectrometers don't work well as some blue light doesn't get the chance to enter the lenses to be measured. UV pens don't work at all as they are typically rated at only 405nm, UV not blue light.

We have been able to do comparative analysis to a degree that shows obvious differences between various BluBlock AR lenses however, we cannot plot that on a spectrum. We can compare our results to what the manufacturer's say their lenses do.

Our BluBlock AR Coated Lenses

BLUBLOCK AR LENS

TOTAL HEV BLUE LIGHT

LENS TYPE

Mojo BluBlock AR 48% Spherical Polycarbonate
Apex BluBlock AR-T 64% Aspheric Polycarbonate
Zenspex BluBlock 1.6 AR 80% Aspheric 1.6 Index Hybrid
Kodak Total Blue 1.6 AR 86% Aspheric 1.6 Index Hybrid
Mojo 1.67 UV420 BluBlock AR 86% Aspheric 1.67 Index Hybrid

 

Mojo BluBlock AR Coating - (Clear AR)

Features and Benefits:

  • Reflects off 48% HEV Blue Light.
  • Reduces glare and reflections while providing natural vision without color distortion.
  • Hydrophobic, easy to clean top coating provides durability and smudge less than regular AR coatings.
  • Our BluBlock AR multi-layer coatings are molecularly bonded to the lens surface.
  • Appearance is clear, with no tint. AR has a very slight yellow cast.
  • Our Mojo BluBlock AR coating is available as a lens option on all of our single vision reading glasses for $15.00.
  • Lenses are spherical polycarbonate.

APEX BluBlock AR-T Coating - (Clear AR + Lens Tint)

Features and Benefits:

  • Includes a very light 1% Amber Blue Block Tint for additional contrast.
  • Reflects off ~64% of HEV Blue Light.
  • Reduces glare and reflections while providing natural vision without color distortion with added contrast.
  • Hydrophobic, easy to clean top coating provides durability and smudge less than regular AR coatings.
  • Our BluBlock AR multi-layer coatings are molecularly bonded to the lens surface. Beware of cheap imitations!
  • Appearance is clear, with a very light amber tint. AR has a very slight blue cast.
  • APEX BluBlock AR-T coating is available as a lens option on all of our single vision reading glasses for $15.00 except for rimless and semi-rimless styles because of their thinness.
  • Lenses are aspheric polycarbonate.

Kodak Total Blue 1.6AR - (Clear. Hybrid AR + Lens Material)

ZenSpex 1.6 AR - (Clear. Hybrid AR + Lens Material)

Features and Benefits:

  • Kodak Total Blue 1.6AR lenses are a hybrid of a special high index lens material and AR coating developed by Kodak that filters and reflects >86% of blue light/HEV. These lenses are the most effective blue block AR lenses we have tested.
  • ZenSpex 1.6 AR lenses are a hybrid of a special high index lens material and AR coatings very similar to the Kodak lenses. These lenses filter and reflect over 80% of blue light/HEV.
  • BOTH - Filter 100% UV Light.
  • BOTH - Reduce glare and reflections while providing natural vision without color distortion with added contrast.
  • BOTH - Have  a hydrophobic, easy to clean top coating provides durability and smudge less than regular AR coatings.
  • BOTH - AR coatings are molecularly bonded to the lens surface.
  • BOTH - Appearance is clear. AR has a very slight blue cast.
  • BOTH - 1.6 high index lenses are 20% thinner than polycarbonate.
  • ZenSpex 1.6 AR is available as a lens option on all of our single vision reading glasses for $50.00 except for rimless and semi-rimless styles because of their thinness.
  • Kodak Total Blue 1.6AR is available as a lens option on all of our single vision reading glasses for $80.00 except for rimless and semi-rimless styles because of their thinness.

Mojo 1.67 UV420 BluBlock AR (Clear. Hybrid AR + Lens Material)

These lenses are exactly the same as Kodak Total Blue 1.6 AR but are 1.67 index. We offer them as a lens option for prescription only. They come in a wider power range than the Kodak lenses do.

Read our BluBlock Guide for help in selecting the right blue block option option for you. Or, if you want a quick answer:

 

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Steve Mower is a licensed dispensing 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. Steve is a member of Opticians Association of Virginia and Opticians Association of America.