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Lens Materials for Spectacles

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Basic of choosing lenses?
Smart Lens program
Why Impact Resistant Lenses?
Why do my lenses need grinding?  
Lens material
Add-on features

Basic of choosing lenses?
Now I have decided what type of lenses I would like, what lenses should I choose? CR39 or impact resistant lenses? Do I need high index lenses?

The lenses to choose for your glasses depend on 3 factors: most importantly, your prescription. Secondly, frame style of the glasses (i.e. whether it is rimless, full rim or semi-rimless) and finally the purpose of the glasses.

Some lenses are not suitable for Rimless glasses, for example CR39, while polycarbonate or high index 1.67 lenses are perfect choices for Rimless glasses.

If your prescription has high power, high index lenses or grind lenses have to be used otherwise the lenses would be too thick. If your prescription has a sphere that is more than -3 diopter, we do not recommend CR39 stock lenses.

Now you don't have to worry about any of these when you order glasses from our web site. With built-in optical dispensing inteligence, Smart Lens Program will work out the best lenses for you on your budget.

Smart Lens program
To make your online shopping experience as easy as possible, we have developed lens packages that are suitable for different prescriptions. Separate lens packages have been developed for sunglasses as well as single vision, bifocal, progressive and computer eyeglasses.

After you enter your prescription, the smart lens program will present you a maximum of 3 lens packages that are suitable for your prescription in the order of basic to advanced features.You can choose a package according to your budget. The first package is usually sufficient for your prescription. The lenses for advanced packages are usually thinner, lighter and have better cosmetic appearance. They are good options if you have higher budget. Within each option, you can add Anti-reflective coating,sunglasses tints or upgrade to Polarized lenses or photochromic lenses.

With our quality control system in place, you can rest assured that you will always get the best quality lenses for your prescription at unbeatable price.
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Why impact resistant lenses?
In semi-rimless frames, groove is created to hold the nylon which supports the lens to the frame structure. The groove weakens the lens making it more subject to chipping. We recommend impact resistant lenses for semi-rimless frames. Impact resistant lens materials include Polycarbonate, high index 1.60 and high index 1.67 lenses.

If the wearer is a child or the glasses are to be worn in frequent sports activity, then it is a good idea to choose impact resistance lenses.

Please note we highly recommend impact resistant lenses for semi-rimless frames and child wearers. However, due to relatively high cost of impact resistant lenses, we do not enforce the use of impact resistant lenses for semi-rimless frames and child wearers. Please take extreme care in handling the semi-rimless frames fitted with none impact resistant lenses (CR39 or index 1.56 lenses). Detailed warranty and return policy can be found here.

Why do my lenses need grinding?
You may find that many of our eye glasses lens packages use grind lenses. Simply put, grind lenses are custom-made lenses. Your lenses are specially made by a grinding procedure from a blank polymer that has a certain front curvature. Grind lenses are usually used when your prescription has a high power range. Grinding removes the extra thickness from the lens to make the lens thinner. Lens grinding takes place after the lab receives your prescription and the information about the glasses frame. Orders with grind lenses usually take longer, some extra 3-5 working days.

All the bifocal, progressive and computer lenses and prescription sunglasses lenses are grind lenses. Most of the photochromic and polarised lenses are grind lenses. Sports eyewear and prescription sunglasses frames normally have higher front surface curvature and larger frame sizes, mostly can only be fitted with grind lenses.
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Lens material 

Please note the following text is for your information only. You do not have to worry about the difference between different lens materials in order to choose your lenses. Our smart lens program will present you with only the lens options that are suitable for your prescription.

about UV Protection
UV protection ensures your eyes don't suffer any sun-related damage, sun protection lenses screen out 100% of harmful UV radiation. All the lens materials listed below, apart from CR39 and mid-index 1.56 lenses, are manufactured with UV-protection.

plastic lens - CR39
Most lenses are plastic, the least expensive plastic used for eyeglass lenses is CR39 lenses. It is suitable for prescription with lower sphere. CR39 lenses are not suitable for rimless frames, not recommended for nylon frames.

mid-index 1.56 plastic lens
These lenses not only provide you crystal clear vision, but also manufactured with scratch resistant coating. They are lighter, and thinner ( 37% thinner and 36% lighter than most CR39 plastic lenses), therefore they are more comfortable to wear than CR39 lenses if your prescription has higher power. Index 1.56 lenses are not suitable for rimless frames, not recommended for nylon frames.

polycarbonate
Polycarbonate (index 1.59) lenses are virtually shatterproof and are highly recommended for children and active adults. Polycarbonate lenses are lightweight (27% lighter than ordinary plastic lenses), safer, thinner and flatter. Plus, they have built-in UV protection. It is suited for rimless frames.

Polycarbonate lenses are not resistant to chemicals such as acetone or methylated spirit, which is commonly used in optical store to remove the marking on the lenses. Polycarbonate lenses are not as scratch resistant as other plastic lenses.

Trivex 1.53 lens (also known as Trilogy or Phoenix )
It is a new plastic lens material that is being used as a substitute for polycarbonate lenses. It is optically superior to polycarbonate in that it has less distortion than polycarbonate and it is lighter. Trivex 1.53 is resistant to chemicals such as acetone or methylated spirit. Like polycarbonate it provides 100% UV protection and it is extremely durable (ten times more impact resistant than ordinary CR39 lenses). Most importantly, it is a great substitute for polycarbonate lenses that need to be tinted, because it can be easily tinted.

1.67 high index lenses
This is high index lens that is Suitable for high minus prescription. They are manufactured with 100% UV protection, anti-reflective coating and scratch resistant coating. These lenses are available in photochromic lenses, and not available with polarizer.

1.74 super high index lens
This is the most upper market plastic lens. Suitable for very high minus prescription. They have built-in 100% UV-protection, anti-reflective coating and scratch resistant coating. However, these lenses are not available with polarizer or photochromic lenses.

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Add-on features

Anti-reflective coating
Anti-reflective coating, also called multi-coat or M/C, is a greenish tint on the surface of the lenses that reduces the light reflection on your glasses. You'll see more clearly and comfortably under general lighting condition, for example, when driving at night, watching TV, using a computer, reading. It is recommended for any type of prescription eyeglasses. Another benefit for eyeglasses: people can see your eyes, not your lenses.

In Sunglasses, anti-reflective coating is beneficial when applied to the back surface of lenses to eliminate "bounce-back" reflections when you are facing away from the sun. Anti-reflective coating on the prescription lens insert for DJ sports type of sunglasses can reduce the reflection from inside of the large sunglass shade.

Scratch Resistant Coating
We provide scratch resistant coating on all lenses that we sell at no additional charge.

UV Protection
UV protection blocks ultraviolet light from damaging our eyes. High index lenses e.g. polycarbonate, 1.60, 1.67, 1.74 provide built-in UV protection. Polariser or photochromic options provide built-in UV protection. UV Filter is strongly recommended for CR39 or 1.56 lenses used for tinted prescription sunglasses or eyeglasses to be worn under the sunlight.

Sunglasses options

All of our prescription glasses can be ordered with sunglass options such as tints, polarised or photochromic lenses. It costs as little as $25 extra for sunglasses tints when you purchase your prescription glasses. To order discount prescription sunglasses, simply choose your sunglasses options (sunglasses tint, polarised) when you choose lenses for your eyeglasses.

Sunglasses tint
A sunglasses tint is simply a coloured tint that gives you great prescription sunglasses. Our tinting options offer you either grey or brown tint. Ground 1.50, 1.53, 1.60, 1.67 & 1.74 lenses can be tinted to a darkness of 80% to 85%. Ground polycarbonate lenses can be tinted to a darkness of 75%.

Polarised lens
They provide improved outdoor vision with better contrast, clarity and depth along with more vibrant colours perception. And because they reduce surface glare, they're ideal for activities like fishing, boating, driving and snowing sports. They also make great driving sunglasses, especially at dusk. As another plus, polarised lenses provide 100 percent UV protection regardless of the lens material used for the lenses.

Photochromic light sensitive lens
Photochromic Lenses contain light-sensitive molecules that darken and lighten according to the intensity of ultraviolet light. It clears indoors, darkens outdoors, providing visual comfort without the need to change glasses. People who participate in activities that involve frequent going indoor and outdoor often find them most helpful and convenient. Similar to polarised lenses, Photochromic Lenses provide built-in 100 percent UV protection. We use Sunsensors™ for 1.56 index photochromic lenses, Transitions® lenses+ for every other index photochromic lenses.

Photochromic lenses are available with most of plastic material mentioned above except 1.74 super high index lenses. We use Sunsensors™ for 1.56 index photochromic lenses, Transitions® lenses+ for every other index photochromic lenses.

One drawback of photochromic lenses is that photochromic lenses are not dark inside a car. This is because lens darkness change is the effect of ultraviolet light. The UV light is blocked by the car windows similar to inside a house. Glasses with photochromic lenses are not recommended to be used as dark sunglasses inside a vehicle, for example, for driving.

Drivewear®++
These are polarised transition lenses in brown colour. Combining two of the most advanced technologies found in the eyeglass industry today: polarisation and transition photochromic technology, drivewear® lenses remove glare and adjust to varing light conditions behind the windshield of any car. Unlike transition lenses, drivewear lenses do not become clear indoor. Drivewear® lenses are available for prescription sunglasses.
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