The anti-reflective coating is an important part of high quality eyeglass lenses. It is important to remember that light passes through, and is reflected at, both the front and the back surface of your lenses before it reaches your eye. That means with a high 1.73 index lens, about 14% of the light never gets to your eye because a little more than 7% is reflected off the front of the lens and just a little less than that is reflected off the back. And, not only is this light reflecting off and not getting to your eye, but without an anti-reflective coating, it is causing glare as this reflected light bounces back and forth off the front and back lens surfaces.
The way an anti-reflective coating works is it is made up of many thin layers that reduce the difference between the way light moves through air and the way it moves through the lens material. It is this difference that causes reflection at the interface where the lens meets air, and by using many layers of a thin anti-reflective coating it can be reduced.
While anti-reflective coating does make eyeglasses better, it is best to either get a good quality antireflective coating, or none at all. High quality coatings are applied by turning the coating minerals into a gas which is then allowed to integrate into the lens, lower quality coatings are just “painted” onto the lens. These low quality coatings will then scratch or break down over time leaving you with a worse lens than one with no coating at all. For this reason, we only sell the top two tiers of antireflective coatings as these have been proven to hold up well over time.
These top-tier anti-reflective coatings include a hardened scratch coat to protect the lens. They also include oleophobic, antistatic, and hydrophobic coatings that repel oil, dirt, and water. So they are much easier to keep clean than lenses without anti-reflective coatings.
Another type of anti-reflective coating that is worth considering is blue light blocking glasses. In recent years it has become clear that increased blue light exposure though electronic devices and LED lighting has a harmful effect on our natural circadian rhythms, decreases visual effectiveness, and may be a contributing factor in some eye conditions.