Anti reflective coating New Zealand on lens, Macbook and phone screen

Anti Reflective Coating New Zealand: Eliminate glare from screens and lenses

Anti reflective coating (also referred to as AR coating or Anti reflective coating) is applied to many objects that we use every day. The most common use is on spectacle lenses and contact lenses. It is also widely used on laptops and phones such as Apple’s MacBook Pro and iPhone models. Anti reflective coating ensures that there is less disturbing light and reflection on screens and lenses.

For eyeglass wearers or lens wearers, anti-reflective coating reduces reflections and glare impairment. These can be very annoying or even dangerous. For example when driving at night on a wet South Island road. The coating therefore has an important role in traffic safety.

This article explores differences between anti glare and anti reflective film, eye-wear and other applications and where to find anti reflective coating.

Difference between anti glare and anti reflective coating

The common misconception is that anti glare and anti reflection are one in the same. Despite both systems effectively reducing light reflections, the science behind one is based on diffusion and the other is a reductive mechanism, limiting refractive index differences between the surface and the air.

Anti reflective coating New Zealand on lenses

Anti reflective coating on lenses reduce reflected light and allows transmission of up to 99.9% of light

Anti reflective paint

This coating is a light reduction measure applied to glass surfaces to reflect incoming light. Conventionally, light is reflected back when it passes through any glass.

Depending on the refractive indices of the air and glass, an anti reflective paint reduces light penetration by adding a third refractive index which interferes and ultimately weakens the incoming light.

Flexibility is the main factor in anti reflective paint with the coating working on both internal and external light sources.

Anti glare paint

Conversely, the use of anti glare paints creates a light-dispersion enabling surface. Rather than directly reflecting light, the textured surface disperses incoming light at different angles as the reflection is blurred and intrusion ultimately reduced. Furthermore, this type of coating is effective with external light sources such as lamps, headlights and the beaming Blenheim Sunlight.

Anti glare paints using suspended particles minimise glare, but at a significant trade off in image resolution and readability.

Top 3 Advantages of anti reflective coating on glass lenses

Untreated glasses lenses do not transmit light perfectly, in fact up to 8% of light is reflected by the lens. If treated with anti glare, this loss would not change, the reflection would simply be less clear. Which is why glasses use an anti reflective coating spray, not an anti glare coating – it both prevents reflections and facilitates the transmission of light.

1. Protect eyes from strain

Prolonged exposure to blue-light screens such as those on computer screens is harmful to a person’s eyesight. By decreasing glare and reflections, eye fatigue is significantly reduced whilst working in low lit environments. The transmission of light enhances visual acuity and reduces the need to squint while using a laptop.

3. Better appearing glasses

Anti reflective coating improves the clarity of glasses and reduces distracting reflections which are both hindering for direct eye contact and detrimental to a good photo. People with stronger prescription glasses benefit more because thicker lenses reflect more light.

3. Nighttime distortion reduction

Field of vision, depth perception and accommodation are all elements of nighttime driving that are compromised by the distortion of headlight glare from oncoming vehicles. The New Zealand Transport Agency states precautionary measures for adapting to night time light levels. Anti reflective coating alleviates dangers that result from poor night vision by allowing more light to be transmitted while preventing reflections.


Where else is anti reflective paint used?

anti reflective coating on camera lens

Anti reflective coatings are applied on camera lenses to allow as much light as possible.

Anti glare and anti reflective coatings have overlapping effects, but some applications only work with anti reflective and others only with anti glare coatings. Some of the most common uses of these coatings are:

  • ELECTRONICS (SCREENS) – Anti glare and anti reflective coatings are used differently for screens. An anti glare coating is most commonly used for screens outside (like advertising displays), or where there is a high level of ambient light. The image may be slightly hazy, but there is no reflection, no matter the angle. Anti reflective coatings are used for glossy screens where images need to remain clear and crisp.
  • OPTICS & CAMERAS – Anti reflective coatings were revolutionary when introduced to camera glass. They enhance the quality of photographs by increasing light transmission, enhancing contrast, and eliminating ghost images from bright lights and glare. These effects are also desired in the field of optics for lenses, windows (for electronic sensors or detectors), diffusers, and prisms.
  • DISPLAYS & WINDOWS – Displays are part of our everyday lives, from the dashboards of our cars to instrumentation windows. It is very important that such displays are not blocked by reflections, especially for equipment like medical instrumentation. Anti reflective and anti glare coating are both used for these applications. For windows that need to be reflection free, like shopfronts, gallery display cases, or architectural windows, anti reflective coatings are used in a form of anti glare window spray.
  • SOLAR CELLS & PANELS – A solar cell converts the energy of sunlight into electricity. In order to ensure that the most possible sunlight is being absorbed by a solar cell, anti reflective coatings are used to reduce reflection losses. These coatings are thin film nano coatings based on silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide.

Choosing the best anti reflective coating in New Zealand

The application process for an anti reflective or anti glare coating is not as simple as applying a paint. Anti reflective coatings are multiple microscopic layers applied through vacuum deposition technology. Many optical labs have their own brand anti reflective coating and offer application services as this type of coating is unsuitable for DIY application. Optics 1 Optometrists, for example, have an onsite laboratory located in Auckland.

Fortunately, there are also other companies in New Zealand that apply these highly technical optical coatings. For more information, or if you need anti reflective coating or spray for your project, our experts are here to help. In cooperation with our coating partners, we strive to provide the best coating solution for your coating needs form anti glare window spray to vacuum depositions applied anti reflective coatings for glasses. Simply contact us through e-mail, or the “Request a quote” button at the bottom of this article.