Bespoke tinting service when you buy our lenses instore
Here at Ilkeston Factory Specs Optical Laboratory at the rear of our boutique showroom, we offer a unique Tinting service not available in most high street opticians. We specialise in many different bespoke tint colours and lens coatings. We can tint our supplied lenses instore and anti glare coat our lenses too, but we don't tint your own lenses instore or offer this service online, due to the very real possibility that there may be hardened coatings already on the lenses you own. The tinting process will damage older lenses or lenses that already have a hard coating that you are unaware of.
Firstly, we conveniently offer lens tinting while you wait on our own lenses. We tint lenses ourselves instore, so it only takes half an hour or so, to achieve every option from a very light fashion tint (giving you a unique look) in colours like Blue, green, red, yellow, brown and grey, to a full blown sunglasses tint and uv coating.
Tints can be a solid all over colour, and also graduated from dark to light, even transitioning from one colour to another, something the chain opticians stores do not offer. We can mix colours to get a unique one off colour, increase or decrease the depth of colour, so that it's perfect for you.
We also offer very many different coloured mirror tints, from silver to red mirror, Gold, Green or Blue Mirror coatings. Many tints and colours are ideal for sports like fishing, cycling and driving. These tints are ordered in and we have them within a few days included on our new lenses.
Blue Block / Blue light coatings are ideal for glasses (lenses) that you may wear when using a computer or any tech device that emits high levels of blue spectrum light that may cause irritation and strain on the eyes. We supply lenses coated with the blue light coating within a day or two. These lenses have a slight blue hue to them when the light catches them.
Anti Glare coated lenses are usually available within 24 hours. The coating has been around a while and been improved to stop smearing to the extent older Anti Glare resistant coatings became known for. This coating has a green hue when the light catches it.
Night driving yellow tinted glasses are really useful for a safe clearer vision when driving at night and in bad weather conditions, relaxing the eyes and reducing eye strain that causes headaches and sore eyes. We can offer this specialised tint applied directly to lenses in our optical laboratory. Yellow tints are also highly fashionable.
React - to - Light or transition lenses now come in Green, as well as Brown and Grey when fully reacted to the sun and UV light. These lenses react and get darker to UV when outdoors, but lighten to virtually no colour at all when in doors or lower light or UV conditions. We supply these within a day or so at our Optical laboratory. We also specialise in Transition lenses that will react behind the car windscreen, often worn by professional drivers, a well kept secret.
We also supply Polarised lenses which are in Grey/Black and Brown. These lenses are very useful if you want to cut out most of the glare, for example, if you fish or sail and are around water, where the glare from the water surface is high. The difference in clarity of vision is very noticeable.
Different lens materials will absorb tints and coating with variable rates of success. The material’s polymer dictates how well or poorly a tint or other coating will penetrate. The following lens tinting tips and tricks will help guide you towards both matching the best tint with lens material as well as be able to better educate your patients on how a given tint can be expected to perform on a given lens material.
-The most difficult lens material to properly tint.
-Most tints use a carbon molecule that binds to a carbon molecule in plastic (CR-39) for its adhesion and stability. Polycarbonate chemical structure makes it resistant to this carbon binding.
-The best way to tint polycarbonate is to tint it’s scratch coating, however historically the best scratch coats have been resistant to tinting.
-To overcome these limitations, manufacturing labs have recently developed scratch coats better able to absorb tints. However, in general, the best hard coat scratch protectors (necessary for the best polycarbonate lenses scratch protection given poly’s inherently soft and scratch prone nature) still make tinting polycarbonate more challenging than other materials.
-Always be sure the lens pairs being tinted are from the same manufacturer and same batch to insure consistent tinting.
-Wider range of tinting colours and darkness levels than Polycarbonate offers due to its chemical carbon make up binding to tints more easily.
-Uncoated CR39 is the most porous of lens materials, making it easier to get a darker tint than other materials.
-Hard coated CR39 is still easier to tint than polycarbonate since the hard coat does not need to be as dense. This is due to CR39’s being naturally less prone to scratching than Poly.
-Trivex is easy to tint, but since it’s material is not very porous the tint will not penetrate very deep. Therefore harsh cleaners such as alcohol will fade the tint over time. Therefore using a tintable hard coat may be the most stable method for tinting Trivex.
-Readily able to be tinted, however prepare for the process to take on the order of hours to complete. A tint that CR39 requires 10 minutes to complete may take a high index lens 3-4 hours to achieve the same outcome.
Rules for any material:
-Regardless of the material, lenses from different manufactures may tint differently depending on their processing and curing techniques. Even if from the same manufacturer, different batches of the same material may even tint slightly differently. So if replacing just one sunglass lens for a patient, be sure to educate them that the tint may not be a perfect match with the fellow lens.
-Be sure to completely clean a lens using lens soap prior to tinting. Oils, dust, or other impurities will affect the uniformity of the tint.
-UV coating should be applied prior to any colour tinting. This will prevent the tint colour from fading.
-For lenses which you know have been previously hard or scratch coated, you will want to check with the lens manufacturer for their recommended tinting method. Some manufactures hard coatings will accept colour and others will not, some manufacture coatings require a lower tint bath temperature or longer tint times. It is always our recommendation to check with the manufacturer first to avoid a tinting misadventure.
-All other lens treatments such as tinting, UV treatments, and edge polishing must be done before an AR coat is applied. Tints should be done about 5-10% darker than intended prior to AR coating applications since the AR coating process will reduce the tint by about 5-10%.
-For gradient tints, if you are experiencing a sharp demarcation between the lighter and darker areas, instead of a smooth transition, your tint bath is likely to hot.
-In general the hotter the tint bath the faster the lens will tint, however there are limits. Get the tint to hot and the colour will decompose. Be sure to read the package insert for the colour being used for recommended temperatures.
Although colour packets are available for nearly any colour under the sun, your lab likely will not want to empty a tint bath to make room for a new colour every time a new colour is needed. Therefore, the tint bath wells will likely each contain one of the three primary colours… Blue, red, and yellow and maybe one for black given its popularity for tint colour. From these colours alone almost any other colour can be created using the following combinations.
Blue + Yellow = Green
Blue + Yellow + Red = Black to Grey depending on concentration of colours
Black + extra Red = Yellowish Brown
Yellowish Brown + extra red = Natural Brown