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Lifewire / Sandra Stafford
Wide format lenses
Blocks 65 percent of blue light
Difficult to clean
The Gunnar Intercept glasses have an amber tint that helps block out 65 percent of blue light, and includes anti-reflective coating and prescription options.
Gunnar Optiks, the most well-known computer glasses company, promises to reduce eye fatigue and stress for those of us who spend too much time on the computer. Its Gunnar Optiks Intercept glasses are retro and stylish with amber lenses that claim to reduce blue light by 65 percent and UV rays by 100 percent. We put these lenses to the test to see if their benefits were worth the money.
Gunnar Optiks Intercepts have a rectangular shape with a single bridge, so there are no nose pads to fall off or deteriorate in quality. The thick, rigid polycarbonate frames seem built to last. The wide-format lenses ensured that we weren’t distracted by glimpses of the frames in our field of view while trying to work. Gunnar markets the glasses as having a medium-large fit, though we thought it was rather tight. Excessively tight glasses can cause headaches on their own, but fortunately after a few weeks we adapted.
Gunnar Optiks offers glasses with an amber tint that reduces 65 percent of blue light and 100 percent of UV rays. Because modern computer monitors don’t emit UV rays we think that claim is a bit of puffing. Even if it’s technically true, it’s irrelevant to the purpose of the glasses.
The amber lenses do a great job at cutting down on blue light, eliminating 65 percent of incoming blue light at 380-450nm (nanometers, a measure of the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation). The bright white of computer programs appeared off-white when viewed through the lenses, which was a refreshing change from the bold yellow of some other computer glasses. We do a lot of work in public and didn’t want the “pro-gamer” look bold yellow glasses offer.
The amber lenses do a great job at cutting down on blue light, eliminating 65% of incoming blue light at 380-450nm.
The lenses of the Intercept glasses don’t include magnification, which some people will prefer if they have their screens set exactly as they like them. That feels like a bit of a missed opportunity since increasing the size of text can help reduce squinting and eye strain.
That said, there is an anti-reflective coating on the lenses that eliminated distracting flashes of light in the corners of our vision. However, the lenses smudge easily and take a lot of work to get completely clean even with the included microfiber cloth. On days we forgot the cloth and had to rely on shirts or tissues, the lenses never wiped clean entirely.
The Intercept glasses can’t be worn over prescription glasses, but Gunnar Optiks does offer these glasses with prescription lenses. Standard, premium, and progressive prescriptions cost between $190 and $250. There is a two-year warranty included with prescription glasses, but that doesn’t include protection from scratches. They are considered normal wear and tear. The glasses don’t come with a case, but Gunnar does include a soft drawstring pouch to store them in. Throwing them around in our bag for a couple weeks gave us a lot of chances to scratch them up, but the bag worked just fine.
We tested these glasses for several weeks during work and play hours. After turning off dark mode on our various apps and browsers we were left with a blinding white computer screen sure to induce migraines and sleeplessness. The glasses knocked the bright white of Google Docs down to a tolerable level. Instead of staying up until midnight we were nodding off by 10 p.m. If we knew it was going to be a long night of staring at Reddit on our phone, we kept the glasses on and found that they were just as effective as Night Shift on iOS (a feature that warms screen color temperature), if not more.
The bright white of computer programs appeared off-white when viewed through the lenses, which was a refreshing change from the bold yellow of some other computer glasses.
The Intercept glasses are $60-70 on Amazon, a price that we think is reasonable given the overall quality. They are comfortable and well-made, but lack features like magnification which would drive the price up even more.
Prospek Dynamic glasses are direct competition for Gunnar Intercepts, costing around $45. The clear lenses on the Prospek Dynamics reportedly block 50 percent of blue light and have an office-appropriate neutral appearance. Clear lenses have less of an effect on color. White programs still appear off-white, but that’s due to the absence of blue light. If you want glasses that don’t call attention to themselves, Prospek Dynamics are a good choice. If you want a little more blue light blocking power and don’t mind amber tint lenses, the Intercepts makes more sense.
Final Verdict: Stylish glasses that block plenty of blue light.
Gunnar Optiks Intercept glasses are a stylish blue light blocking glasses option that don’t scream “gamer glasses.” Wearing them during work allows you to protect your sleep at the end of a long day.
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