Rebecca Isaacs is a writer and an educator. She covers all sorts of products, from video games to e-readers and light therapy alarm clocks to standing desks.
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Lifewire / Rebecca Isaacs
Multiple frames available
High-index lenses offered
Easy ordering online
Can be expensive with higher prescriptions
No low bridge options
Needed minor adjusting
The price can add up, but LensDirect’s BluDefend puts forth a solid pair of blue light blocking glasses.
LensDirect provided us with a review unit for one of our writers to test. Read on for their full take.
When I’m not working from home, I’m spending time writing, reading from my Kobo, and playing my favorite video games. All of my favorite tasks require screens, and with screens comes the dreaded blue light that can disrupt sleep.
Then, I learned about LensDirect’s BluDefend, a pair of blue light blocking glasses which came can come with prescription lenses. As an office worker, my eyes go through a brutal day of screen use, so I decided to give these a try. I wore them for a week, taking note of the design and their performance. Read on for my thoughts, as well as the verdict.
There’s more to the eye than just deciding on a frame and liking it. You have to consider the nose bridge, the arm—also called a temple—length, and the width of the frame. After all, if your nose bridge is small, getting a massive pair of frames will mean you’re constantly adjusting them to keep them on your face. Not fun, in my book.
When I selected my Madison frames, I took these numbers into account and selected a frame size similar to my current frames. They make it easy to check sizing by listing frame dimensions. One of my biggest issues with LensDirect’s frame design is that the frames offered don’t take into account people with really small nose bridges or a low bridge fit. That said, when I selected my Madison frames, I used a virtual try-on feature that allowed me to “test” the frames I was interested in using.
When I received my Madison frames, the lenses felt a little heavy despite the thinner high-index lenses that came with it. I can’t fault LensDirect for this, especially since my prescription is so high that if it wasn’t high-index lenses, my glasses would probably also work as a free weight for weightlifting. LensDirect offers polycarbonate and two high-index options, making it really easy to customize your prescription for a lightweight fit, no matter the prescription.
After sitting at my computer and staring at the screen for hours, not once did my eyes feel strained or tired.
Over the course of two days, my eyes adjusted the lenses and my eyes didn’t seem to have any outright issues. I ordered these because of the BluDefend technology for blue light blocking—and to my surprise, the prescription lenses reminded me of my $20 non-prescription frames I picked up off of Amazon. The lenses had an anti-reflective coating, but there wasn’t a noticeable color difference on them.
I could easily work all day without any eye strain issues cropping up.
Now, while I can’t tell you how much blue light my cheap pair blocks, LensDirect blocks up to 50 percent of all blue light and up to 90 percent of the highest wavelengths (400-400 nm of blue light). After sitting at my computer and staring at the screen for hours, not once did my eyes feel strained or tired. I could easily work all day without any eye strain issues cropping up.
If the lenses seemed spot on, the fit was less than stellar. When I first put the Madison frames on, the temple arms were far too wide. Every time I turned my head or smiled, my cheeks would push up the frames and they would slide down my face. I constantly had to adjust them. I ended up having to visit my regular eye clinic later that day to get them properly adjusted.
I constantly had to adjust them. I ended up having to visit my regular eye clinic later that day to get them properly adjusted.
LensDirect prescription frames start at $85 for non-prescription frames but can run up to a couple hundred for a prescription pair. The higher your prescription power, the more expensive it can run.
It sounds expensive for a pair of frames, but if you think about it, it’s pretty average for glasses. After all, anything with a prescription runs similarly to that price, if not more expensive. If you don’t need a prescription, $85 can be pretty pricey for a plain pair blue light blocking glasses, but the style that LensDirect offers can sweeten the pot.
Finding a stylish pair of blue light glasses can be a total pain, but the Gunnar Intercept frames fits the bill similarly to the LensDirect BluDefend. They’re both stylish and affordable, with the Intercept frames only costing around $60. They both also block blue light from straining your eyes.
However, a deeper look at these lenses shows that they’re really different. Unlike LensDirect, the Gunnar Intercept doesn’t offer magnification or prescription lenses. And, my Madison frames are clear-coated so I can wear them throughout the day both in my home office or while I’m grabbing groceries from the store, for example. The Intercept frames also have a distinctive yellow tint to them which may not be appealing if you don’t want the blue light blocking glasses to be so obvious.
If you’re price conscious and don’t need a prescription, then you could probably opt for the Intercept frames. However, if you want the blue light blocking with your prescription, then you can’t go wrong with the LensDirect frames.
Good comfort and features.
Setting fit issues aside, the LensDirect BluLight Madison frames are a great way to keep your eyes feeling comfortable. The best part by far is the ability to incorporate a high-index lens prescription into the glasses.
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