Lenses Lab

Our glasses lenses are made of the highest possible quality by the world leader in eyeglass lenses. We are able to guarantee perfection in our glasses lenses because we use the best lens laboratory. If you want the fastest lenses, or the cheapest glasses lenses, then you should not order from us. We always value perfection over speed. That said, we make most lenses in 1-4 days, and sometimes higher if they include specialty lens coatings.

Making perfect lenses for glasses is both a science and an art. All of our glasses lenses are made by our partner lab which has over 60 employees involved in making every pair of lenses. So when you ask us to make your lenses, you are getting an entire team of professionals working on your lenses. You are not hiring one person to make your glasses in the back room of an optical store. You will receive the best plastic (or glass) lens, installed in a quality controlled, ISO 9000 lens-making laboratory. Your lenses pass through over 20 quality control checkpoints before they are finally released. If any imperfection is noticed at any of those checkpoints, the lenses are scrapped and a new pair is created. Perfect lenses, guaranteed.

Eyeglass lenses surfacing machines.

Eyeglass lenses surfacing machines

Polishing machine for glasses lenses.

Polishing machine for glasses lenses

Glasses lens order processing computer.

Eyeglass Lenses Scratch Coating Furnace

Our partner is the world leader in eyeglass lenses, and the creator of the first and best progressive lens – the Varilux family. (Varilux lenses, Varilux Definity®, Varilux Comfort®, Varilux Physio®, Varilux Ellipse®) They also invented the finest lens coating (Crizal®), and the finest single vision lenses on the market today (Orma®, Thin&Lite®, and Airwear®). Depending on the type of lens you order, we may also supply a Zeiss®, Transitions®, Younger&reg, Trivex®;reg, Kodak®;reg, Pentax®;reg, Sola®, Hoya®, or other lens brand.

But to make the perfect lenses for glasses, the actual lens material is only half of the battle. The other half is the lens installation. Even if you are supplied with the best lens material, a poor installation by a technician will result in lenses that offer poor vision and you will have wasted your money. With Crystal Vision Lenses, you can be assured that you are getting the exact lens you ask for, and it is being installed with the very highest skill, attention to detail, and quality control.

What Are Eyeglass Lenses?

Eyeglass lenses are simply a carved block of clear plastic. Lens quality is determined by four factors:
1) The clarity of the plastic
2) The precision of the carving
3) The accuracy of the prescription and PD measurement, and
4) The accuracy of the cutting of the lens to fit your frames.

Who Makes Lenses?

Several people are involved in the making of glasses lenses. If any one of these people makes a mistake, a loss in vision correction in the lenses will result. The store you choose to make your lenses must insist on quality at every level in order for you to receive the best quality product. This kind of quality control is essential in order to ensure consistent results.

–The brand of lenses determines the clarity of the plastic: Essilor, Zeiss, Pentax, Seiko, many others.

–The lens carver of the plastic determines the precision of the lenses. The plastic maker does the surfacing for stock lenses. The lens laboratory does the carving for surfaced lenses.

–Your eye doctor determines the prescription for the lens such that it will work best for your eyes’ condition. Optometrist tend to write more accurate prescriptions than ophthalmogists. It is not uncommon for an eye doctor to change a prescription if the first prescription is not taken carefully, while laying the blame on the maker of the eyeglass lenses.

–An eyewear store employee measures the pupillary distance. Your eye doctor may not write the pupil distance measurement on your prescription unless you ask, in an effort to prevent you from buying glasses lenses at a different store. This is an illegal practice.

–The person that carves the eyeglass lenses for your frame installs lenses so that the optical centers match the pupillary distance measurement. This could be an eyewear store employee, or lens laboratory.

Eyeglass lenses sunglass tint station.

Eyeglass lenses surfacing machines

Polishing machine for glasses lenses.

Eyeglass lenses stockroom for lens blanks

Eyeglass lenses quality control center.

Eyeglass lenses quality control center

Makers of Eyeglass Lens “Blanks”

Eyeglass lenses begin their life in large, hockey-puck-like large pieces called “blanks” which about four inches in diameter and about half an inch thick. There are different types and qualities of blanks. The quality of the blank is determined by the clarity, meaning the absence of small bubbles or inconsistencies which can only be seen with a microscope. The lower lens quality and less expensive plastics have more miasms that, although you cannot see them with the naked eye, can still add up to decreased visual acuity. Crystal Vision Lenses only use better or best quality lens plastic made by well-known plastic suppliers. It is very easy for any eyewear retailer to cut their lens costs by 50% by switching to lower quality lens suppliers. We inspect every lens that we receive several times to ensure that it meets our standards. All of our suppliers have unconditional return policies for defects in lens quality.

About Lens Laboratories

There are two basic ways of cutting lenses, depending on the prescription. Most prescriptions fall within a standard range, called the stock range (on average the range is +/-8.00 sphere and up to +2.00 cylinder). Single vision lenses that are in the stock range are usually surfaced by the plastic makers in bulk by huge computerized machines. These lenses are then shipped to optical stores so that the store employees can edge the lenses into the frame. Most multifocal lenses, and all lenses that fall outside of the stock prescription range, must be fashioned custom for each prescription. In these cases, plastic blanks (chunks of plastic) are shipped to lens laboratories where they are carved (surfaced) for each individual prescription. There are hundreds of lens laboratories around the country, several in each state. A typical lens laboratory will do a minimum of a few hundred lenses a day with a large staff of highly trained and experienced technicians. A few optical stores (like Lenscrafters) have small surfacing facilities in each of their stores doing much smaller lens volume. To surface a lens, the lens laboratory takes the blank and puts it through a series of grinding machines, which grinds the surface the lens and shapes it exactly to the specifications of the prescription. Lens laboratories also provide other services like edging and mounting, which optical stores can choose to use or not, depending on whether they want to do that work themselves. As with any custom service, the quality of the surfacing and any other services that the lab provides– is determined by the experience and the expertise of the laboratory, its personnel, and the equipment it uses. We only use labs that employ a large staff of highly trained technicians, doing a large volume of lenses every day. At Eyeglasses.com, we do none our own edging services ourselves, and all of it is done by our lens laboratories. Most of our orders require stock lenses; all of our custom surfacing work is done by lens laboratories. The laboratories that we use each have many years of experience and do thousands of lenses each week. Each lab that we use inspects each lens several times during the manufacturing process. When we receive the finished product from the lab, we do our own final inspection.

About Eye doctors: They Can Make Mistakes

The optometrist (OD) or ophthalmologist (MD) that issues the prescription is not involved in the fashioning of the lens, but the prescription they issue is crucial to the overall effectiveness of the lens. Occasionally the OD or MD can issue a prescription that is not quite right. Also, it is possible for your eyes, and your prescription, to change rapidly during some stages of your life.

Eyeglass Lenses Scratch Coating Furnace.

Eyeglass Lenses Scratch Coating Furnace

Eyeglass lenses in-process room.

Eyeglass lenses in-process room

Eyeglass lenses edging and shaping machine.

Eyeglass lenses edging and shaping machine

Pupillary Distance PD Measurement: Who Measures It?

Normally an optical store employee will take your PD measurement when you go to buy glasses. If you want more freedom to choose where to buy your eyeglasses, you should ask your optometrist or ophthalmologist to measure the PD during your exam. Usually they will not measure the PD unless you ask them to. If you have your PD measurement and your prescription when you leave your eye doctors office, then you can buy glasses and lenses at any eyewear store. With your PD and your prescription, you will not be forced to go to an optical store to get your PD measurement, and then feel obliged to buy glasses from that store.

Edging Lenses: Who Does That?

Edging is performed in a number of different ways. It can be done at the lens laboratory, or in the optical store. Either way, it is not required in any state that the edging be done by a licensed person. About one-half of the states in the United States have opticianry laws. In those licensed states, edging can be done by an unlicensed person that is “overseen” by a licensed person. The edging for most glasses made in this country is not performed by a licensed professional. However, all of the edging that is done for Eyeglasses.com is done in a state-of-the-art lens laboratory. When we ask our laboratory to do the edging, it is done by an employee/tradesman that does at least hundreds of jobs per day. That person has a very high skill and accuracy level that we have found to deliver very high quality.