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This post was most recently updated on May 30th, 2021
Just the other day I was browsing along and I ran across an ad for a website that caught my attention. This ad told me that I was able to get prescription lenses for any pair of glasses. Naturally, as an optician I was curious and I wanted to know more so I took a peek which landed me on Lensabl’s website.
For me, I have found that I have an abundance of prescription glasses that I am no longer able to wear anymore but it is not because they are broken, as a matter of fact, the frames themselves are still in great shape. Generally, one of two things happen, either the lenses get too scratched up for me able to see well out of them, or my prescription changes.
This is where Lensabl comes in and gives you the opportunity to mail your previous glasses to replace the lenses. This is a great way to bring those scratched up glasses back to life or update the lenses to your latest prescription so you can rock those old frames again.
Being able to replace the lenses on previous frames is not a new concept, there are plenty of optical retailers that are willing to take your previous frames and replace the lenses for you. The key difference with Lensabl is that you can do everything such as picking the lens material, lens types, and any additional coatings you may need directly on their website from the comfort of your own home. The best part about it is that it’s super easy, but let’s walk through the process and I’ll explain the options in a bit more detail.
Picking your lenses
Before you get started with anything, you need to pick what kind of lenses you are getting. Lensabl isn’t limited to only prescription lenses, you are able to get reading lenses, as well as non-prescription lenses as well. Here’s a little more detail on each type to help to figure out which one you need.
- Prescription Lenses – This is pretty self-explanatory, if you wear prescription glasses and have a prescription you want to have Lensabl make some new lenses for you then this is your option. You can get prescription sunglasses, Transitions (photochromic), blue light blocking, or clear prescription lenses, and they are available as single vision or progressive lenses.
- Reading Lenses – If you only need reading glasses, Lensabl can make you new reading lenses as well. This is for those of you who just use readers without a prescription but want lenses that are better quality than the inexpensive readers you can buy at the store. Reading lenses that are made by Lensabl can be made between the powers +0.25 up to +3.50 in increments of 0.25. The reading lenses can be standard clear lenses with anti-reflective coating or they can be customized and be made as blue light blocking readers or sunglass readers.
- Non-prescription – Lensabl can also make you non-prescription lenses, for those of you who don’t need a prescription. You can use this service to customize the color on your non-prescription sunglasses, or if you are someone who spends a lot of time in front of a computer you can get non-prescription lenses to help with eye strain. Of course, you can just get clear or Transition lenses for everyday fashion.
Lensabl Prescription Lenses
I am sure most of you that are looking up Lensabl probably have some old prescription glasses that you want to have updated with your more current prescription. Lensabl has made this process painless and straightforward. First, you will have to select your prescription type. The prescription type you pick will ultimately depend on your prescription. Here is a little more detail on each.
- Single Vision – This type of lens is for those of you who only want one correction in your glasses whether it is a distance, intermediate, or reading, there is only one correction in the entire lens.
- Progressive – For those of you who require a prescription to be able to see far as well as close up. Progressive lenses or also known as no-line bifocals, are multi-focal lenses that provide you with a seamless progression from your distance correction down to your intermediate and reading corrections. These lenses provide you with three different corrections and the best part about it is that there is no visible line, and no one will know you are even wearing bifocals. At Lensabl they have three different progressive lens options.
- Standard Progressive – These are the basic progressive lenses, and is an in-house digital free-form technology lens made by Essilor.
- Premium Progressive – These lenses are a bit better than your standard progressive lenses and provide you with a wider area for your intermediate and reading area to provide you with a more comfortable reading experience.
- Ultra-Premium Progressive – These lenses are the best progressive lenses that you can get and they give you the widest area for your intermediate and reading areas to give you the most comfortable reading experience.
- Bifocal – These are the traditional bifocals that you may have seen your grandparents wearing where there is a visible area dedicated to the reading power. Bifocal lenses give you two different corrections with your distance on the top and reading on the bottom separated by a visible line.
After you pick whether or not you are going to put a prescription into your lenses, next you will have to pick what lens type you want. Depending on which prescription type you picked, not all of the lens types may be available. Here are the different lens types that are available for you to choose from.
- Clear Lenses – This is pretty self-explanatory, these are your standard clear lenses and they come standard with anti-reflective, UV and scratch-resistant coatings.
- Blue-light Blocking Lenses – These lenses help reduce the amount of blue light that gets to your eyes that is being emitted from digital screens such as computers, tablets, and smartphones. Blue-light blocking lenses can help reduce the eye strain that you may get from using digital screens for extended periods of time.
- Sunglass Lenses – This is one of my favorite offerings from Lensabl due to the wide range of options they have available when it comes to sunglass lenses. I feel like most optical shops have one limitation or the other when it comes to sunglass lenses and it is nice to have options. Take a look below.
- Solid – These sunglass lenses are all one solid color and are customizable for darkness depending on your personal preference. Lensabl even has an option where they will match the current lens color in your glasses. These lenses are not polarized but still give you complete UV protection.
- Gradient – These lenses are generally darker at the top and slowly fade to clear towards the bottom part of the lenses. These lenses can also be customized for darkness, however in my experience, if you are making gradient sunglasses you should always just put the darkest at the top or else it will look really light. You also have the option to match the current gradient lens color in your glasses. These lenses also give you complete UV protection.
- Polarized – This lens not only gives you protection from the UV rays emitting from the sun, but polarized lenses also cut out unwanted glare that is reflecting off of flat surfaces such as large bodies of water, the ground, sand, or even the hood of a car. Polarized lenses generally provide you with a more comfortable viewing experience outside in the bright sun, however, polarized lenses are not for everyone. If you work in certain professions such as aviation or deal with a lot of LCD screens throughout the day, polarized lenses are not recommended for you.
- Polarized Mirror – This lens is essentially the same type of lens are polarized lenses but has an additional coating to give your lenses a mirror effect. This coating is available in a wide range of colors and the mirror effect helps reflect additional sunlight away from your eyes to give you a more comfortable viewing experience.
- Transitions Lenses – These are the lenses that I was initially drawn to Lensabl by. I know, there are plenty of retailers out there that offer Transitions lenses but Lensabl has a nice selection of the different types of Transitions lenses that are currently available on the market. Here are the options.
- Transitions Signature – This is the current version of the classic Transitions Signature lens that has been around from the beginning. They are on the 8th generation of this longtime classic.
- Transitions XTRActive – This is my favorite version of Transitions lenses, these are the darkest light intelligent lenses available and the best part is that Lensabl offers the new mirrored XTRActive Transitions lenses which turn into a mirrored lens when they are activated.
- Transitions Vantage – These lenses are quite advanced and are one of its kind lenses which not only darkens when activated outdoors but also automatically polarize and adjusts to match the level of glare you are experiencing outdoors.
- Transitions Drivewear – These lenses are designed especially for driving and being outdoors, the lenses adapt to your surrounding light and changes from olive green, to copper, to brown to help remove glare off of the road giving you sharp and crisp vision.
Once you have what type of lenses, you are faced with the decision of what kind of lens material you want to go with. Which material you pick is entirely up to you. Each lens material has its own special qualities and may or may not be beneficial to you. Keep in mind that depending on what type of lens you need not all the lens materials are available for all lens options, but here are the material options you will find at Lensabl
LENS MATERIAL OPTIONS
- CR39 – Also known as standard plastic, this lens material is perfect for basic prescriptions, provides great optical clarity, and is generally the most affordable lens material available. The major drawback of CR39 is the material doesn’t quite impact-resistant as other materials and is vulnerable to chips and cracks, therefore, it is not suitable for any semi-rimless or fully rimless frames.
- Polycarbonate – This lens is great for those with active lifestyles, young children, and safety lenses. Polycarbonate is about 25% thinner compared to CR39 but is much more impact resistant which makes it suitable as lenses for safety glasses.
- Trivex – Similar to polycarbonate, trivex lenses are great for those with active lifestyles, young children, and those who need safety glasses. Trivex is similar in impact-resistant to polycarbonate but provides slightly better optical clarity.
- 1.67 High-Index – High-Index lenses are generally recommended for those with stronger prescriptions to help provide you with a thin and lightweight lens. 1.67 High-Index lenses are up to 40% thinner and lighter compared to CR39.
- 1.74 High-Index – These are generally for anyone with a really strong prescription and would like their lenses to be as thin as possible. 1.74 High-index lenses can be up to 50% thinner compared to CR39.
- Glass – These lenses are definitely not for everyone, but glass lenses do provide you with the best optical clarity and are the most scratch-resistant material available. Glass lenses are vulnerable to shattering if you happen to drop your glasses, this vulnerability also makes glass lenses unsuitable for semi-rimless or rimless frames. Glass lenses generally are much heavier compared to other lens materials.
After you have gotten yourself settled with which lens material you want to put in your frames the last step is to decide which anti-reflective coating you want on your lenses. The anti-reflective coating is a very thin coating that is applied to the lenses to help enhance your vision by allowing more light to be transmitted to your eyes. Without this coating whenever light hits your lenses instead of going through the lens onto your eyes you lose some of the light due to it reflecting off of your lenses. Some of these coatings also help repel water, dust and smudge resistant, here are your options.
- Standard Lensabl AR – A standard anti-reflective coating is included with all the lenses that you can purchase from Lensabl. The standard AR coating is a hydrophobic coating and will repel some water.
- Premium Lensabl AR – This is the more advanced anti-reflective coating and it provides you with a superhydrophobic coating which repels water, dust, as well as smudges. This anti-reflective coating is also super scratch resistant.
- Crizal Prevencia AR – This was one of the first completely clear AR coatings that selectively filters out harmful blue light and is designed for those who spend extended periods of time looking at computer screens, smartphones, tablets or around a lot of fluorescent lights. This AR coating gives you one of the best in its class for scratch-resistance, and a superhydrophobic coating to repel water, dust, and smudges.
- Blue-Light Blocking AR – This option is great for anyone who still wants protection from harmful blue-light but doesn’t want to pay the high price tag of the Crizal Prevencia AR. This AR is perfect for anyone who spends extended periods of time in front of digital devices.
- Polish Edges – This add-on gives the edges of the lenses a high gloss sheen, and is highly recommended for rimless or semi-rimless frames.
- Polish & Roll Edges – This add-on gives the edges of the lenses the same high gloss sheen as the polish but also rolls the edges to help reduce the thickness and weight of the lenses.
After you have selected your final lens upgrades you are all set with that and lastly, all you have to do would be to provide your prescription.
Lensabl makes it simple for you to get your prescription uploaded onto their website, here are your options
- Upload a Photo – This is more than likely the easiest option, you simply upload a copy of your prescription directly onto their website.
- Enter it Online – With this option, you are able to manually enter your prescription as well as your pupillary distance right onto your order screen on their website.
- Provide it Later – Lastly, if you do not have your prescription directly on hand you can always select to send it in later. With this option, you will get an email after you placed your order to upload your prescription.
Lensabl return policy
Lensabl does not offer returns on prescription lenses, however, they do offer a satisfaction guarantee on all lenses. They offer 30 days from the day that you receive your lenses to notify them of any issues you might be having with your lenses. They cover the return shipping of getting the frame back to the lab to remake them for you and remake the lenses for you free of charge.
How long does it take to get glasses back from Lensabl?
The one downside of getting lenses done for your own frames online is the shipping time between you and the lab and back to you. In the case of Lensabl, they ship you a box. You then would put your glasses in the box and ship it back to Lensabl’s lab.
By the time the lab receives your glasses, the time that it takes them to manufacture the lenses for your glasses takes about 4-7 days on average depending on your prescription and what lens type you are ordering. After that, the lenses go through an intensive quality check before the glasses are shipped back out to you.
I would imagine you would have the glasses back to you anywhere between 2-3 weeks depending on where you live in the United States. Therefore if you are in a rush, this might not work for you. They do offer expedited shipping for an additional $20 and your order would be shipped next day air both ways so that would cut the timeframe down quite a bit. But as with most optical places even with expedited shipping you are generally still waiting at least a week.
Where is Lensabl Located
Lensabl only operates online and does not have any physical locations that you could visit. Their headquarters are located in Venice, California and they utilize a private state-of-the-art lab facility located in Los Angeles, CA. This means that if you live on the west coast of the United States your glasses might arrive quicker than if you lived on the east coast.
If you have old prescription glasses that are in good shape but have old prescription lenses, this can be a great way to save money on the frames by only ordering lenses from Lensabl. The best part about it, you can do it all conveniently from the comfort of your home. Gone are the days of you having to get in the car, drive to the store, find parking, walk-in, wait to be helped, place your order, and drive home.
What do you guys think of Lensabl? Would you consider using a service like this? Let me know in the comments below!
As always thank you all for stopping by Eye Health HQ, if you have any comments or questions feel free to drop them in the comment section below.