Business Insider uses Felix Gray computer glasses to ease Digital Eye Strain

Published by Business Insider on May 4th, 2016

 "We tested out these glasses that keep computer screens from destroying your eyes" 

Human beings are now spending more time than ever before staring into the abyss of bright screens. Many of us (myself included) work 8-9 hour days, looking at a computer screen for about 90% of that time. We are a far cry away from our mothers telling us not to sit too close to the television because it’s bad for our eyes; we now put almost no thought into sitting inches from a screen for hours on end.

But here’s the thing: Mom was right. Spending too much time looking at your computer can be damaging to your eyes, both in the long term and the short. Blue light at the far end of the color spectrum is harmful to our retinas when exposed over long periods of time. Additionally, it can lead to poor sleep by disrupting with the circadian rhythm of your sleep cycle.

Felix Gray is a company that aims to ease the eyestrain of computer users everywhere. They’ve developed a line of fashionable glasses with lenses that increase magnification, reduce glare, and filter out blue light to keep your eyes comfortable, even when you have to spend an extended amount of time staring at your screen.

According to their data, 43% of American jobs require prolonged computer use. The entirety of the Insider Picks team falls into that category, so we all decided to try them out and pass along our thoughts. Personally, I really enjoy my pair of Felix Gray’s (I got the Nash frames in Whiskey Tortoise). The magnification and glare reduction are substantial enough to be immediately noticeable, and as an avid user of f.lux, I appreciated the fact that they reduced strain without destroying the color of what was onscreen.

One of the benefits I hadn’t planned on was that they really helped with my focus. I spend a lot of leisure time on the Internet in addition to the time I put in at work. Sometimes, it’s easy for my mind to wander to more entertaining things than the work I should be doing. As I do not wear glasses in my day-to-day life, putting on my pair set me into “work mode” in a sense; I was more consistently engaged with the work that needed to get done.

Besides me, our whole team had varying thoughts on their pairs of Felix Gray glasses. They come in five frame styles — Nash, Turing, and Faraday [note from team FG: as of December 2016, we now also offer a small/medium fit, the Roeblings, and a large fit, the Jemisons] — and there are three color options for each frame. If you want to splurge for the lenses that filter out blue light — which I highly recommend — each pair retail for $95.

The rest of the Insider Picks crew had their own thoughts on their time trying out the glasses, which you can read below.

Tester #1: Breton Fischetti, senior director, commerce:

I already wear glasses, so I had to put in contacts to test these glasses. I'm used to the feeling of glasses on my face, so no adjustments for me there. I really enjoyed the slight zoom on the lenses, it made reading the computer just that little bit easier to read. I've never enjoyed messing around with the font size on my monitor because it A. makes me feel old and B. decreases the number of windows I can have open. This was a nice balance.

As for how my eyes felt, I often leave work and notice that my vision is blurrier in the evening than it is in the morning. I don't get that when using these glasses for most of the day. I still need to take breaks from my screen, but overall felt less eye strain on days where I used them and have an easier time reading the signs at night when leaving work.

Tester #2: Jeff Dunn, commerce reporter, tech:

Not too much I can complain about here. They function similarly to the "gamer glasses" you might throw on after a long day of League of Legends, just with less "gamer." They're better looking, and they let in less glare, which made my eyes hurt less, particularly toward the end of a 9-hour workday. It wasn't super dramatic, but there's a tangible difference, as expected. I agree with Breton that the slight text boost was great. I didn't want to wear them for 9 hours straight, but I think that's more a function of me not wearing glasses normally than the FGs being uncomfortable.

The $75 ($95 if you go with the stronger blue light filter) isn't what I'd call cheap, so you're kind of paying for the look here. Whether or not you need something like this in the first place is dependent on your work habits — they're very useful for someone who has to stare at a monitor for 50 hours a week like I do, but if you aren't as dependent, you should still see if taking extra breaks, following the 20-20-20 rule, etc. is enough. If it's not, though, and you want something that still looks accessible, these seem like a good bet.

Tester #3: Ellen Hoffman, commerce editor:

I wear contacts every day; I only wear my glasses around the house. So, to be honest, I wasn't all that interested in wearing computer glasses at work. 

That said, staring at a computer screen for 40-plus hours a week does take a big toll on my eyes. So I figured it couldn't hurt to try them out and see what I was maybe missing. After wearing them on and off for the past few weeks — I'm still not used to wearing glasses for extended periods of time — I'm happy to report that my eyes don't feel nearly as stressed. The glasses let in much less screen glare, and the slight zoom was helpful, as Jeff and Breton already noted.

For the fashion-conscious shopper, they look like something you'd find at Warby Parker. All of their optical benefits aside, this might be reason enough for some of you to take the plunge on them. It definitely made me more open to the idea of wearing computer glasses around the office. 


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