Light activated lenses

Highly advanced lenses activated by light

As part of IOT’s commitment to innovation for high value-added products, we offer Neochromes® light activated lenses. This line of the highest quality lens blanks offers excellent performance, allowing IOT partners to differentiate themselves with products that consumers perceive as superior to what is currently on the market.

Benefits of Neochromes® light activated lenses

The benefits of Neochromes® lenses can be demonstrated by any eyecare professional and are easy for wearers to understand. They’re specifically designed to provide answers to the most common questions, quickly and easily.

What do they look like indoors?

Crystal clear.

How quickly do they darken?

In just seconds.

How long do they take to fade back indoors?

At standard room temperature, they fade back in less than 3 minutes.

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Dark in seconds*

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3-minutes fade-back*

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Cristal clear indoors*

*Measured at 555nm at 23ºC using ISO 8980-3: 2013/ ANSI Z80.3 2015

The key is new high-performance photochromic dyes

The unique benefits of Neochromes® lenses were created through the development of high-performance photochromic dyes.

Photochromic molecules have, under normal conditions, a folded shape that makes them transparent. When absorbing ultraviolet light, their shape changes, the molecular structure opens and absorbs visible light. The two forms of the photochromic molecule - open and closed - exist in balance with a bond that’s continuously broken and rebuilt.

The photochromic molecule constantly switches between its transparent and dark states. The number of molecules during the dark state depends on the amount of UV light in the environment and other factors such as temperature. If the lens is exposed to significant levels of UV light, most of the molecules will be in the open state, darkening the lenses. In the absence of UV light, the molecules will remain closed, resulting in clear lenses.

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UV light blocking

UV light is generally defined as invisible, with wavelengths between 100-380 nanometers (nm). UV light has much higher energy levels than visible light. Exposure to UV light can cause changes in the skin, leading to suntan, sunburn, wrinkles, and potentially skin cancer. The cornea and lens of the adult human eye are quite efficient at blocking UV radiation and keeping it from reaching the retina. However, UV light damages the skin and front structures of the eye. Prolonged exposure to UV light is linked to pterygium, photokeratitis (snow blindness), cataracts, and other eye disorders. Neochromes® lenses block 100% of UVA and UVB rays up to 400 nm.

Blue light filtering

Blue light is the portion of the visible light spectrum with the highest energy, usually considered to be wavelengths in the range of 400-500 nm. Sunlight is, by far, the largest source of blue light in our environment. The screens of our computers, phones, and other digital devices are also sources of blue light. Neochromes® lenses offer maximum protection against these potentially harmful wavelengths of light.

Neochromes® lenses in gray block an average of 80% of high energy light (400-420 nm) when clear, and at least 91% of high-energy light when dark. In addition, they block an average of 89% of light between 425-450 nm when dark.

Protection from harmful UV and blue light

Neochromes® lenses help wearers care for their eyes by blocking 100% of damaging UVA and UVB rays. They also filter blue light, especially when activated outdoors. While blue light is emitted from computers, tablets, and smartphones, sunlight is a much more intense source of blue light.

Blue light filtering
Absorption (400 nm - 420 nm)

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How to analyze photochromic lens performance

Neochromes® lenses are crystal clear indoors, darken in seconds, and fade from dark to clear in less than 3 minutes. To analyze how this contributes to a better experience for the wearer, we study the photochromic cycle in kinetics charts. These show the performance of the lens as it goes from clear to dark and back again.

Kinetics charts show four phases of photochromic lens activation

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Consistency of performance


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In photochromic lenses, it’s common to find inconsistent functionalities that vary depending on the refractive index. This is because the manufacturing processes change depending on the material. It might happen that different photochromic substances are used for lenses of different base materials. At IOT, we have taken great care to ensure homogeneous, virtually identical functionality across all materials. The visual experience with Neochromes® is consistent for any wearer, even if they choose to purchase polycarbonate lenses for their sports eyewear and lenses with a 1.67 index for every day. 

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Any photochromic lens is affected by temperature. In cold temperatures, photochromic lenses darken more and take longer to fade back. In warmer temperatures, the lenses don’t darken as much and fade back more quickly. This is a characteristic of the state of balance in a photochromic system. Photochromic molecules use thermal energy to return to the clear state. In Neochromes® lenses, special attention is paid to performance at high temperatures. At high temperatures (33°c / 91°f), they will reach functional darkness that is similar to many polarized lenses (17% light transmission). At this temperature, the fade back time is around 32 seconds.

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No alt text available for image * Only available in North and Latin America.

Neochromes® availability

Neochromes®, optimal functionality in all materials.

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