Clearing up the confusion of Anti-Reflective Glass vs. Non-Glare Glass
The jargon of the glass industry is not always clear when it comes to anti-reflective glass. The terms anti-reflective glass and non-glare glass are often used interchangeably; but in reality, they are very different types of glass. In this post we will explain how these two different glass types serve a similar purpose and also help you determine which might be best suited for your specific application.
Let’s start with a detailed description of both anti-reflective glass and non-glare glass. After defining both glass types we will list how each is used.
AR glass is optically coated on one or both sides. The anti-reflective coating is usually a di-electric coating and can be applied to the glass in a single layer or multiple layers. When this invisible optical coating is applied to a glass substrate it accomplishes the following:
– Reduces surface reflection
– Increases light transmission
– Increases glass transmission and brightness
– Increased brightness = better contrast definition
– Reduces ghost images / multiple reflections
A differentiator of Anti-Reflective glass – when compared to Non-Glare glass – is the ability to customize the coating for specific wavelengths of light. AR coatings can be customized for visible light, UV and or NIR spectral bands.
Anti-Reflective Coatings can be applied to just about any glass substrate including: Gorilla Glass, Borofloat, Ultra Clear Low Iron Float Glass, Ultra Thin Glass (Schott AS-87, Schott D263, AGC EN-A1)
Anti-Reflective Coatings are also often applied to custom optics, optical bandpass filters and beamsplitter mirrors.
Non-Glare Glass is produced by etching (via acid bath) one or both surfaces of the glass. The etching process is very precise and leaves the glass with an incredibly consistent etched finish across the entire surface. This etched surface disperses light as it hits the surface of the glass, virtually eliminating glare. This allows the end user to see transmitted images and videos very clearly – even in direct sunlight. Non-Glare Glass works best with high resolution displays.
Non-Glare is measured in gloss units and is available in numerous gloss (etching) levels. The gloss levels range from 60 to 140. Non-Glare Glass is available in both Low Iron a Soda Lime gloat glass. The challenge with finding the right gloss level is balancing the amount of glare reduction (diffusion) with the resolution of the display behind the glass. The environment of the application, ambient light, thickness of the glass and brightness of the underlying display all play a part in the performance of the
Non Glare Glass. There is an inverse relationship between the amount of diffusion of the non-glare glass and the resolution of the display. Now that we have explored how both Non-Glare and Ant-reflective glass are produced, let’s look at their typical applications. The matrix below can help steer you in the right direction when deciding between Anti-Reflective and Non-Glare Glass.
Now that we have explored how both Non-Glare and Ant-reflective glass are produced, let’s look at their typical applications. The matrix below can help steer you in the right direction when deciding between Anti-Reflective and Non-Glare Glass.