Save 50% off the second pair of prescription glasses when you buy Grade A or Italian Mazzucchelli Acetate frames from Easy Optical.

With a view to offering better value to our customers, effective immediately buy two pairs of glasses from the Battatura or Jack & Francis brands and the second pair is always 50% off.  Select any two frames, choose your lens packages and enter the coupon code EASY50 at checkout and we’ll deduct  50% off the cost of the lower-cost frames.

Free shipping is always included. We provide a no-quibble unconditional 30-day return policy on all orders, and superb post-dispensing support.

All orders are dispensed from the UK by Royal Mail Tracked.

Click here to see our Battatura and Jack & Francis frames.

 

F.lux: Cool Free Software for Improved Eye Comfort

At Easy Optical we have been discussing whether or not we should start to offer ‘computer vision’ lenses to our customers. These lenses filter out blue light of the type encountered when viewing a computer screen or a mobile (cell phone) screen. There is some debate about blue light. To quote a blog post by Zeiss, the highly respected optical lens manufacturer:

“A debate is raging over the beneficial and damaging effects of blue light. On the one hand, blue light can be a helpful tool in combating seasonal depression and insomnia. On the other hand, blue light can permanently damage the human eye.”

And in 2012, the American Medical Association’s Council on Science and Public Health made this recommendation:

“Recognizes that exposure to excessive light at night, including extended use of various electronic media, can disrupt sleep or exacerbate sleep disorders, especially in children and adolescents. This effect can be minimized by using dim red lighting in the nighttime bedroom environment.”

We expect that we soon will offer blue light filtering lenses.  Meanwhile, in researching them we have come across some free software we wanted to write about here.  Specifically, free software (f.lux) is available for Macs and PCs which adjusts, throughout the day, the amount of light emitted by the screens.  Here is how they describe themselves (emphasis added).

“Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow?

Or wake up ready to write down the Next Great Idea, and get blinded by your computer screen?

During the day, computer screens look good—they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun.

f.lux fixes this: it makes the colour of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

It’s even possible that you’re staying up too late because of your computer. You could use f.lux because it makes you sleep better, or you could just use it just because it makes your computer look better.

f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again.”

The above may not sound like much if you haven’t tried it, but if so that’s only because its one of those things that’s hard to describe in words.  But the effect of using this software seems to be that eyestrain is reduced, and in many cases drastically reduced.

Here is a link to a list of third-party research that has been done on this topic: https://justgetflux.com/research.html.  If you have ever wondered what you can do to reduce eyestrain from screen viewing, it makes for really interesting reading.  Here is a before and after image of the screen of a computer on which f.lux has been installed:

Image showing what a MacBook Air display looks like with and without f.lux enabled.
Here is what a MacBook Air display looks like with and without f.lux enabled.
The computer on the right has f.lux enabled. (Melia Robinson / Tech Insider)

Download links to this software are here: https://justgetflux.com/

Note that we are not affiliated with f.lux in any way.  Their software is free, though they do accept donations.  We just think the software is pretty great and we think our customers (at least some of them!) might like it too.

Any questions/comments/etc, please email us at hello@easyoptical.com or use our contact form.

Customer Feedback Notes

UPDATE — More feedback (13 October 2017)

I got my glasses and they absolutely amazing!

Again many thanks to you and your colleagues, I’m really happy to wear them.
Have a nice weekend.
Best regards,
Elena”

_______

This week we received our first feedback from our new Feefo (see below) account, and we wanted to share this with customers who might be considering trying us.  Like most companies, we pay very close attention to the feedback we get from our customers.  We want to do the best possible job we can for them, both because it’s the right thing to do and because we want to avoid a ‘one bad review on Yelp and you are doomed’ scenario.

As of this writing (July 18, 2017) we have had the pleasure of serving customers in the following countries: the UK, Canada, the US, Australia, Switzerland, Portugal, and Latvia.  The team here is quite international and we are as comfortable working with customers in one country as in another.

To collect reviews, we use a third party company, Feefo, which specialises in collecting and presenting customer feedback.  By using a third party to collect reviews, rather than doing it in-house, we think the reviews provided are more useful to potential customers.  We chose Feefo because of the quality of their existing client list and because it is very clear that they are serious about not allowing fake reviews on their platform.  We have seen that on many third party review platforms there is an abundance of fake reviews, and we would like to prevent that from being the case with us.

Feefo allows us to collect independent feedback about the quality of the services we provide, and in the quality of products we sell.

Feefo: third party review collector.

Here is some of the feedback which we have received:

“They [Jack & Francis Adair Vintage Tortoise] are great, really pleased with them. — N. K., customer from Canada (July 19, 2017).

“It was a great experience – price and product. Only downside it took a while for delivery – but it did have to travel from U.K. To Australia, so understandable.  Glasses [Jack & Francis Connor Moonlight Tortoise] were great and priced well too. — M. F., customer from Australia (July 17, 2017).

“Thank you for reaching out in follow up. The glasses [Battatura Cristiano Blonde Tortoise] arrived expeditiously, sooner than expected. Good look, good material.  You guys did an excellent job from a continent and an ocean away, and I certainly would buy from you again. ” –H. N., Customer from USA (July 11, 2017).

Our feedback so far may give the impression that we are normally selling all over the world.  In fact most our customers to date are in the UK and Canada, but because our Feefo account is new we have not as yet received any feedback from them.  Get your head in the game, British people!  In all seriousness we do expect to start receiving feedback via Feefo and this will be reflected in our Feefo account as it comes in.

Now Accepting Bitcoin!

We’ve added bitcoin as a payment option. We’re interested in how bitcoin works and so we’ve added it to the site as a payment option.

Buy glasses and pay with bitcoin at Easy Optical!
Easy Optical cart page showing the prices in bitcoin.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the first decentralised peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. That leads, at least in theory, and mostly in practise, to some interesting benefits for its users. There is no need to disclose card details to anyone, there are no intermediaries to slow down, block or charge for the payment, there are no cross-border payment issues, and there are lower (and often zero) processing fees.

Merchants enjoy the above benefits as well. The payment processor is not your obligatory partner in the process of accepting bitcoins from customers. While working with a payment processor can bring benefits, its not a requirement. We use bitpay at Easy Optical to process bitcoin payments, but this is not a requirement. The technology to pay with bitcoin and receive payment in bitcoin is virtually all free and open source.

What are the Risks?

With so many advantages to using bitcoin as a means of payment, it might be reasonable to ask why bitcoin acceptance by shops is not more common. Well, there are plenty of disadvantages to the use of bitcoin as a store of value or a means of payment. The bitcoin payment protocol is jargon ridden and the concepts which underpin it do not necessarily have easy analogs to existing payment methods such as credit cards or Paypal. It is a relatively new technology and has a steep learning curve compared to payment methods that are mainstream. Bitcoin is also used as a payment method for so-called ‘dark net market’ purchases, and for that reason people may not want to use bitcoin because of the associations it has.

Perhaps the biggest risk of holding bitcoin is the high degree of volatility of the change in its value compared to other currencies . People are understandably wary of holding a currency that is very volatile. Its not uncommon for the price of bitcoin to go up or down 10% in a day.

We accept payment via a third party payment gateway specialising in bitcoin.
Easy Optical bitcoin payment page.

So then Why Use Bitcoin?

Considering all of the above, its reasonable to ask: why accept bitcoin at all? The world of cryptocurrency is maturing, and this includes the development of the same tools (futures, options, currency hedges) in the bitcoin world as those that are available for mainstream currencies. Its now possible to set up a free wallet with no intermediaries, buy bitcoins with credit card (CoinMama, Coinbase, Btc-24, etc), to hold those bitcoins in a wallet in the currency of your choice (Abra) with therefore no currency volatility and a lot of the bitcoin complexity abstracted away, and to transfer those bitcoin to your bank account instantly (CoinBase, Abra). As yet these innovations have not meaningfully added to the cost of using or owning bitcoins, and we are guessing that this trend is set to continue.

We’d like to point out some of what we think are spectacular use cases for bitcoin:

Remittances: if you have a bitcoin wallet and the other person halfway across the world (or standing next to you) has a bitcoin wallet, you can transfer bitcoin to them instantly, at no cost to you or to them. Compare this to what Western Union or Moneygram would charge and the time it would take. We think no comparison.

Currency exchange: even if the remittance was available for free, there would normally be a currency exchange cost to convert say GBP to USD or vice versa. In a bitcoin exchange transaction this cost is not there.

Banking for the unbanked: Can’t complete the paperwork to open an account at NatWest or Bank of America? A free bitcoin wallet app running on your phone or your computer is all you need to accept payment from others, and to pay others.

Bank fee reduction: how much do you pay to receive a wire into your bank account from abroad? How much do you pay to send a wire abroad? We pay something like USD$25 each way. Doing these transfers by bitcoin reduces this cost to virtually zero, and its instant. Compare that to the three to five banking days and USD$25+ it takes using the SWIFT network.

Selling online: want to have a shop online but don’t have the volume (or the patience) to justify the time and expense of a Paypal account or a credit card merchant account?  With a free bitcoin wallet you can send and receive payments with no middleman inserting themselves into the process.

Buying online: Many shops, both online and brick-and-mortar allow you to pay with bitcoin.  Easy Optical for example!  Other examples include: Target, CVS, WordPress.com, Subway, Victoria’s Secret, PayPal, Expedia, Home Depot, Kmart, Sears, the Apple App Store, eBay, Dell and Zappos.

Mainstream acceptance of Bitcoin is increasing.
Bitcoin as a means of payment is becoming more popular all the time.

There are more and more use cases. The above only scratches the surface. If you have any questions or comments about bitcoin, do feel free to get in contact.

PD – The secret sauce for your prescription

The Pupillary Distance (commonly known as PD or Distance PD) is the secret sauce in your glasses prescription. It is rarely, if ever, included in the copy of the prescription that you receive (or should receive!) after your eye examination yet it is absolutely critical. An incorrect PD can result in strained eyes, headaches and worse, particularly for those with stronger prescriptions.

So what is the PD?

It is the distance between the centre of the pupils of your eyes, something designated as a single number (e.g. on average 63-65mm for men and 60mm for women) and more commonly as a Dual PD – the distance between the centre of each eye and the middle of the bridge of your nose (e.g. PD(Left) = 31.5mm ; PD(Right) = 33mm). These distances might be different so the Dual PD is a more accurate measurement and is ideally the one you want (especially if you have a wonky nose like me!).

What is the PD for?

The PD allows the lens crafter to accurately position the optical centre of each lens with centre of each pupil. This means that the corrective power of the lens is in perfect alignment with your field of vision – exactly what you’re looking for.

An inaccurate PD can mean that the perfect focal point of your lens could be slightly off and the stronger the correction required, the more this effect is exacerbated, leading to discomfort.

For multifocal lenses (bifocal or progressive) where there is a “distance” requirement for e.g. driving and a “reading” requirement for close-up detail there are two PD’s – the Distance PD and the Near PD where the Near PD is typically 3-4mm less than the Distance PD and allows the lens crafter to compensate for the effect when your eyes “narrow” to focus on nearby items.

How do I get my PD?

So, if you want to order glasses online it is very important that you ask your Optician for your PD. As mentioned above, the PD typically isn’t written down on your prescription so you may have to ask your optician for it. Then, when you order online at Easy Optical you’ll be able to enter your PD as part of the order process or you can send it to with along with your other prescription details if you prefer.

About Easy Optical

If you need prescription glasses, sunglasses or even over-the-counter reading glasses, visit our website (www.easyoptical.com) and we’ll be happy to help.

Understanding your prescription – part 1

The first of a series of blogs explaining how to interpret your glasses prescription and how to then use your prescription to order glasses online.

Part 1 – Reading your prescription

One of the mysteries of buying a pair of prescription glasses is understanding how to interpret the jargon on your prescription.

After your eye test, your optician is legally obliged to give you a copy of your prescription after your eye test so don’t forget to ask for a copy.

In the UK, In order for your prescription to be valid, you must be over 18 years of age, not registered blind or partially blind and your Eye test must have taken place within the last two years. If you are over 70 years of age your eye test must be less than one year old.

Although the exact terminology may differ slightly, all prescriptions contain the information required to create the appropriate corrective lenses for you.

Your optician will normally tell you which type of glasses you require during your eye exam and explain their likely use. For example, Distance for driving, Reading for your phone or a book. These are prescriptions for Single Vision lenses.

If you are over 40, you make find that you need glasses for both distance and close-up. In this case, your optician will advise multifocal lenses – possibly the more traditional bifocal lens, which offers two distinct fields of vision – distance and reading or more likely, the modern progressive lens, which offers distance and reading corrections in a more modern, multifocal lens, normally computer-designed for greater accuracy.

In our next blog, we’ll explain the Pupillary Distance (PD) and how it is an integral part of your prescription – and isn’t normally included, so be sure to ask your optician for it after your eye test.

About Easy Optical

If you need prescription glasses, sunglasses or even over-the-counter reading glasses, visit website (www.easyoptical.com) and we’ll be happy to help.