As traders, we spend a lot of time in front of the computer. I think that you will agree that it takes it's toll on all of us.
So I'm up for anything that I can do to reduce the strain that comes from staring at the screen for extended periods of time.
That is why I was willing to give these so-called gaming/computer glasses a try to see if they actually did anything or if they were just what nerds wear. I was skeptical, but I believe that you shouldn't knock it until you try it.
I tried two different brands for about three months and here is what I thought. Read this post or watch the video to find out which brand I thought was best.
To see more pictures and get the text version of the review, be sure to scroll down after the video. Otherwise click the play button below…
Benefits of “Gaming Glasses” or “Computer Glasses”
Let's start by listing the benefits that these companies say you will get by using these glasses.
- Blocks blue light
- Helps you sleep better
- Reduces eye strain
- Retains eye moisture
- Reduces glare
- Helps you look like a member of Run DMC (gold chain sold separately)
If you are skeptical about the blue light thing, it has been proven to have negative effects, including interrupting your circadian rhythms. There is software to reduce blue light from your computer and Apple includes it in their iOS devices.
…and so does Amazon, on its Fire tablets.
Read more about the benefits of computer glasses in this book.
I could use software, but I prefer the glasses solution because it will block out ALL blue light. Not just the light coming from my computer.
But the question really is….does it actually work?
Which Brand of Computer Glasses are Best?
I first bought the Gamma Ray computer glasses. Then I got curious and bought the more expensive Gunnar gaming glasses. What was so good about the Gunnars that they cost more?
Let's start with comparing what you get in the box.
With the Gamma Rays Flexlites, you get a nice hard case and cleaning cloth. All for about $17 on Amazon.
The Gunnar Intercept only included a bag, which doubles as a cleaning cloth. They cost about $70 on Amazon, but I got a discount when Amazon had a sale, and paid $55.
Yeah, that's a pretty big price difference! Is it really worth it to pay more for the Gunnars? Are they THAT much better?
After all, you could get almost 3 Gamma Rays for the regular price of one pair of Gunnars! Here's what I thought after using them both for 90 days…
Gamma Ray Flexlite Computer Glasses Review
OK, let's start with the GammaRays, since I bought them first. Quite honestly, before I put them on, I didn't think that they would work.
But holy shit, after I used them for a couple of hours, they were nothing short of amazing! I felt so much better because my eyes were not straining as much as usual.
Before that, I was using my prescription glasses to work on the computer because I found that I was able to focus better. The funny thing is that I'm nearsighted.
So I can only speculate that the glasses were not actually helping me focus better, but were really refracting some of the light from the computer monitor.
I haven't used my prescription glasses since getting these glasses.
Gamma Ray Likes
- Light, compact frame
- Great hardshell case
- Lighter tint, making it easier to use over long periods of time
- Works well, significantly reduced eye strain
Gamma Ray Dislikes
- Quite a bit of glare, at times
- Lenses get dirty easily and are hard to clean
- Generic build quality, the lenses have popped out a couple times and a hinge screw had to be reinstalled
- Limited eye coverage
But overall, really solid glasses for the price. Now let's look at the Gunnars…
Gunnar Intercept Computer Glasses Review
Since I had such good results with the Gamma Rays, it got me wondering…why do the Gunnars cost so much more? Could they be that much better?
Curiosity got the best of me. So I decided to give them a try. Here's what I liked and didn't like.
- Light frame
- Works well, significantly reduced eye strain
- Solid build quality, something you would expect from Spy Optic or other higher end sunglass manufacturers
- Much less glare
- Lenses don't get dirty as fast, easy to clean
- Great eye coverage
- Would be nice to have a case at that price
- Darker yellow tint
- A little large for standard cases
So in terms of eye strain, not much difference. Gunnars are also awesome. But the overall build quality is significantly better.
The slightly darker tint makes it a little harder to use over long periods of time. That was the biggest complaint for me.
Which pair is better?
Here is my final decision…
The Final Verdict
The decision was a little more difficult than you may think. While I really liked the Gamma Ray Flexlites, I had a really hard time getting over the lens smudging and the glare of the lenses.
It was a waste of time to have to clean the Flexlites frequently. I can only describe it as having a mosquito buzzing in your ear. A small thing, but really annoying.
So in the end, I have decided to stick with and recommend the Gunnar Intercepts. They are worth the extra money…but just barely.
If you are on a tight budget, then I have no problem recommending the Flexlites. But if you are like me and put a lot of value on quality and removing small annoyances from your day, like fixing and cleaning your glasses, then the Gunnars are for you.
In addition, the Flexlites will probably break in a year or so, with daily use. I have no proof this, but it is just my estimation, based on what I have seen of the build quality. Over time, the Gunnars will probably be a better value.
Best Gunnar Intercept Case
But what about the case?
Since I couldn't use the case from Gunnar for this particular model, I decided to look around for a hard case to protect them. The bag is OK, but I've damaged a couple of pairs of sunglasses that way, so I wanted to make sure that my Gunnars were well taken care of.
There are several options out there, but the odd size of these glasses make them a little hard to find a case for. Even if you find a case, they can be pretty bulky.
However, I did find a good solution in these collapsable cases. It is sturdy and have hard sides, but fold up almost flat, so they don't take up a lot of space when you are using the glasses.
The bonus is that it costs about $12, much cheaper than the Gunnar hardshell case that the Intercepts don't fit in.
So if you are suffering from tired eyes during a long trading or backtesting session, I hope that these computer glasses will help.
After owning the Gunnars for about a year, they broke in half. Here's the follow up video.
I now recommend Gamma Ray glasses for trading. See the different models here.
What brand of computer glasses do you use? We would love to hear about it…
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