Reviews

Night light, star bright — Eagle Eyes Blade NL review

If you are a longtime reader, you know that I suffer from debilitating migraines. I’ve been thankful to discover that wearing blue light blocking glasses can alleviate some of my eye fatigue and pain. As a result, I’ve been what you might call a connoisseur of these types of glasses, always keeping my eye on the horizon for new tech in the space.

When I got hurt in the military, I had issues with my vision, requiring glasses for correction. Eventually I had Lasik to correct my vision, but that introduced a side effect. At night I have a “starburst” effect around light sources, and blue neon lights are almost unreadable. While I’ve got my computer use eye needs covered, it was time to find something that helps with night driving. That’s when I came across Eagle Eyes.

While Eagle Eyes does carry glasses that are built for use in front of a computer, they also carry a specific line tailor made for night driving. Their “Night-Lite” series of lenses are intended to filter out high-intensity glare, street lights and billboards, and supposedly improve visual acuity in night driving situations. Having seen the exact same effect with other glasses I’ve reviewed, I was eager to see how these performed. I picked up a Blade NL and took to the streets.

Cracking open the box, I was greeted by a semi-hard clamshell containing the Blade NL glasses. The clamshell has a velcro strap on the back, allowing you to affix it to a bicycle frame, the visor in your car, or a loop on your backpack. Inside is also a microfiber carrying bag that lets you clean the lenses and store them without having to carry the larger case if you are so inclined.

The clamshell and bag make for a convenient storage compartment.

Before digging into the testing, I figured I’d look into the technology behind the lenses. The frames are made of something called Techlon Polycarbonate (here’s a bit on that tech). Doing a bit of research, I found that this is a pollution-free non-toxic durable plastic. The manufacturing process for Techlon Polycarbonate makes it impenetrable by moisture. This means it repels dirt and grime, as well as bacteria and oils you might transfer from your face. Also, since the dye is applied during the manufacturing process, there is no flaking or peeling like you’d find on a set of frames that have their color applied post-build. Comparatively, they don’t feel as lightweight or as durable as a spring steel, but they also don’t have the same pain points on top of the ears on longer use.

Moving down to the lenses, there’s as much technology under the hood as the unassuming frames. The yellow lenses are blue light blocking. Blue light comes from sources like the sun, but also from computer monitors. I can’t speak to the science behind it, beyond understanding that it reduces the strain on the eye. From my time with them, at least anecdotally, they work like a charm.

Stylish and comfortable

Other than the NASA-inspired (The underlying tech in many of Eagle Eyes glasses are derived from tech built for astronaut helmets) lenses, there’s also a 2X Scratch-Guard coating to keep them from getting beaten up. In fact, there’s actually four coatings — a scratch guard coating on the outside, the amber lens filter just under that, an inner scratch guard, and finally an anti-reflective coating closest to the eyes. I have neuropathy, so I tend to drop things entirely too often, and over the last month I’ve sent these to the floor on accident more than a few times. Somehow they are as scratch free as they were the day I got them.

The amber lens filter (Eagle Eyes calls it Night-Lite) is where the Blade NL gets the “NL” part, and honestly why I was most interested in these glasses. For safety’s sake, I’ll reveal that I drive a Tesla Model 3, so the tests that I performed were done while using autopilot. I don’t recommend swapping out eyewear while driving, and there are probably a few rules about doing so even when on autopilot, but I figured it had to be better than nothing.

At dusk, I tried out my normal cheap sunglasses. I saw what I’ve always seen — starbursts at every streetlight, and streets that were frankly a little too dark to be using sunglasses. Swapping in the Blade NLs made an immediate difference. The starburst effect was immediately gone, which was amazing in and of itself, but I also noticed that I could read signs more clearly, and much of the glare from harsh neon colors like blue was reduced. The way the frames wrap around the face means that I also enjoyed the same reduced glare in my peripheral vision. This is a huge improvement over Eagle Eye’s competition.

This before (left) and after (right) is a simulation, but not far off from the real deal.

I’m always eager to see how products like these fare outside of their intended purpose. For example, we’ve had a rash of storms here in Texas over the last two weeks. Throwing on the Blade NL glasses, the dark skies lightened up a bit, and the horizon became much clearer. Sure, they aren’t made for day driving, but they certainly serve the purpose.

The Blade NL lenses are meant for night driving, but they also make for some great migraine-reducing screen glare removing awesomeness. On more than one occasion I was able to at least tamp down the severity of my head pain. Again, it’s not the intended purpose, and I can’t explain the why of it, but they do work.

Rounding out the surprises with the Blade NL, they carry a full 12 month warranty. They don’t cover things like theft or accidents, but they will cover the material construction of the frames and lenses. For a pair of glasses that cost $59.99, that’s a pretty long coverage period.

I really only have one complaint with the Blade NL glasses. The frames are somewhat thick and thus take a little bit of getting used to in your field of view. After a few days I stopped noticing them for the most part, but I have to admit that I prefer a thinner frame. It’d be nice to see the thinner frames of the Ultralight NL with the wraparound lenses of the Blade NL.

90

Excellent

Eagle Eyes Blade NL

Review Guidelines

Lightweight, durable, and affordable, the Blade NL glasses from Eagle Eyes are excellent eye strain relief. Built for night driving, they helped me overcome a long-standing starfield effect stemming from lasik, and they also manage to make my migraine pain a little easier.

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).

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