Protecting your eyes as a developer – why I choose Felix Gray

As a developer and entrepreneur, I spend the majority of my time in front of screens. Every morning I’m awoken by my phone playing the latest tech news, all day I rotate between my phone, my laptop, and my big external monitor, and each night I wind down by reading threads on r/AskReddit. I would say, like many people my age, I have an unhealthy amount of screen time in my life. And my eyes feel it.

60% of all Americans report symptoms of Digital Eye Strain, and this is increasing 7% per generation

In 2016 I discovered what was then a budding startup, Felix Gray. They’d identified the growing problem of digital eye strain, and had set out on a mission to help people like me protect our eyes. Since then they’ve launched three lines of glasses: eyeglasses, sleep glasses, and sunglasses.

What makes Felix Gray glasses special is all three lines offer protection from blue light, glare, and 100% of UV light. Though they can be worn in any situation, they are especially good for people who spend a lot of time in front of screens. This is because the blue light that screens emit can have negative impacts on our health like eye strain, increased risk of macular degeneration, and sleep cycle disruption. Felix Grays filter 50% of all blue light and nearly 90% of the highest range, which is the range that causes the most strain.

This week marks three years exactly from when I first started wearing Felix Grays, and I’m proud to support this thoughtful company. I’m officially partnering with the Felix Gray team, who has generously sponsored my trip to Washington, DC to speak at Wonder Women Tech! I’m so grateful to Felix Gray for helping me reach this goal and share my talk, Empathy Beyond Borders. In addition to making great eyewear, Felix Gray also names their frames after famous scientists – check out the names of each of my frames below. When we kicked off this latest partnership, the Felix Gray team gifted me a pair of glasses from each line to try out for myself – here’s my take!

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Eyeglasses

When I wear: at work, in class, on stage

Since my first pair in 2016, I have been religiously wearing my Felix Gray eyeglasses whenever I work. I’ve been with them since the beginning, so I can honestly vouch for the latest release – they are clearer than ever and offer the same satisfying protection that lessens the strain on my eyes.

Putting on the glasses you don’t immediately see a change – and that’s what’s so great about them. The lenses are clear (no longer tinted yellow, unlike many of their competitors), so it feels like a regular pair of glasses. It’s over time that the difference becomes really noticeable. Personally, I find that my eye strain manifests after working in front of a screen for a few hours, and it shows up as dryness, irritation, and a really tired feeling in the skin and muscles around my eyes. Since I have a startup and a personal freelance business, I’m constantly in front of screens getting my work done. When I wear my Felix Grays during those stretches of work, there is noticeably less strain on my eyes at the end of the day.

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Here I’m wearing the Kepler eyeglasses in Horn, named after Johannes Kepler, who is best known for defining the three laws of planetary motion.
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A close look at the Kepler in Horn
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Here are my tried-and-tested Roebling eyeglasses in Amber Toffee, named after Emily Roebling, the first woman field engineer and the one who lead the building of the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Sleep glasses

When I wear: winding down, in bed, on the plane

Specifically designed to filter the range of blue light that hinders melatonin secretion, the sleep glasses line is excellent for nighttime use. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep cycles (which is why some people take it as a sleep aid), so wearing these sleep glasses when you look at your phone just before bed will help you keep you in wind-down mode for your whole bedtime routine.

What I love about these is they reduce my reliance on tools like Flux and my phone’s night mode, which add a warm tint to the screen to reduce the harshness of the blue light. The lenses have a slight tint, but are designed to minimize colour distortion. As part of my work for Trendy Techie and for Crescendo, I use visual editing tools and do a lot of this work at night – when I do, I can’t use tools that distort my screen’s colour, so these glasses really help.

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I chose Hamilton sleep glasses in Gold, named after Margaret Hamilton, the American computer scientist who coined the term “software engineering” and helped write the computer code used for the Apollo missions to the Moon.

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Sunglasses

When I wear: on the go, working outside, when traveling

Among Felix Gray’s more recent releases is their sunglasses line. Why would you need a blue light filter on your sunglasses? We actually get a lot of blue light from the sun. Also, according to Felix Gray, blue light scatters more than other colour, which mutes the colour spectrum, so filtering out blue light can lead to a more vivid view of the world. On top of that, Felix Gray sunglasses use thinner polarization than traditional sunglasses, which means you can more easily see your phone and other screens in the broad daylight – and this is definitely noticeable. I personally would love to spend more time working outside, so you can bet I’ll be using my FG sunglasses on the coffee shop patios this summer!

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Here I’m wearing the Hopper sunglasses in Black, named after American computer scientist and U.S. Navy rear admiral Grace Hopper, who is best known for building one of the first compilers.

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FAQ from Instagram

Thank you for all your questions on Instagram! All questions I didn’t answer in the above post are answered below:

Are Felix Grays covered by insurance?

Felix Grays can be covered under vision insurance, but Felix Gray does not work directly with any insurance providers. For more info, visit their FAQ.

What if you already wear glasses?

Felix Grays are available in prescription, readers, and non-prescription models. The main difference is the protective lens, which filters blue light and protects from glare. You can submit your prescription when you order on their website.

How much do they cost?

Felix Grays are $95 for the non-prescription and readers, and $145 for prescription lenses (prices in USD).

Can I get them in Canada or somewhere else other than the US?

Felix Gray currently only ships to the US, but has partnered with MyUS.com to ship internationally. See details and the full list of available countries here.

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This post was sponsored by Felix Gray, who provided me with the gifted products you see me wearing here. I’ve known Chris, the co-founder of Felix Gray, since the very early days of his company, and I have been wearing their glasses throughout their evolution. As always, I take great care in selecting the companies I work with, and I can vouch for the Felix Gray team’s genuine desire to do good in the world. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at sage@trendytechie.ca.

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