Glassblowing Lenses

Glassblowing Safety LensesPhillips Safety Products carries lens types for every glassblowing and glass working application. Deciding on a lens type for glassblowing safety glasses or glass working safety glasses generally requires you to factor in how dark you want the lens and what types of visible or invisible light you need to protect against for your glass working application.

Glassblowing Lenses and Glasses

In general, the types of light that glass workers need to protect against are sodium flare, ultraviolet (UV) light, and infrared (IR) light. We have filters to protect against several combinations of these harmful waves.

Here are the common ways our lenses for glassblowing safety glasses are used:

  • Light green lenses are typically used by people doing off hand glassblowing, glory hole work, and furnace work.
  • Dark green lenses are typically used for quartz working.
  • ACE 202 lenses are also called didymium lenses. They are typically used for torch work associated with bead making and silver soldering. They come in regular glasses or plastic clip-on flip-ups for attaching to your current eyewear.
  • Green ACE lenses are used for working with borosilicate glass. They are often called “Boro” lenses and are available in shade 3 and a darker shade 5. Shade 3 is typically used for smaller work such as marbles, while shade 5 is more often used for larger work such as candlesticks, figures, or large scientific pieces.
  • Any of our lenses can be augmented by our plastic clip-on welders shades. They offer UV and IR protection as well as added darkness to protect from bright torches.

The above glass working safety lenses offer specific protection from certain rays. They are:

  • Light green lenses are a light welding lens. They protect against UV and IR, and they block some amount of visible light (similar to a pair of sunglasses).
  • Dark green lenses are dark welding lenses. We typically offer these in split-lens glasses, where there is a lighter lens on top and a dark green lens on the bottom of the glasses.
  • ACE 202 lenses block sodium flare and UV. Most types of glass give off sodium flare during torch work.
  • Green ACE, or “Boro” lenses, protect from sodium flare, UV, and IR. They are available in shades 3 and 5. They are made by combining our ACE 202 lens material and green lens material during the glass melting process.

If you still have questions about what’s best for your specific glassblowing or glass working application, you can contact us or take a look at the web site to see our selection. Glass blowing safety glasses are essential for most glass work, especially if you plan on doing it regularly. IR and UV are not visible to the naked eye, but they are certainly harmful and should be protected against. Sodium flare is very bright, so most people realize right away that they’re going to need safety glasses for sodium flare. We can also do some amount of customization with split lenses, so call us if you need a specific application addressed, and we’ll find the perfect glass working safety glasses for you.

18 Responses to Glassblowing Lenses
  1. Aaron Ellis
    April 15, 2016 | 4:28 pm

    So I work with borosilicate. And I have a pair of smith ramblers I’d like lenses put into and if possible I’d like prescription lense in the darkest shade possible. The issue is my prescription is +9.25 w/ astigmatism. Is that possible? If they’re thick I can live with it.

  2. Virginia
    December 1, 2015 | 8:57 am

    I use a microwave kiln for fusing glass to 1500 degrees. I have to periodically lift the small kiln at arms length to check the fusing glass, which is often glowing. Do I need to wear special glasses other than regular safety glasses? If so, what type? Thanks.

  3. m.venkatesan
    November 16, 2015 | 5:49 am

    i want didymium safety goggle use for scientific glass blowing work

  4. Jessica
    February 25, 2015 | 7:06 pm

    Our phone number is 866-575-1307. Please contact us for assistance.

  5. Tom Billings
    February 18, 2015 | 4:58 pm

    I ordered perscription glassblowing glasses from you guys. The Optometrist got my perscription so I emailed you and got no reply, so I called and your # is out of service. Why are you people so hard to get a hold of? I would not let that happen to my business. Please contact me so we can resolve this issue. My # is 1-780-436-4460.

  6. Mike Donovan
    October 19, 2014 | 3:52 am


    Do you have available your Green Ace Shade 5 as optometrist blanks that I could have ground to prescription/Rx specifications? Polycarbonate would work for me.


  7. Claire Spong
    June 17, 2014 | 10:23 am

    Is it possible to get the didymium lenses with a prescription lense? Both my eyes are -11.5 with an astigmatism so I have to wear ordinary glasses to see and putting didymium ones on top is awkward. I’d ideally like a pair of didymium made up to my prescription so I only have to wear the one pair.


    Claire Spong

  8. Anna
    March 6, 2014 | 5:58 am

    Hi there!
    I’m working with molten quartz glass quite a bit and I’m wondering if you have a suggestion how to not only protect my eyes from the UV but also my face. I’ve heared of glassmakers getting “sunburnt” when working with quartz a lot. Are there dark green UV blocking face shields? Would that make sense?

    • Kieran Hunt
      March 17, 2014 | 2:41 pm

      Hi Anna,

      There are green UV blocking face shields, though we don’t carry them. In addition to the eyewear you wear to protect your eyes from the harsh light from the quartz work, you can wear a light green face shield. This will darken your vision more, but because most green face shields are for arc flash, it won’t be very dark. The shields are typically around shade 2. Most quartz working glasses are shade 6 or 8.

      Under the shade 2 face mask, I recommend going with one of these three shades if you’re going to purchase your quartz working glasses from us:
      ~Top 1/3 Phillips 202 Bottom 2/3 Green Welding 6.0
      ~Top 1/2 Green Welding 4.0 Bottom 1/2 Green Welding 8.0
      ~Top 1/3 Clear Glass Bottom 2/3 Green Welding 6.0

      You can learn more about our quartz working lenses here:

      I suggest doing a Google search for shade 2 green IR face shield to find the right shield. These are typically polycarbonate, so they should protect from IR and UV.

      Our quartz working lenses are sold on this page:

      Please let me know if you have more questions!

      Kieran Hunt
      Phillips Safety Products, Inc.

  9. rick wright
    October 28, 2013 | 3:25 pm

    Vial production tech wondering what type of lenses would be best for boro 33 and 51 clear amber epa/sample/scint scientific vial production. Especially for the adjustment of flames with spami 3bs vial production machines. Thank you

    • Kieran Hunt
      October 29, 2013 | 10:56 pm

      Hey Rick,

      That’s a great question, and not one I’ve gotten before. In general, torches on a carousel are going to require Green Ace Shade 3 or 5 glasses. You need protection from sodium flare, UV, and IR, and those glasses provide that. Specifically for the adjustment of flames, I’d recommend going with Green Ace Shade 5. That’ll allow you to focus on the flames without the brightness bothering your eyes (because the shade 5 is darker than the 3).

      The nice thing about our Green Ace is that, if you don’t get the right shade the first time, as long as you’re not ordering them in prescription, you can always send them back for an exchange (or return) within 30 days. So if you get some shade 5 and find that they’re too dark, give us a call, but I think you’ll be happy with the 5. FYI, our products with Green Ace Shade 5 are always going to have “G5″ in the part number (i.e. GB-G5-808B). You can find all of our Green Ace Shade 5 glassworking eyewear here:

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

      Kieran Hunt
      Phillips Safety Products, Inc.

  10. [...] Glassblowing Lenses [...]

  11. Tim O'Neill
    September 23, 2013 | 9:33 pm

    I am doing vitreous enameling and would like to know what lens type you would recommend.

    • Kieran Hunt
      October 10, 2013 | 7:27 pm

      Hi Tim,

      Great question!

      Since you’re working with borosilicate glass in vitreous enameling, in general we recommend our Green Ace Shade 3 lenses. If these are too light for you, you can return them for a Green Ace Shade 5 (as long as you didn’t order them in prescription), but the 3 should work for you.

      Please let me know if you’re wondering anything else!

      Kieran Hunt
      Phillips Safety Products, Inc.

  12. Phillips Safety Launches New Website
    July 1, 2013 | 6:05 pm

    [...] to be a go to source for a wide variety of protective eyewear—serving everyone from welders and glassblowers to x-ray and radiation [...]

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