Our sense of vision is important. It goes without saying, right?
Most indoor growers know just how far grow lights have come – and in a relatively short period of time, at that.
Today, the technology is there to pump out much more light than our plants really need. That’s a good thing – for the plants, anyway. All of that extra light fills up the room and parts of the plant that don’t normally see much light get some too.
While it might be good for the plants, it isn’t very good for people – not for their eyes, at least.
The human eye contains rods and cones inside it that expand and contract based on the amount of light in a room. These rods and cones, along with other parts of the eye, use broad spectrum light to provide our brain with accurate information about color, shape recognition, and movements that catch the eye.
With the abundance of light in a grow room, UV-rated sunglasses can offer minimal safety protection, but they actually hinder vision. They work by applying shade that darkens the incoming light, whereas quality grow room glasses will use various shades of color-tinted lenses that reflect only the necessary spectrum. This allows the wearer to retain optimal clarity of vision while still being protected from harmful light.
There are 3 main reasons to make specialized grow room glasses (as opposed to sunglasses) a critical part of the entry into your own grow room:
The highest quality product that meets all three criteria in this market is currently offered by manufacturer Method Seven. For in-depth reviews and our top picks from them, check out our reviews of the best Method Seven grow room glasses.
There are two things that immediately jump out. The first is that their lenses are made from mineral glass exclusively. The second is that they cost quite a bit more than the competition.
Ok, so maybe you don’t notice things in that order, exactly.
Still, Method Seven makes the best grow room glasses you can buy. They are available in a variety of lens specialties, as you can see here:
Best Grow Room Glasses
 Method Seven
Method Seven high-quality grow room glasses are professional pieces of equipment intended for professional growing operations. If cared for properly, they will provide years of service and protection.
That being said, not every grow room has the flexibility in their budget and might be looking for something more economical.
The remainder of the available grow room glasses fall into this category, actually. This is due to the fact that these other manufacturers primarily make grow room lighting systems, and offer the glasses more as supplemental PPE than their primary product line. Since they aren’t making grow room glasses full-time, there isn’t much incentive to invest in the talent or infrastructure it takes to make mineral glass lensed grow room glasses.
This article strays a bit from our normal review format. Ordinarily we would select the top products of the given category, and review them each based on their pros & cons.
With this particular product niche, however, we’ve had to go about it a little differently. Because Method Seven has committed to a premium offering, they have also, in a sense, separated themselves from the competition.
As such, we wanted to provide our readers with a convenient way to find what they’re looking for and the ability to quickly compare the available products. We discuss below how the different products might be generally different or similar, but our normal exhaustive review of every single model would have grown too long and would have forced us to remove some sellers undeservingly.
The manufacturers and sellers listed below offer an assortment of solutions for protecting growers’ eyes from the room’s powerful lighting.
 Happy Hydro
As you can see, there is a line drawn in the sand between Method Seven and all of the other grow room glasses. The inclusion of mineral glass lenses has everything to do with this and sets the bar high for anyone else wanting to make a similar product.
Whether you decide on glass or plastic, full-spectrum LED glasses are the smart choice with modern LED grow light systems, and a good set will protect your vision while also allowing the colors to come through properly.
If you use metal halide (MH) or high-pressure sodium lamps (HPS), the grow glasses made for HPS grow lighting will be the stronger of the two and will block out more harmful light than MH specific glasses.
How Grow Room Glasses Help Vision
One of the reasons for needing grow room glasses at all has to do with light intensity; often measured in lumens. Older incandescent and fluorescent lamps simply put out far fewer lumens – meaning they put out less intense light. This is why some old-school growers might feel like these glasses are an unnecessary gimmick;
Another thing that must be considered is the matter of spectrum. You see, the sun’s light is actually a combination of infrared, visible, and ultraviolet spectrums of light. The thing is, there are other parts of our environment, like our atmosphere and clouds, that help scatter this light and make it less harmful without making it less bright.
Old-fashioned 3-D glasses are a good example of how this works. Not the newer tinted ones, but the old red and blue lensed glasses made from cardboard. Artists would draw pictures with one image being made up of blue lines, and another made up of red lines. The eye looking through the red lens can only see the blue lines and vice versa.
So the brain realizes that there is a spectrum of light missing from each image, and auto-corrects to seeing both simultaneously, with a 3-D effect. This is just another example of why choosing the right lenses for your lighting is so important. The wrong lens will make things disappear from vision or change their perspective, instead of bringing more clarity.
Another point regarding light intensity is that most commercial grow rooms aim to put out more light in the room than their plants can actually use (on paper, anyway). It might not always be by a huge amount, but this tactic is employed deliberately to help the light reach more than just the tops of the plant, and can be aided by reflectors and the like. What it means, though, is the room is awash in light that can be just as intense, if not more so, than the sun.
Gardeners have to enter these grow rooms on a daily basis, sometimes for hours at a time. We have to check nutrient levels, ensure irrigation systems are working properly, and check on a hundred little things that change constantly.
Spending too much time unprotected in the brightness of a commercial grow room can end with minimal side effects like temporary spots in the vision field, fatigue, and headaches or much more serious one, such as permanent retina damage.
The Importance of Comfort
Simply put, Grow room glasses are PPE – Personal Protective Equipment. That is something virtually everyone on the planet has learned more about lately, and more to the point, people know that uncomfortable PPE is unacceptable.
The hallmark characteristic of PPE is that it is necessary.
We wear it because we have to, or at least because it’s the responsible thing to do.
However, there is a deal-breaker here. If it isn’t comfortable, people won’t wear it. This is no different for grow room glasses than it is for gloves, tyvek suits, or steel-toed boots.
The main thing you’ll want to consider for comfort is the frame. Be sure you know whether you need grow room glasses, or grow room goggles – the latter being designed to fit over top of prescription glasses.
|Metal Halide/High-Pressure Sodium||LED – Single/Dual Spectrum||LED – Full Spectrum*|
|Blue Tinted Lenses||Green Tinted Lenses||Pink Tinted Lenses|
*Method Seven is the sole provider of Full-Spectrum LED Glasses
Which Grow Room Glasses Are Right for My Setup?
To properly determine which grow room glasses are right for your specific operation, you need to know what kind of lighting you’re running.
The biggest difference lies in whether you have LED, gas bulb, or a combination of both. Larger commercial setups tend to run LED lighting, while smaller more personal setups tend towards MH & HPS. Costs have been the biggest reason for this in the past, but LED systems have dropped in price in accordance with their rise in demand. As such, it is increasingly common to see some combination of HPS and LED, or even all three, in smaller grow rooms.
Popular Grow Light Setups
• Single Light Type – Match your shade/tint to the light you run.
• Multiple Lights – LED or HPS/MH? Both? – HPS shades will block MH, but MH won’t block HPS, so if in doubt, go with HPS shade if you aren’t running LED at all.
• Single Spectrum LED – Same situation as Single Light Type; pick the shade that fits your lights.
• Plural Spectrum (combinations of spectrum types that don’t necessarily add up to a full light spectrum) – Full Spectrum LED will be best, but any LED-rated shade is adequate.
• Full Spectrum – Method Seven is the only manufacturer we know of making a full spectrum LED lens
What Are the OSHA Requirements for Grow Room Glasses?
OSHA has yet to mention grow rooms specifically, largely due to welding being the primary source of dangerous atmospheric light in the workplace.
According to OSHA, “The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses equipment with filter lenses that have a shade number appropriate for the work being performed for protection from injurious light radiation.”
Employers are also responsible for ensuring that employees with prescription eyeglasses that are affected by potentially injurious light radiation find suitable “…eye protection that incorporates the prescription in its design, or wears eye protection that can be worn over the prescription lenses…”
Can I Use Sunglasses as Grow Room Glasses?
Technically, yes you can, as long as they are UV-rated. The problems with doing so are mostly associated with the dark shade that sunglasses use to accomplish this.
Specially-made grow room glasses incorporate color-tinted lenses to filter out dangerous spectrums of light without compromising your ability to see while indoors.
Using sunglasses instead of grow room glasses can inhibit your vision to the point that not only can the grower lose the clarity they need to make decisions regarding their crop, but they can also dangerously trip over or bump into things around the grow room.
Sunglasses might be ok in a pinch, but they aren’t a safe alternative to grow room glasses.
Why Are Method Seven Grow Room Glasses So Expensive?
The level of quality and choice of materials makes all the difference with this kind of product, and is the reason that Method Seven grow room shades tend to cost more than their competitors.
Method Seven is unique in that they have taken the initiative to offer a premium quality pair of glasses that goes beyond providing the minimum required protections. Anyone that wears prescription eyeglasses everyday knows the importance of quality and comfort when selecting a pair of frames.
Method Seven manufactures their grow room protective glasses to the same standards as you’d expect from a pair of prescription glasses. In fact, you can get their products in most prescriptions.
Choosing mineral glass lenses over generic plastic lenses was a major factor. The decision has a huge impact – in both directions. Yes, it is a substantial jump in quality over the foreign mass-produced plastic glasses that can be found, but it comes with a pretty substantial jump in price as well.
The bottom line is deciding whether you want to invest in grow room glasses that can last forever if taken care of, or whether something more disposable is appropriate to your situation.
This concludes our review of the top grow room glasses of 2020. We hope you found what you were looking for, whether it was the answer to a burning question or finding the best glasses for your grow room (and growers!).
Thanks for reading – Stay smart, stay safe, and stay growing!