How demo units can help you present lens options

Guide to Lens Demos
How demo units can help you present lens options
By Joseph L. Bruneni 

Consider how many lens options ought to be discussed with anyone purchasing eyewear, particularly those who want to know everything that's available to them. There are, in fact, more than a dozen basic options, including: A variety of lens materials, high index, poly, AR coatings, scratch coatings, aspheric designs, PAL designs, variable-focus computer lenses, cosmetic tints, sun tints, photochromic and polarized tints, and mirror coatings.

No dispenser has the time to explain and review every lens option with patients, and that's a dilemma that today's eyecare professionals face. And as consumer advertising increases, the challenge will be even tougher.

How do you expose patients to all their options in the limited time available following the exam? There's a simple answer. You do it by making sure you have graphic lens demonstration kits in the dispensing area.

To illustrate this, here's an exercise I use with optometry students. Pretending I am a patient, the student must explain aspherics to me verbally. After five minutes of a lengthy explanation that confuses even me, I bring out an aspheric demo kit with a frame that has an aspheric plus lens on one side and normal plus on the other. I ask another student to explain aspherics using the demo kit. If they remember what they were taught, the second student merely points to the lenses and says, "Which would you prefer, this lens or that one?"

New lens demo kits are constantly being introduced, so the following is not a complete listing. It does, however, illustrate some of what's available. When sales reps come in promoting a new lens, find out if a demo kit is available. Some laboratories also have demos.

progressive lenses

1. Varilux (800-BEST-PAL)
Comfort MDS Kit: This elaborate demo kit for progressives includes special mounting frames that accept sample PAL lenses in various adds. Dispensers can approximate the patient's correction to demonstrate how PALs work. Vouchers for half-price Varilux lenses included. Call for price.

photochromic lenses

1. Invicta Vision (800-557-4677)
Solera Starter Kit 1: Includes jewel case with 12 pair of plano lenses, countercard, 100 brochures, and 10 coupons worth $10 each. $309.95.
Solera Starter Kit 2: Includes jewel case, countercard, 100 brochures, and 10 coupons worth $10 each. $109.95. 

2. Rodenstock North America (888-407-EYES,
ColorMatic� Extra Display: This display gives patients a "hands-on" experience and demonstrate the features and benefits of Rodenstock ColorMatic Extra. It also holds informative patient brochures that tell the Rodenstock ColorMatic Extra story in clear, understandable patient language. The In-Office Display is $19.99 and comes with three coupons each worth $10 off one pair of Rodenstock ColorMatic Extra lenses. 

3. Transitions Optical (800-848-1506,
P-O-P Materials: Call to request a free brochure outlining what's available and select option "three" for Transitions customer relations. The following materials are available: Patient brochures, available in packs of 50; patient brochure holder; Use and Care Guide detailing how to care for Transitions lenses, available in packs of 50; dispensing mats; cling applique for doors or windows; lenticular with countercard demonstrates variable-tint aspect of Transitions lenses; UV posters about effects of UV exposure; UV countercard; two-sded posters featuring ads from Transitions print campaign.
UV Light Demonstrator: UV Light Demonstrator shows patients how lenses activate-without going outside. Includes two up-dated tint cards to coordinate with other P-O-P materials. $115. 

4. Corning (800-742-5273) 
Corning� GlareControl� Demo Kit: Demonstrate the photo-chromic filter lens technology of Corning GlareControl lenses to your light-sensitive patients. Several kit configurations are available. 
Corning� SunSensors�  Kit: The demo kit displays the features and benefits of SunSensors' plastic photo-chromic lenses. Kit includes dispensing mat, counter display with photochromic lens simulation, patient brochures, product samples, and ceiling mobile. Call 800-821-2020 and request OPP-6119-ECB to receive this free kit. 

5. Seiko Optical (
1.67 Quantum Transitions� Display: The Seiko 1.67 Super SV-TQ Lens Demonstrator shows off the benefits of the Seiko 1.67 Super SV with Transitions Quantum lenses. Contact your laboratory to order.

sun lens displays

1. Opticote (800-248-6784,
Lens Coating Demonstrator: This 24-place kit includes cosmetic, sun tint, and mirrored coatings that can be applied on conventional glass or plastic as well as high-index and polycarbonate lenses. Included is a detailed description of each coating along with the benefits and lens material availability. $65.

 2. Specialty Lens Corporation (888-OPTI-POL)
Melanin Dispensing Kit: Dispensing kit demonstrates melanin polarized lens which offers benefits for low vision, golfing, driving, shooting, and other applications. Kit includes melanin lorgnette and a book titled, "Lenses with Melanin: When and How to Prescribe Them," as well as a choice of coupon for a free pair of melanin prescription or plano lenses or $30 worth of coupons for melanin lenses. $30.

polarized lenses

1. Younger Optics (Contact your laboratory or call Younger at 
NuPolar� Display with Video: The Glare Box demonstrates how polarized lenses eliminate harsh glare. A continuous video is included to educate and inform on the features and benefits of NuPolar polarized lenses. The video includes important information on safety aspects of glare. Available through wholesale labs. $50, with $50 in redeemable coupons.

2. KBco (800-722-8776 x103)
Pyramid Display: Kit holds six different polarized lorgnettes. Featured colors are: Grey C, brown C, grey A, hi-contrast amber, and two new polarized colors-apple green and sky blue. Includes $5 coupons for Fusion I or Fusion II orders and an availability booklet. $35, with $35 in discount coupons.

3. Vision-Ease Lens (800-328-3449)
SunRx� Display: Display has two lorgnettes, one polarized and one non-polarized. When mirror is viewed using the polarized lens, a formerly invisible sun can be seen. Includes patient brochures for the back of the display. $45, with nine $5 certificates.

high index/aspheric lenses

1. Pentax Vision (800-401-9101)
Lens Comparison & AR Display: This lens comparison counter display with a natural-colored wood base shows the advantages of Pentax UltraThin 1.66 lenses versus conventional plastic lenses. The rimless eyewear fronts can be easily picked up and removed from the display for closer evaluation. Produced in prescription powers of 2.00 and -4.00, the eyewear fronts also demonstrate the benefits of AR. $149.95.

2. Rodenstock North America (888-407-EYES,
Aspheric Demonstrator: This kit highlights the differences between standard spherical lenses and aspheric lenses produced from Rodenstock's Automated Prescription Technology (APT) process. The peripheral distortion experienced in spherical lens designs is compared against the elimination of distortion in aspheric lens designs. The small box contains one standard single vision spherical lens (+3.00), one Rodenstock aspheric lens (+3.00) and a grid card. By holding the lenses side by side against the grid, patients get a visual representation of the distortion elements of each.

3. Optima (800-621-1216,
HyperIndex�  1.66 demo: The kit demonstrates the difference in thickness between high index lenses and conventional plastic. Actual size lens profiles, with the center thickness highlighted, are mounted side by side for a definitive comparison. 
HyperIndex�  1.60 demo: This kit has a wider range of lens profiles. Both displays are available through Optima wholesale lab distributors. Additional sales aids and P-O-P materials are available and are exhibited in the trade area of Optima's Website.

4. Signet Armorlite (800-950-5367, )
Kodak Counter Display & Thin Flat Kodak Lens Demo: This display provides comparisons of ordinary lenses vs. Kodak 1.56 thinner, flatter lenses for both plus and minus (4.00 & 1.00). The kit permits patients to pick up lenses. 
Thin Flat Lens Demo: This kit highlights the thinner, flatter qualities of Kodak lenses vs. standard resin lenses of the same power. Includes a set of +4.00 and 
-4.00 sample lenses or +1.00 and -1.00 representative lenses. The kit fits into a 6" x 3" box less than 1" high. (Kodak is a trademark of Eastman Kodak and is licensed for use by Signet Armorlite.)

premium lens center displays

1. Essilor (1-800-ESSILOR)
Smart Lens: The "Smart Lens" display helps eyecare professionals demonstrate the Nikon Performance Package benefits. The demonstration device makes it easy to show how the Nikon Performance Package lens compares to a regular plastic lens of the same power (both are +3.00 lenses).

2. Interstate Optical (800-472-5790)
Go Premium Lens Center: Contains rotating display with eight in-frame samples, literature, lens samples, E-Clip, and Colgate frame, as well as 100 lens menus, 30 UV brochures, and 11 small sign holders. Complete with refund vouchers to completely refund display cost. $460.

3. Western Optical Supply (800-423-3294,
Previews 3-D Demonstrator: Kit has four disks, but 22 disks demonstrating 22 lens products are available. A wide assortment of 3-D disks is available to demonstrate a variety of specialty lenses under varying outdoor lighting conditions. Polarized lenses, photochromic, sun and sport tints, as well as a selection of other specialty lenses, are featured. $115.

AR coating

1. Interstate Optical (800-472-5790)
ARx Anti-Reflective Coating: Attractive Plexiglas stand has partially coated demo lens and supply of patient brochures.

2. ClearSight� (888-996-0202)
Coating Display: Kit has a small circle in the center of the lens allowing patients to clearly view the cosmetic and visual advantages of the ClearSight AR coating. $15.

3. Essilor Lenses (800-ESSILOR)
Crizal View-Master: Tells the Crizal AR story in 3-D with the use of a View-Master.
Bullet Lens Display: A bullet lens with a partial AR coating provides patients with a side-by-side comparison of Crizal AR with an uncoated lens. 

4. Pentax Vision, Inc. (800-401-9101)
Wood-based Counter Display: Kit has AR applied only to the center of the lens, demonstrating the visual advantage of an AR-coated lens. Kit includes 50 new four-color brochures featuring AR coatings displayed directly behind the demo lens. $29.95.

5. Zeiss (
AR Display: Made from durable plastic, this demonstrator includes 100 High-Tech Coating "Take Ones." The half coated/half uncoated Zeiss lens is removable for versatility. Its dual purpose of literature availability and visual demonstration effectively communicates the value of Zeiss AR Coatings. Contact Zeiss lab for cost information.


6. Optovision Technologies (800-688-7575,
AR Display: This display illustrates a fully coated lens alongside a coated and uncoated lens to dramatically illustrate the visual benefits of AR coating. Available through your laboratory or by calling the above number.

7. SOLA USA (800-358-8258)
UTMC AR Demonstrator: This plastic display has a lens attached to the handle that is AR coated in the center and uncoated at the edge. Simple instructions printed on the display allow patients to use it themselves or with dispenser assistance. Five $10 coupons are included. $50.

Polycarbonate Lenses

1. OPTIMA (800-621-1216,
Lab Lens Demo Kit: Kit is initially available only for lab sales reps, but smaller kit for retail offices is being developed. Demo kit includes compact lightbox and carrying case for lab reps identify birefringence in polycarbonate lenses. Sales rep's display kit lets retailers test any polycarbonate lens against new Resolution.

2. Vision-Ease Lens (800-328-3449)
Tegra Aspheric Polycarbonate: Display demonstrates scratch resistant coating; the thinner, lighter, and flatter design; impact resistance; and the aspheric benefits of more natural looking eyes. Coupons are provided to earn back the cost of the lens demo. $40.