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If you’re looking to display works of art in your home or business, you might be curious about the efficacy of non-glare framing glass versus standard glass. Does non-glare glass really eliminate glare? Yes, non-glare and anti-reflective surfaces can assist in the removal of reflections and hot spots.

High-end custom framing shops and art galleries usually offer both a non-glare glass and an anti-reflection glass. The difference between the two, besides the cost, is that non-glare glass is etched, while anti-reflection glass is coated with a special material.

However, there are some disadvantages to non-glare or anti-reflective framing glass that you might not have considered:

  1. It can dull the artwork – Since anti-reflective surfaces are layered with an additional layer to prevent glares, it often means that it won’t work for certain types of art. The reflections are gone, but the clarity of the artwork is often disturbed. Because of the etching on non-glare glass, artwork can appear slightly blurry. Thus, both options can diminish the appeal of more intricate and finely detailed pieces of art.
  2. It is more expensive – Both anti-reflective and non-glare glass are more expensive than traditional framing glass. Anti-reflective glass is usually the priciest option because of the additional layer of material.

It is important to remember that while some artworks can be dulled by non-traditional framing glass, other artworks may be unaffected or even enhanced. The disadvantages don’t necessarily mean that anti-reflective or non-glare surfaces aren’t the right way to go. They can and do offer a variety of benefits as well, including:

  1. It eliminates distraction – If the room where the artwork is housed is very brightly lit, anti-reflective or non-glare glass can help the piece stand out without glare and reflections that draw the eye away from the content.
  2. UV protection – Many anti-reflective and non-glare glass options include a UV-protective layer to shield your artwork from UV rays that could damage it over time. This will undoubtedly add to the final price and can sometimes add a slightly warmer hue to the art, but is a great option for protecting valuable and/or antique pieces.

Phantom Contour Projectors are designed to help control and reduce glare on artwork with any type of glass or reflective finish. The unique optical characteristics of the Phantom framing projector allows for offset mounting, which changes the angle of incidence and forces the glare in the opposite direction from normal viewing angles. To learn more about addressing reflective glare and frame shadows, take a look at our projector supplement.

So does non-glare or anti-reflective glass truly eliminate glare? The short answer is yes. However, all options and potential disadvantages should be considered before making a final decision. For the best results when displaying art, consider speaking with a lighting professional because there are alternative ways to display art. A professional can help determine the best way to showcase the piece, taking all things into consideration, from the size and shape of the room, the art, and any existing lighting.

Next time you add a piece of art to your home or business collection, the team at Phantom Lighting would be happy to help you come up with a plan to properly display it – just give us a call toll-free at 800-863-1184.